rocket engine rendering

Post: #1
has anyone tackled this before? I'm making a spaceship racing game and I want to have rocket engines whose size, shape and intensity reflect throttle, turning and whether a boost is occuring.

i'm simply looking for opinions here; I'm considering doing this in 2 ways.

1: bitmaps to represent the flame(s), drawn in 4, 9, or 16 quads. the flame would be distorted by moving the vertices about to make the flame appear fatter during a boost, etc. (how much rotation towards the camera is acceptable before the flame would start to look silly and flat?)

2: a cubic spline to represent the flame (approximately 48-96 quads). I would apply a "fiery texture" to constantly move along the spline towards the end of the flame.

I'm leaning towards 1 and will implement that option first, posting the results. option 2 seems quite daunting right now, so I may move onto it should it prove really difficult to achieve a nice looking rocket simply by distorting a bitmap.

as stated at the top, if any of you have done something similar, i would really appreciate your input. thanks! Smile
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Posts: 469
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #2
Personally, I'd go with a particle emitter. Easy to do.

15.4" MacBook Pro revA
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Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #3
Personally, I'd go with a polyline, and then fatten it as needed. Each vertex in the polyline could store position, alpha, thickness and "skew", where the thickness moves on the polyline's left/right scale, so that turning would make the flame "stick out" on one side. If this is in 3D, just turn the "ribs" towards the camera before rendering.

I've got code to loft a polyline *nicely*, holler if you want it. Wink
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Posts: 142
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #4
kelvin Wrote:Personally, I'd go with a particle emitter. Easy to do.

Seriously. And if that turns out not to look good enough, then try something more complicated. If you don't have a particle system in place, you'll probably want one anyway...
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Posts: 1,140
Joined: 2005.07
Post: #5
Another vote for particles. That's really the easiest way of doing it, especially since it requires both limited geometry and calculations. You can also get some "built in" features, such as the trail turning as you turn the ship.
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