Submitted by , posted on 13 December 2002

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Here is an IOTD for anyone interested in particle system, generic editing system and 3d UI.

The central UI is an XML/Property Set editor. The structure edited here is a DVE.

The UI system is using a Direct3D or OpenGL module for all its rendering. The look is achieved using a custom Stardock DirectSkin file loader that pack the data into 3d texture.

Surrounding the UI shot we see different sample of the FX configured as Particle Wipes. From a screen going up in smoke to a 3d plane flying away with shadow and pixel dust. The particle system offer over 40 keyframable emitter & behaviors parameters enabling a wide range of result.

The UI show the editing of the first keyframe of the first object residing on the second video layer. The spline system include a compiler & interpreted for expression evaluation, the x86 compiler is invoked at FX load time. In this UI we can see that the X component of the gravity vector is modified using a sine wave based on a global 'time' variable. By making the Spline manager, FX system & Editor discreet component its then possible to create new class of FX and have them automatically supported throughout.

The system will let a user add an expression on a member of sub structure. Most registered base type are also exposed as sub structure making it possible to animate the alpha component of a color part of a structure thru a complex expression.

Currently we only used this tool in house but plan to release it at some time for third party content creation.

Stephan Schaem (a.k.a T21)

PS: This particle system exercise the Rnd() function shown in a previous IOTD.

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