Alpha Mapped Planar Trails

:confused: What’s That?

I was wondering if anyone here knew a good method of creating alpha mapped planar trails much like what you would see in games like Soul Calibur.

Here’s an illustration if you dont know what I mean:

The red trail left behind by the sword is a good example.

My goal is to create fireflies that have a similar trail effect, but the trail should be one continuous flow that creates polygons depending on the direction of the firefly and removes them after a certain period of time. Is there any way to create something like this?

Any help at all would be appreciated very much. Thanks for reading :smiley:


Here’s another good example

Why not give the fireflies an empty thats always adding ‘halo-ised’ planes? but with no velocity or anything so that they stay in the same place, then just set it to however long you want it to last.

Hope that helps! :rolleyes:

thatll work (ive used it before) but you wont get an effect quite like that unless you use a large number of planes, and that could slow down the ge…

Zoup: Thanks for tthe suggestion but there are a few problems with that method.

  1. For some reason the “track to” actuator doesn’t work with added objects because the planes are not tracking to the camera.

  2. I need a continuous trail, this method adds planes that separate while the spawning object goes at a certain speed.

Is there any other way I can achieve this?

wait, you are making firefly’s ? little bugs with a white trail of light?
Then this method should be perfect… track to? what do you need the track to actuator for? :rolleyes:

EDIT: If you need i could provide a blend with little fireflies buzzing about…
EDIT2: or you could just meet me on vyew…

I think he wants the track to, so they will always face the camera. This can be solved by making the planes have a face with “halo” or “billboard” (im not sure which one). Although you may need to play around with the object, so it faces the camera at the right angle!

As for the trail effect, I remember seeing a thread about this quite a while ago, I will try to see if I can find it again…

EDIT: found the topic Too bad all the links are dead…I also haven’t seen magicman303 around since 2006 though.

Sorry thats what i meant by ‘halo-ised’, i should have made that more clear…:o

As for the trail effect, I remember seeing a thread about this quite a while ago, I will try to see if I can find it again…

Do you mean Monsters Particle Emitter by any chance? :eyebrowlift2:

or my against the wind game?

facemania: That’s exactly what I was looking for but unfortunately wiseman303’s example is now offline.

Does anyone have a copy of it? If you do, you can save my day by sending it to me = )

I’ll pm him and see if he still has it. I hope he still checks his pm’s…
If anyone else comes up with a similar script please let me know.

Thanks for all the help!

Create your alpha image, then have it scale to make it look as if it moved whilst increasing in size. Fancier the texture, better the effect. :wink:

Is it possible that it’s good programming. That it creates connected faces that is mapped.

Like this:

clicky ^^

Don’t forget to pack textures :wink:
That method can work, but if the object starts moving too fast, the trail will start having gaps. Another problem with it, is that the planes overlap each other, which can cause the trail to be brighter in some areas, and darker in others, which does not look very nice :no:

So reduce the speed of which the trail is added? nope! That will cause even more gaps to be made!

I doubt it, since when you play the game, there is a constant trail. :no:

That method won’t work either, since then there won’t be much of a trail, just a plane sticking out of the back of the object (no curve at all either!). Unless I’m misunderstanding you’re idea

Alright, no problem, I hope you find the file/script, and if you do, please post it! I would probably want to use it sometime too. :smiley: Good luck!

wait time out…we are talking FIREFLIES here, not jets…so there should reasonably be no gaps. Im uploading my blend to show this as we speak…

EDIT: Okay done. Now try the blend…i think i have it working reasonably, no?

Well to be fair, I think you did a good job, the texture makes a big difference!
Although I do notice some gaps created when it moves too fast, but for the most part its pretty good. There is also the increased brightness, when it isn’t moving as fast aswell. I think venom is trying to achieve a constant color, and contrast, but I suppose this is the easiest method.

Also, I found wiseman on irc, and he nicely uploaded the file again! :smiley: Although it doesn’t seem to work in 2.44, it should work in 2.36 though. Maybe some experienced python speakers can work it out…

EDIT: Thanks to littlebob, changing the ipo, to “play” will let you see it working, still works great!

Edit: nvm. just saw face’s reply.

Wow, I haven’t been here in a while. Hello everyone :smiley:

Well, when facemania found me on IRC and asked about that weapon trail demo, it reminded me of something I’d been meaning to improve on it.

The script in WeaponTrails1 adds a new segment to the start of the list and deletes the segment at the end every frame. The problem with that is you get a different length of trail depending on the framerate.

Behold: WeaponTrails2

This one uses a timer. A new segment is added to the beginning and one deleted from the end 20 times a second (adjustable by changing the freq variable) . The list is also one segment longer so the end of the trail can be interpolated between the last two segments.

The Results of all that: Approximately the same length of trail at any framerate, and smooth motion of the beginning and end of the trail.

sorry to resurrect this thread (it wasn’t that long dead anyway) but it seems that the file is not downloading (it gets to about 20% and then stops, every time)

if it’s not too much trouble, could the file be put on a different host? I’m interested in how this was done, it’s a pretty useful thing to be able to use.

Re-uploaded :).

nice! just what i was looking for car skid marks
here screenshot