This is something that I experimented with yesterday, shell texturing…
Shell texturing involves creating mesh layers, then using one or more alpha textures to create the effect of volume. Looks quite good for rendering fur, and can look descent for grass as well. If you want to learn more, you can check out this site: http://www.xbdev.net/directx3dx/specialX/Fur/
It didn’t quite turn out to fit my project, but I thought others might be able to profit for my experiment. So, I am posting it here.
Sorry the video quality is not all that great. With all the movement it was making gigantic files (~3.4 Mb per sec @ 1080p - kinda crazy).
As with my last geometry shader, it has only been tested on Nvidia. I do not know if it will work on Intel/AMD. If it does work let me know; however, I suspect that it will not.
EDIT: It might work for AMD after all…
EDIT: Mesh was already triangulated, this is why it was working for AMD…
geoShellTex.blend (1.09 MB)
You can specify how many layers you want to create in the geometry shader, but don’t forget to change the max_vertices as well…
It also includes a very basic lighting model.
-uses blender’s internal mouse look
-Q/E keys rotate left/right around the center of the plane
-W/S keys raise/lower the light position
This one creates duplicate sphere shells to simulate stylized clouds around a planet. The clouds move, form, and dissipate…
EDIT: Update 1.1 - triangulated the mesh for AMD/ATI support
geoShellTex_Sphere-Clouds1-1.blend (465 KB)
Controls are listed in the readme and are pretty much the same as the grass example…