Nov 27, 2009

Volumetric lines

Four years ago, A method to render volumetric lines has been proposed by Tristan Lorach at nVidia (link). I have found this method very interesting but, to my opinion, texture interpolation simulating change in point of view were too visible. Three years ago, I decided to propose my own volumetric line rendering method as visible on my website. My method does not allow as much visual effect as the one of nVidia but at least you can change the appearance of lines using a simple 2D square texture. Each line is rendered using 6 triangles and all computations are done in the vertex program. The drawback with my method is that when lines' width is very large and their direction is parrallel to the view direction, the trick I use is visible. However, for line which are not large, this problem is rarely noticeable.

Screen shot of the volumetric lines.
Because the line on the bottom is large, the trick I use is visible.In this screenshot, another appearance texture is applied.

Recently, an article published in ShaderX7 proposed a method very similar, if not same, to the one I propose. I should have written an article before... At that time, I was beginning my Master study and I cannot imagine this would be possible.

Many people write to me in order to discuss this method, and I am really happy to see people using it. I am pleased to announce that my method is use in an iPhone game developed by a French guy as you can read on one if his post and blog. :)

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