Submitted by , posted on 03 January 2003
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I don't know exactly why, but I've always been interested in
particle-effects. The process of creating effects, consisting of thousands
of little particles, by rebuilding real conditions in virtuallity is pretty
exciting in my eyes.
That's why I started to develop PixelprachtFX - a free-to-use library for
OpenGL in Borland Delphi which allows you to easily create your own
The library provides a basic class called TFxSystem. When you are
implementing a custom effect you will inherit from this class and extend it
to your likes. You will set-up groups of particles, define
particle-templates and use predefined methods to apply physical effects and
manipulate the properties of your particles.
That way you can simulate friction, air-flows, gravity and similar effect
without knowing a single physical formula. And that's not the only situation
where the engine handles the complicated stuff for you. It takes care of the
rendering, manages various groups of different particles and templates and
does similar 'dirty' tasks. That way only the fun part is left to you: The
creative work of defining the look and behaviour of your effects.
After the core of the Engine was finished I wanted to see what it could do
and if it is easy enough to use.
So I developed a demo where I made extensive use of PixelprachtFX. The
screenshots you see above are from this demonstration. I've recently
uploaded it to my website http://pixelpracht.flipcode.com together with the
sources. You're free to use the library in your own projects. If you want to
learn more about Delphi and OpenGL visit http://www.delphigl.com. (make sure
you do! =) even if it's a german page some of the sources and samples might
still be interesting for you.)
I'd be happy for any comments! If there is enough interest I consider to
write a documentation and perhaps a little tutorial about how the engine can
be used and integrated into existing projects.