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Submitted by Dimi Christopoulos, posted on June 14, 2001

Image Description, by Dimi Christopoulos

This is an effect I am currently working on, at work. I work for the Foundation of the Hellenic World, which is based in Athens. We primarily develop cultural and educational applications for VR sytems (CAVEs, Immersadesks etc). So I thought I could snatch some models from our database and do some tests with them. I was amazed from the result and thought I could post some results to show that you can do cool stuff with simple things.

In essence, what you see is a particle system. Each particle can have a texture on it and change size, position, speed and color over time. The attributes which I havent seen a lot in other particle system implementations but look very nifty and add a lot of flexibility are:

1) The texture changes over time. Animated textures which are preloaded.

2) The particles can be created (start vlolume) and start from random points on a specified gemetry. The geometry has to be in .raw format.

In the first picture an ancient greek dome is put on fire. The original geometry has been saved in .raw mode in a file. To render the scene the original dome is rendered, and the .raw file is given as the start volume for the particle system. An animated texture of a fire flame (15 frames) was used as texture. In the second picture a skull model was used as the start volume. I also use dparticles for snow, smoke, water, foq and even light effects.

Unfortunately we are using IRIX SGI boxes so I cant sent you any demo :(

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

June 14, 2001, 03:19 PM

#1 YAY!

Very nice! I love particle systems.

Eugene Chabot

June 14, 2001, 03:59 PM

Um.. I'm glad people are so happy to be first, especially to say things like "Cool Pic". It isn't like you've won the lottery or something.

Anyways back to the shot. Looks like a pretty good particle system, but the fire seems a little funny with the yellow everywhere, not really concentrating near the bottom and having a sort of gradient to the outter part of the flame. Keep up the good work.

Eugene Chabot

June 14, 2001, 04:01 PM

Forgot to mention that I was mostly talking about the fire on the bottom of the structure. The fire on the roof looks great.


June 14, 2001, 04:15 PM

Damn, that is nice!

If you can't make an executable then at least release the source!


June 14, 2001, 04:31 PM

Wow, I like it very much, good job
What about performace ?

The Wolf

June 14, 2001, 04:38 PM

excellent work, very nice particle system


June 14, 2001, 04:43 PM

I don't know, Wolfie, I'm not sure that's the right word for it because I'm not seeing any underlying symbolism... perhaps if you added a melting clock or something? Real-time proceedurally deformed meshes of clocks melting would definitely make this pic surreal. :-)



June 14, 2001, 04:44 PM

please do give us the source! I want to see this animated...


June 14, 2001, 04:48 PM

Didn't you know? Kurt Miller sends a $50 (US) check to the first poster in each IOTD forum.


June 14, 2001, 05:05 PM

I think he mentioned that he this is what he is working on at WORK. So, I seriously doubt he is allowed to release any of the source.

Particle systems are really cool and a great way for beginners to get started in OpenGL or Direct3D. One thing you could try is to have 2 (or more) different models in a scene and have a force (attraction) vector associated with each vertex of each model and have your particles move across this system. I have done a similar effect with one of my programs and it looks really cool. You can sometimes see the outlines of models and a ghostly image appears.

anyway, nice work..

Warren Marshall

June 14, 2001, 05:14 PM

Ugh, don't start a rumor like that. There's enough "first post!" idiocy here as it is.


June 14, 2001, 05:15 PM

I really like the skull. That looks really cool. Also the flame skull reminds me of that movie "End of Days." Where at the end right before the devil gets sucked back into Hell that big face of fire appears. This fire skull looks kinda like that to me.


June 14, 2001, 05:37 PM

Awe man! I hadn't seen that movie yet and now I guess there's no point now that I know how it ends! :-)


June 14, 2001, 05:55 PM

How exactly did you get the marble to catch on fire like that?

Just kidding... it really looks neat. I wish some of the big MMORPGs had fire like that.


June 14, 2001, 09:39 PM

heheh :) dont worry, i didnt spoil anything. Yes you know the devil goes back to hell but its not like that is a big suprise. :)


June 14, 2001, 10:25 PM

My god Ive never seen so many people misuse the word gradient than on this forum. Take a look at the post by Eugene Chabot.


June 15, 2001, 04:08 AM

Thanks guys for the feedback.
Unfortunately I can not give any source out, because of
the company policy :(
The frame rate drops quite a bit around 15 fps on our SGI boxes, on the dome picture.
Must be the blending. I used a lot of particles
(7000 particles =14000 triangles) to get a convincing effect. But I think
most of the time you can get away with say 3000 particles or less.
Depending on the structure.

I think I must have been influenced by the End of days movie to for
the skull :)
Yes even we can do Holiwood syle effects, thats the power of Graphics

Jan Niestadt

June 15, 2001, 04:37 AM

Looks great, I like the colours!

Also, this is obviously not *just* a particle system, it's an ADVANCED particle system. Learn to tell the difference, people! :-)


June 15, 2001, 06:44 AM

A pyroman is born ?
humm... it should be better to see this running.
when flipcode will create Animation Of The Day ? ;-)


June 15, 2001, 07:54 AM

Maybe by using animated gif? Guess it's already possible!


June 15, 2001, 09:41 AM

i friggin love this place

there is people working on all kinds of stuff and they send shots here...



June 15, 2001, 10:25 AM

for all who are wondering:
surrealism as used in ART (and most other applications) basically means to take something realistic (like the building in the above Pic)
and put it in an unrealistic situation or have something unrealistic happen to it (like the melting clocks in Salvadore Dali's painting)

one of my favorite Dali paintings shows a pond with two swans and some boulders but the reflection of the scene on the surface of the pond looks like two elephants

so yes, both pics above qualify as "Surreal"


June 19, 2001, 03:38 PM

How did you make the animated textures? Did you just draw them or use a procedural texture or what?



June 20, 2001, 03:06 PM

are you people retarded?

Can we loose the surreal argument allready?


June 22, 2001, 05:21 PM

Surreal is something that looks like reality but is impossible IMHO though I'm not the authority and don't care if I'm wrong.


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