Author Topic: Making High-Quality Effects  (Read 2093 times)


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Making High-Quality Effects
« on: November 05, 2008, 01:56:43 PM »
Okay, we all know the BZ2 is never going to have its graphics engine re-written for DX10 and making high quality effects is a long process.

SO, for those of you who want to take my approach to making effects, im posting this mini-tutorial telling you how i work on them.

think about all the individual parts of the effect and what you want. get yourself a skeleton explosion ODF, and start writing the names of these effects as particle classes. DONT call them e1, e2, e3 etc as many do, call them 'dustcloud' or 'corexpl1' or similar. this will help you remember what it is youre trying to achieve.

do it ONE effect at a time, and start with the SMALLEST one. if youre explosion has sparks in it for example, do those first.

as youre making effects, check that you dont have drawn particles overlapping each other. this is what makes explosions laggy and FPS-munching. make particles spread out from each other using EmitVariance and EmitVelocity. this helps to fill them out a little. also, dont draw too many. over-doing things just makes it look tacky and eats frames

start testing sizes, colours of the effects agaisnt each other. does the explosion size match how powerful the ordnance is?  will the colours looks good against all sky and land colours?

use RANDOM colours. you want red yes? instead of using "255 0 0 255", use "198 4 2 250". you wont believe how much variation that can add

add the smoke effects LAST. and always fade it out to zero where possible, otherwise youll get little things dissapearing on youre screen which make gameplay ugly.

little things like dust/dirt and falling debris can really finish the explosion off. not only that, but a good sounds and good textures will often really make it look great.

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Re: Making High-Quality Effects
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 08:02:25 PM »
Also, appending to this:


If you do have horrid overlapping on your effects, try rearranging the order in which ParticleClasses are called. BZ2 stacks the effects on top of one another, so BZ2 will attempt to render particleClass1 under everything, and particleClass9 on top of everything. This also holds true for draw_multi effects.


When making dust effects, always go with a neutral color so it blends with all maps. I use a very light brown: "212 196 181 15". This makes an offwhite almost completely clear cloud good for unit trails. Note: Pure colors look VERY out of place in dust effects.


Do not overuse matte (solid) colors, they tend to look bland, repetetive, and very cartoony, especially in "one one modulate" (additive) effects.


Alpha Channeled textures (like smoke) do not need a matte white base and an overcomplicated alpha channel to look good. Instead, you can put an image that, when channeled into transparency, will make the particle look a ton more textured, and the end result of this has the potential to look extraordinary! Note though, that the darker the ODF reference of the TGA is, the less detail of this effect there will be, so test first at "255 255 255 255" and scale down from there. An example of this will be in the next SRV release (2.35.PB4a at the time of writing), as the ground scorches left by units.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 08:03:53 PM by Steeveeo »

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