Exporting an engine fire thrust effect

I’m trying to texture-map the effect of the thrust fire going out of a ship engine. This is for a game so i can use any render tricks. I started with a cylinder with 3 quads or a cone with 3 triangles and they both seem ok for the geometry to use. My problem is how to apply a texture to this and animate it so that it looks like the effect i mentioned above.

What pipeline should we use to do this?

First there is the problem of animating the texture uv coordinates of the engine fire thrust model and use the apropriate export script to create an .egg file. Is this even possible without having to program this effect by hand?

Any effect will take at least a little programming (you have to import it.)

I’m not sure I understand your question, but see http://www.panda3d.org/manual/index.php/Automatic_Texture_Animation
in the manual for animating textures.

Fire and smoke are often rendered with particle effects:
Fire is also sometimes rendered as a billborded sprite:

Let me know if that helps.

The possibility of using a movie for a texture sounds very interesting. Will this impose a great performance overhead for a big number of small animations?

The texture cards trick is only for quads used as Billboards or does it also work for any model? I want to animate the textures on a cone or cylinder shaped object. One of the ends corresponds to the source of the engine blast and the oposite end is where the animated texture blends to full transparency. Maybe it’s possible to edit the egg file manualy and add the necessary options for it to animate the textures? This would make it unnecessary to program the texture animation.

zingbat, I’d really recommend trying a particle system for thrust fire, it will give far more realistic results than any other method. The Wikipedia entry on particle effects has a few samples to give an idea:


Particle effects are also a lot of fun to tweak and play with (DISCLAIMER: I’ve never used Panda3D’s particle system, but I have used them elsewhere).

Playing a video for a texture is probably the easiest route (assuming you have a decent fire movie to use), but will give inferior results and adding alpha transparency to the cone might be tricky, though can probably be achieved using multitexturing with an appropriate blend mode (the fire video would be one texture, and a white texture with fading alpha would be another, and using the default Modulate blend mode you should get the effect you desire).

the secret is the right mixture :wink:.
a cone with some spiky textures for the “high-speed” emmision-feeling (sounds groovy^^)
and a particle system for smoke and/or burgning gases (or glowing particles if it’s a space vehicle).
using 2 or 3 cones with changing sizes and rotations might improve the look,too (might cause flickering,too^^)