I am modeling a smoke/exhaust trail of a missile. I need this trail to cover the entire trajectory of a missile in order to show the path that the missile took to reach its target. In lieu of using ParticleEffects I decided to create a NodePath from a simple quad model (two tris), plop a semi-transparent smoke puff on it, billboard it to face the camera, and drop one instance at each sample of the trajectory. I end up with 3016 samples and hence … 3016 quad NodePath instance.
When looking at the trail from the side where only a few hundred nodes are visible, it looks absolutely awesome. When looking down its path where 3016 nodes are visible, it brings my PC to its knees … like down to 7 or 8 FPS. This PC is no lightweight either so I know the problem is not my PC’s performance.
I assume that since I have 3016 NodePath instances that I end up doing 3016 culling checks each frame. Would that be responsible for the poor performance? Any other ideas as to why such a poor performance? Would it be better for me to use ParticleEffects instead of my 3016 NodePaths?