Billboards with geometry shader

Billboards in video games are the 2D planes in 3D scene that are always pointed perpendicularly at the camera. They can be used to draw distance objects that doesn’t require much details, to draw particles or they can be used as a part of the editor interface. Normally the plane is rotated by transforming metrices so it face the camera, but there is another, easier way – by using the goods of geometry shader.

Billboard Heart

The 2D heart rendered in 3D scene.

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GPU particles

Modern graphic cards are the source of the enormous computing power that can be used not only for rendering. How about updating over million of particles with a realtime changing enviroment or emitter position?

One milion particles running on GPU

One milion particles running on GPU

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Light shafts

Light shafts, light scattering, god rays – many names but they represent the same awesome effect that can be noticed during foggy day or in a dusty room.
In games they make levels more moody and atmospheric, but how are they made?

ls_final

The final effect might look like that.

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