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I am trying to draw projectiles and doing billboarding. A projectile consists of a bill-boarded "particle" and a "tracer". When I billboard a projectile, it cannot be seen when the player's viewing direction is parallel to the projectile axis.

How does Halo or other games solve this problem, so that projectiles can be seen from behind.

needler shard

needler shard2

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From games I've played: It's simple, they use a 3D projectile. Sometimes- a rendered line. –  joltmode Dec 11 '11 at 12:59

2 Answers 2

Solution- make your projectile 3D rather than 2D.

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I'll take a stab.

First, it looks like there is a very low-poly mesh used for the actual bullet. It's textured with a partially transparent texture. It's rendered far more brightly than other things in the scene. The texture may even be animated.

The 'tracer' may be a simple texture that is not normal billboarding. I think if you rotated this tracer about its local z axis such that it faced the camera that you'd resolve your issue with your billboarding technique. A look-at algorithm may be able to achieve this.

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I think there is a low polygon count mesh, which is non-transparent, drawn on top of a transparent additively blended texture. –  HaltingState Dec 11 '11 at 14:18
    
It looks like it is just a low polygon mesh without a texture and just a shader. –  Matt Jensen Dec 12 '11 at 1:51

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