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From the top of my mind, I see 2 ways to do it :

  • classic mesh. (but that's likely to be a lot of tris for little screenspace)
  • bilboards (but the placements of the billboards may be tricky. still looks like the best solution)
  • a box with a shader (the parametric shape would be in the shader, seems tricky).

Any idea ?

refs : Screenshot1 Screenshot2

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Do you want them to be physics objects, or just static visuals? – Tim Holt Dec 15 '10 at 16:54
If you start searching for methods to implement, consider throwing the term "catenary curve" into your search. That's what the shape of a hanging wire is called. – Tim Holt Dec 15 '10 at 17:34
What is your target game engine or rendering environment? That also can influence your solution. Some engines (like Valve's Source engine) directly support creating wires. – Tim Holt Dec 15 '10 at 17:46
I need the visuals. We use Panda3D and it doesn't have anything specific about wires. It (Panda3D) is quite solid but less complete than other commercial engines. Thank you for the keywords. – Lionel Barret Dec 15 '10 at 21:39
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd consider doing it as two flat lines, set at ninety degree angles, such that the cross-section of the wire was literally a cross. If you wanted to be a little cleverer, you'd do the billboard thing, such that you had one flat line always directly facing the player.

Meshes and shaders seem overkill.

(Well, okay, the billboard thing might use a vertex shader. But seriously, just do two flat lines unless that's actually causing problems.)

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Look like a reasonable approach and looks correct from most point of views. I am a bit worried about the number of tris (large scene here) but I'll do a small prototype of this to see if it scales correctly. Thank you. – Lionel Barret Dec 16 '10 at 10:29

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