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I am interested in the techniques I could use to create the following effects:

enter image description here

Can I accomplish this with a particle system or a series of texture quads, or what?

You can see this effects in action here in this video.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You may find this post and this post relevant. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Apr 14 '14 at 18:40
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I think Polyboards would be the thing for you. If you can get yourself a copy of Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics, there is a section dedicated to this technique in the book.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Here's a link in Google Books: books.google.ca/books?id=cZ0LAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA258 In other contexts I've seen this approach called a "LineRenderer" or "TrailRender" (Unity) \$\endgroup\$ – DMGregory Apr 14 '14 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ The relevant polyboard algorithm is visible at least. Thanks @DMGregory \$\endgroup\$ – glampert Apr 14 '14 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you for the link, do you think all effects are created with the same technique and just have different textures applied or is number 3 just done with particles? \$\endgroup\$ – user345234674567 Apr 14 '14 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure others would approve but I think you should focus on a specific energy beam cause otherwise you might only get very shallow answers that don't explain anything in detail. \$\endgroup\$ – wolfdawn Apr 14 '14 at 20:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with @DMGregory, It seems like the effects on No3 are standard particles renderer with camera-facing billboards. \$\endgroup\$ – glampert Apr 14 '14 at 22:41

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