Quasi-3D Cards

Started by WAS, June 05, 2021, 01:38:31 pm

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June 05, 2021, 01:38:31 pm Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 01:41:36 pm by WAS
I asked for this before, I think, not positive, but Quasi-3D cards that always face the camera is something I really need, and probably other people for various pseudo-3D elements.
For example image-based vegetation could be used in TG, as well as many other stuff. Birds, or animals at a distance, or effects like fireflies, particles, etc. So that way they area all correctly oriented at the camera and appear to be in the 3D world.

Currently, you'd have to add all the cards manually and orientate them at the camera, but a setting to have the card always exactly facing the camera would be amazing. Especially for a population.

Bonus if a card could also be a cross-based card. 2 cards at a center axis for 4 parts for cards not facing the camera, but could have some cheap fake effects, like PNG\TIF grass clumps.


If the first can be done, the second (X) can be done within TG by just rotating one of the pops base object and using same area, spacing and seed.
It would be a nice extra, but the problem is that you end up with all the same looking 'things'. The positive about rotation is that at least a good part is seen as different, but some aren't seen at all, or a bit flat. But that can be changed too with a second identical pop of rotating cards, with base card rotated over 90ยบ.


Yeah you can do cross-cards with populations with two. A simple function checkbox could easily make this user friendly. I am not too interested in TG work arounds more than making TG desirable to the average person, and ease of use. And as for my main request none of that is possible without manually doing every card and doing math to get its face pointing right at the camera, and again for any adjustments.

Also with cross cards you can give yourself adequate space on the card and simple warp the colour and alpha on final position to vary up their looks. It actually works well, and at a distance looks just fine, and lot less memory used than a simple Dune grass clump or one of my tufty grass clumps. Actually a good method for distant grass stuff. And you could do a profile render of grass you use in the foreground too. That way it follows the species into the distance gradienting to cards.


June 06, 2021, 03:00:08 pm #3 Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 03:12:24 pm by WAS
This is about 2000 meters of hillside here. At about 1000m the grass looks good for distant stuff, but also not too bad up close. If it was a more straight field grass species it'd probably look better. I just tossed this together real quick as a proof of concept. Warping scale is obviously too small but still adds a bit of variation.

I do notice some cards aren't aligned perfectly with a lower patch size to try and get some leaning, though which would make a function for this better, again, too.


This is with rotation, and it looks good indeed (in the distance). With a few more species it would look even better.