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Michael Colson
Stanly Community College

Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 5

Particle System

I was looking at some 2d CAs that seem to make explosions and I was wondering if a CA whose elements are treated as point sprites could make a good particle system for video games, or if they are not really suited for that kind of use. What about amount of computation? Are they more computationally intensive than other particle systems?

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Old Post 03-13-2007 07:26 PM
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Jesse Nochella

Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 132

I am not sure. That's a good question, and I've happened to wonder that myself.

For a 3D system I would suspect that a dense array would not be very efficient. I have seen, however, very fast custom implementations of CA's, notably a java applet that can be found at http://www.ibiblio.org/lifepatterns/ . This is obviously doing a little something extra.

One possibility is to use a cellular automaton to compute coordinates that are of a different character from the obvious three-dimensional form we would associate it with. So for instance, the outer edge of a cellular automaton that grows like a crystal in an irregular manner could be used to approximate the locations of particles simulating billowing smoke, maybe, and would be randomized enough to hide the fact that it was computed on a cubic lattice.

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Old Post 04-03-2007 03:07 AM
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