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3D Graphics with XNA Game Studio 4.0 by Sean James

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Chapter 6. Billboard and Particle Effects

Billboarding is a technique where 2D textures are drawn onto 3D rectangles placed in the scene. In many cases, those rectangles are rotated to face the camera, while in other cases they rotate around a specific axis. We will look at examples of both of these situations to create the effect of 3D clouds and trees. The latter case is interesting because it allows us to efficiently draw huge numbers of trees onto the screen—a number that would be impractical with 3D models. In the following screenshot, the trees and the clouds at the top of the screen are drawn using billboards:

Billboard and Particle Effects

From afar, the two methods ...

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