Shader Showcase Saturday #10: Fortnite Procedural Animations

It is no mystery that Fortnite has now become one of the most successful computer games of all time. While many see it as a case study for excellence in marketing and game design, the game itself features some very interesting shader effects.

From a Technical Artist perspective, the most striking effect featured in Fortnite is the self-building effect. When an object is being constructed, its individual pieces appear one by one out of thin air, and fly into position. The same effect is somehow played, in reverse, when an object is damaged, by showing those very pieces flying away and disappearing (above).

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Shader Showcase Saturday #7: Billboard Impostors

Some of the readers might have heard of a game called Duke Nukem 3D. Released in 1996, it was one of the first 3D games I had the chance to play. An interesting feature of that game is that most of the interactive elements (including the enemies) were not actually 3D. They were 2D sprites rendered on quads which are always facing the camera (below).

This technique is called billboarding, and early 3D games were using it extensively. Even today it is still used for some background details, such as trees in a forest far away. For instance, one of them is Massive Vegetation, which uses billboarding to render grass blades in a very realistic way.

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Inverse Kinematics in 2D – Part 1

If you have been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed some recurring themes. Inverse Kinematics is definitely one them, and I have dedicated an entire series on how to apply it to robotic arms and tentacles. If you have not read them, do not fear: this new series will be self-contained, as it reviews the problem of Inverse Kinematics from a new perspective.

You can read the rest of this online course here:

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