Submitted by , posted on 03 January 2003

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I don't know exactly why, but I've always been interested in particle-effects. The process of creating effects, consisting of thousands of little particles, by rebuilding real conditions in virtuallity is pretty exciting in my eyes.

That's why I started to develop PixelprachtFX - a free-to-use library for OpenGL in Borland Delphi which allows you to easily create your own particle-effects.

The library provides a basic class called TFxSystem. When you are implementing a custom effect you will inherit from this class and extend it to your likes. You will set-up groups of particles, define particle-templates and use predefined methods to apply physical effects and manipulate the properties of your particles. That way you can simulate friction, air-flows, gravity and similar effect without knowing a single physical formula. And that's not the only situation where the engine handles the complicated stuff for you. It takes care of the rendering, manages various groups of different particles and templates and does similar 'dirty' tasks. That way only the fun part is left to you: The creative work of defining the look and behaviour of your effects.

After the core of the Engine was finished I wanted to see what it could do and if it is easy enough to use. So I developed a demo where I made extensive use of PixelprachtFX. The screenshots you see above are from this demonstration. I've recently uploaded it to my website together with the sources. You're free to use the library in your own projects. If you want to learn more about Delphi and OpenGL visit (make sure you do! =) even if it's a german page some of the sources and samples might still be interesting for you.) I'd be happy for any comments! If there is enough interest I consider to write a documentation and perhaps a little tutorial about how the engine can be used and integrated into existing projects.


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