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Particle Systems - candle flame orientation methods?

I’m wondering how some of you might approach setting up a candle flame

Basically I want the flame to look natural when viewed from above - right now I’m using a particle system with SubUV animation, it looks alright from some angles, but as you can see in the image, the two methods I’ve tried don’t work when the player is above the flame (2 sprites look too much like cards, camera facing rotates the flame off position)

candle.jpg

I thought about a geo solution but the the flame wouldn’t flicker and dance around according to the sprite sheet

What are some other approaches to creating the desired effect (being viewed from above)?

By far the easiest solution is just to add one more plane, but oriented above. You can also try masking the effect using fresnel so you always see the plane most facing the camera which can help avoid seeing the X when viewed from above.

Thanks Ryan! That fresnel approach sounds interesting, I will look into it!

Add one more cross to make it an asterisk and add a cylinder in the core with the colors of the flame from bottom to top. No top or bottom caps in the cylinder just make sure to kind of bring the top edge closer (somewhat a softness fall off on selecting and closing top gap would look better) this will hide most of the flames plane, You can also add a little plane on the bottom of the flame with a gradient glow (Locked looking up) this will mask view from top (Just make sure its on the bottom of the candle).

PS what ryan said is correct for the planes, You can twaek them so they are not visible from top and the cylinder and glow i told you about will play their part in that instance.