Project 2 – Lightning

by rcameron @ 1:29 am 15 February 2010

OSX Executable (512k)

So, I initially set out to make an awesome procedurally-generated 3D landscape. Eventually, I sat in front of this kinda dull, circa 2002 CG world and, thanks to another pair of eyes, realized it needed more to bring it to life. So, I decided to try to generate some lightning for the environment. In the end, the lightning turned out decent, but didn’t spruce up my environment enough to make it much better though it seemed to look good on nighttime landscape photos. Built with Processing.

The following papers helped provide some insight into visualizing lightning:

Visual Simulation of Lightning by Reed & Wyvill

Fast Animation of Lightning Using an Adaptive Mesh by Kim & Lin

Efficient Rendering of Lightning Taking into Account Scattering Effects due to Clouds and Atmospheric Particles by Dobashi et al.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Rich – here are the comments from the class crit.

    That is pretty cool, lightning seems a bit too jagged for reference

    Sound Effects Please!!
    I actually really liked the 3D landscape you showed. Something about that low-poly old school 3d game look…


    Is the lightning actually seeking the high points in the photo?

    very cool final form of your exploration

    Nice explanation of process. The shading/halo really adds something. A shame it doesn’t look as good on the projector. Does it actually have some understanding of the shape of the skyline in your photo, or does the lightning just strike at some arbitrary y coordinate? Neat project. The discussion of perceived simulation versus real simulation this has sparked is also very cool. -SB

    Another cool effect would be to create a flashing glow in the clounds to create the illusion of internal/far away lightning

    Look at Robert Hodgin’s meteorties:

    Nice process. how about a hand cursor, pointing upside down? 🙂
    Have the lighting relate to the space — falling between layers, hitting pointy things.
    Please post links/references to the papers you read!


    Comment by golan — 18 February 2010 @ 3:18 pm

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