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UV Displacement Particles

UV Displacement, aka UV Distortion, aka Pixel Offset, etc…, is a fantastically useful real time vfx technique where the particle texture lookup is perturbed by another texture. Usually that distortion texture resembles a normal map, and is scrolling, scaling, or otherwise given additional motion. We found that by driving this displacement texture with a intensity curve, you could get very interesting visuals resembling fluids that break apart, or in this case, an approximation of the quickly moving gases that form a flame. See theBrutal Legend VFX Presentation from GDC 2010for more details.