Tag Archives: Hyperspace

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Do you remember the days where i just mentioned what impressed me instead of how it was made? Today it’s like that. But i hope you’ll enjoy the article anyway. Oh and by the way: feel free to suggest games or tricks you think this blog should cover.

When ships jump around in Homeworld, there’s a neat Hyperspace Effect:

Source: Homeworld 2

I would state 3 points why this is technical kind of complicated:

  • You have to “cut” the ship and render only a part of it
  • You have to “fill” the cut surface
  • You can create a white “outer glow” around the cut

Feel free to put your Sherlock hat on and guess how Relic did this effect. If you need some clues, here’s what i got:

Clue I
I thought, maybe the ship geometry is completely there but drawn transparent behind the plane. But the wireframe tells a different story:
Clue II
The ship doesn’t move through the plane. The plane moves through the ship. And it uses the ship coordinate system – or it’s just “linked” to the ship (because it moves with the ship):

Kurt Russell Fan Club mentioned, that it’s maybe done via this technique. But until a Homeworld Dev gets in contact with us, we won’t know.

I’m sorry about the missing background information but i can talk about one interesting thing i learned during the investigation:

DirectX or OpenGL?

None of the tools i usually use to have a deeper look were working with Homeworld. Maybe it doesn’t use DirectX? But how can i find out, which mode my graphic card is running?

I asked the Internet and some coders but  it seems that there’s no tool for it. But you can check which .DLLs are laying in the game directory and/or check which file are loaded with Process Monitor.

I found out that Homeworld uses OpenGL and thanks to the great GLIntercept i was able to force a wireframe mode.

Update 1
Lino just showed me a video how Elite: Dangerous does a very similar effect but covering the “cut” with a cloud (at 00:09):

I didn’t embed the video directly to avoid any tracking from Google and complications with the DSGVO.

And here are other really nice looking “jump-in” effects:

Source: Everspace

Source: Eve Online

Update 2
This Space Travel Asset just got mentioned in the comments and might be useful for some people! :)

Update 3

This video by Chris Murph has a part at the beginning where he shows how to create an effect very similar to the homeworld-hyperspace-effect! Not saying it’s done like this in Homeworld, but it’s a very cool solution! :)

This is the full video:

I didn’t embed the video directly to avoid any tracking from Google and complications with the DSGVO.

Update 4

Thanks Ben for mentioning this great article created by Alan Zucconi. It’s about printing stuff in 3D. :)