The solution we ended up with is a hybrid of all the previous approaches with some extra flavour to handle the hiding of obstructions. Obstructions partially dissolve as the player approaches them, making sure the your view remains unobstructed while at the same time clearly indicating that there is something there. That way claustrophobic spaces still feel claustrophobic and walls gradually dissolve out of view without the effect being too aggressive. It also means we can easily have multiple intersecting objects of all sizes and shapes and have them disappear in a unified manner without any additional setup work.
Dissolving The World Part 1 - Trifox
So how did we achieve this? And to answer that question we will have a look at how you can easily create a great looking dissolve effect that can be used for all kinds of things within any game. I will go over the thought process that we used to find the final solution for our problem, starting with a more in depth look aka tutorial at some commonly used shader techniques that can be used to have objects dissolve into thin air. The simplest way to create a dissolve effect is by using a 2d noise texture and a shader technique called clipping.
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The clip value function will do the following: everything with a value greater or equal to zero will be drawn on screen, anything with a value smaller than 0 will be invisible. Here is a look at an example of such a noise texture and how it looks when applied to the default Unity cube.
The next step is having the cube disappear gradually based on how this noise texture is applied to the object. This is incredibly simple to achieve if we look back at how the clip shader function works and when looking at our gradient texture. All we have to do is take the grayscale value of our texture and subtract a value ranging from 0 to 1.
This value can be seen as the dissolve percentage. Implemented in a surface shader it looks as follows:. Now if you were to try this yourself you might end up with a slightly different result. Not really what we expect as the texture has a range that perfectly transitions from 0 black to 1 white. Then why is it doing this? This is because of the gamma correction that is applied to textures when they are imported into the engine. In this case we want to use the texture as a linear data texture, meaning we want to use the rgba values as a way to store information instead of a color value. Therefore we want to make sure this information remains unaltered by the importing process.
This can be achieved by making a small adjustment to the texture import settings for this particular texture. In the animation below you can see the difference between having this setting enabled and disabled. This can be of great importance when dealing with more advanced shader effects that make use of data textures. This works great for meshes that have an unwrap that takes the dissolve effect into account but what if that is not the case? And what about intersecting objects, can we create the illusion that they are in fact a single object?
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Unless we unwrap each object with the dissolve texture in mind we will end up with a large mismatch between the different dissolving objects when placed next to each other. And what about scaled objects? We would need a different material for each scale in order to keep the noise detail consistent.
Clearly this is a less than ideal solution that takes a lot of setup work and back and forth to get right. Up next: replacing the manual unwrap with a procedural world space unwrap. As an example, here you can see the result of the following code adjustment on a quad moving in the XY space. This is a common shader technique that can be used for all kinds of fun procedural texturing techniques.
You could, for example, use this to automatically create water damage on surfaces that are positioned below a certain height. Applying the adjusted shader to our cube again reveals that the world space texture technique needs some additional work for it to be usable for the dissolving effect. Currently the procedural unwrap only works well within one 3d plane, in this case the XY plane as those are the coordinates that we used to replace our UVs with. Using some vector math we can calculate a UV set that works well for all surfaces no matter how they are oriented within the world.
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The result is a texture applied to a mesh that stays consistent between different meshes regardless of orientation, scale or position. Strommer says the ground cremains from aqua cremation are white and fine, like powdered sugar, while the cremains from flame cremation are more like cornmeal. One major advantage of aqua cremation is that metal implants can be recycled, including pacemakers, which contain lithium-ion batteries that will explode in a flame crematory.
Potassium hydroxide. Side note: If the idea of human goo going down the drain seems gross or environmentally hazardous, remember: During the embalming process, untreated blood is drained from the body and routed to a wastewater treatment facility. With aqua cremation, the effluent is routed to the exact same kind of wastewater treatment facility. Inside the machine. Another selling point is how aqua cremation impacts the environment. In , cremation surpassed traditional burial as the most common form of body disposal in the US. In modern America, 20 million feet of wood and four million gallons of embalming fluids go into the earth each year , with the latter threatening to leach carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde, phenol, methanol, and glycerin into groundwater.
Effluent, the liquid byproduct of aqua cremation. It confirmed what he already believed—that aqua cremation has the lowest effect on the environment. But Strommer expects those prices to level out, partly due to clean-air legislation that he says could raise the price of flame cremation. Strommer in his office.
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But Strommer says any rise in the cost in fossil fuels would impact the operation of his crematory. Los Angeles-based mortician, author, and activist Caitlin Doughty agrees that aqua cremation has the potential to disrupt the death care industry. I want to give them options. Ciara Dolan is a senior editor and the music editor at the Mercury. She writes about music, movies, TV, the death industry, and pickles.
Suite , Portland, OR Feature May 9, The "Green Machine. First Call's puzzle wall. Strommer points to a photo of Karl, his late handyman. Strommer compares artificial hip joints; the one on the bottom was flame-cremated, while the one on the top was aqua-cremated.