Width, Falloff, and Decay fields
I've been doing a lot of messing around with beams and have made a few discoveries on how some of the fields really work. Apologies if some of this is already known.
BeamWidth: For straight beams (non-lightning beams) the BeamWidth field doesn't really describe the beam's width at all. The width of the beam core is preset and is about 3 pixels. The width field instead describes the distance between the two sides of the corona. This can cause beams to look slightly odd if set to 3 or more as the corona appears detached from the beam core. (eg. Autumn Petal, Solar Lance). Note that the corona is not the bit that does the damage - objects will pass straight through the corona and not take damage until they hit the beam core. The picture shows a modified CPL with a BeamWidth of 8.
Number of downloads: 349
Falloff: This is basically the width of the corona. A value of 1 is the widest (even though the bible says it should be 2-16) and the corona seems to get exponentially thinner as the falloff increases, up until 16 which is the same as a value of 0 (the corona will always be at least 1 pixel wide though). The picture shows the same beam as above with a Falloff of 1.
Number of downloads: 284
Decay: As the bible describes, if this is greater than zero the beam will "shrink" before it disappears from the screen. Higher values make no difference. What the bible doesn't say is that it is actually the corona that shrinks, so there must also be a positive falloff value for this to work. The wider the corona (the lower the falloff), the longer it takes to shrink. The actual time the beam spends on screen will be Count+16-Falloff.
One interesting thing you can do with straight beams is give them a negative width. This causes the two sides of the corona to shift in the opposite direction and can create a cool effect if you have a low falloff. The picture shows the CPL with a BeamWidth of -6 and a Falloff of 2.
Number of downloads: 338
BeamWidth: For lightning beams the BeamWidth really is the width of the beam. Lightning beams do not have a separate corona (Falloff and CoronaColor fields are ignored) but instead have their own natural corona. However, if the width is 32 or greater it will lose its natural corona and will just be a solid color. Whatever the width though, the damage is still only done down the very center of the beam - even sharp jags sticking out are harmless. The picture shows the CPL with a LiDensity of 3 and a BeamWidth of 16.
Number of downloads: 230
Decay: A value of 1 here will cause the whole beam to shrink before it disappears, unless the width is 32 or greater in which case it will simply fade out. The time the beam spends on screen is about Count+16.
This post has been edited by Guy : 17 March 2005 - 03:06 PM