In Vivien 2017, we added the “Alpha Texturing” feature which introduced the ability for beams to pass through surfaces when the alpha transparency was specified in the image.
As a follow up to this feature for Vivien 2018, we are taking it one step closer to reality by considering the color and alpha percentage/value in the image, and altering the beam’s color and/or intensity as it passes through the surface.
To enable “Alpha Beam Shadows” in your Virtual View, open the Virtual View’s option, and in the “Simulation” tab with “Volumetric Beam” mode set, select the “Enable” checkbox in the “Alpha Beam Shadows” section. Set the “Num. Levels” drop down to the number of levels to be calculated for alpha beam shadows. For example, if this drop down is set to 2, a beam’s color and intensity will be calculated based on passing through 2 surfaces with alpha levels only. Any additional surfaces with alpha levels will be ignored as the beam will just pass through them.
Note: Each alpha shadow level supported for this feature requires additional video memory from your graphics card, and can impact performance depending on your scene and computer’s hardware. “Alpha Texturing” is supported with PNG images containing alpha transparency built into the image.