No. Of course the Sides parameter is set to Both. I'm lame in some areas of cg, but not this lame in this instance Disabling the Depth Buffer test for the Surface shader partially solves the problem, but the layers become sorted incorrectly and it breaks the illusion.
Not sure about using Sprites in terms of performance. My quick test of your 'sprite ice cream' scene in the new beta shows occasional fps drops to 24-25 when rotating the camera around the 'volume'. Perhaps it's due to the size of the sprites that gets bigger due to the point size modifier. I need more time to play with the scene. Will check back later.
Ok for that. Perhaps you might want to make your modification an option - just not to break the compatibility with older scenes. Or you've already achieved what you wanted that in your new 3D alpha mask and no modification to the 3D discard mask is needed?
Yes. Looks pretty handy. Thank you very much!
But anyway, so far I find working with vertex colors (in my example I use the Colorize points Modifier + a stack of hi-res mesh planes) much more efficient in terms of performance compared to using the 3d masks on the diffuse channel directly. Smode somehow seems to handle vertex colors better on my system (Nvidia GTX1000 + 6 core i7).
In fact, I'm trying to find ways to achieve the effect explained in this article: https://80.lv/articles/working-on-volumetric-clouds-in-ue4/. Watching the video in the beginning of the article will help you get a better picture of the result that I'm after. Casting shadows within the volume seems to be a major problem though. Perhaps we'll need a volume grid to handle that...
Thanks for the tip, mate! It's much better like that, but as I said above, disabling depth testing breaks the illusion. Any other thoughts?