I've been fiddling with the Shield Impact pipeline file and adding new shield meshes to the finished ships in my mod. I finally have the shield impacts tweaked to a point that's close to perfect. Unfortunately, some of the shield meshes show a slight distortion: any hits that occur on the far right edge of the shield mesh (front to back) leave an unsightly residue for a second or two in the shape of a stripe across the mesh. The residual stripe was part of the impact effect, but it seems like it gets caught on part of the mesh.
At first, I thought maybe I had an error in my shield mesh, like some polygons weren't welded together. Then I thought about the tangent map, but it's the same on both sides of the mesh. I finally ended up reconstructing a portion of one of the problem meshes from scratch, but the issue is still there. I have one mesh that shows absolutely no sign of the residue, which is the example I'm trying to recreate. I still have a couple of ideas I want to try out, but I wanted to see if anyone had experienced and/or solved an issue like this before.
My remaining thoughts are:
1) There is a problem with the ship mesh itself that's somehow being transferred to the shield mesh. It might seem far-fetched, but one shield that works perfectly is the only ship that I made 100% from scratch. Since all of my shield meshes are derivations of the linked ship mesh, I thought this might be a path worth exploring.
I also attempted to create a simple spherical shield for one of these ships. It also showed signs of the residue on the far right side. This could lend credence to the faulty ship mesh theory; however, I attached the working shield mesh to one of the problem ships and saw no signs of the residue.
2) Something in the pipeline file. To be honest, the only thing that leads me to believe this is a possible issue is the fact that almost every one of the distortions occurs on the far right edge of each new shield mesh.
I've just a thought about the stock game shield meshes. I haven't studied them closely, but I haven't noticed anything peculiar there, which would invalidate this second theory. This will be the next thing I look into.
I also flipped one of the shield meshes upside down to see if the residue remained on the right side, but it flipped to the left with the mesh. This would also invalidate any concerns over my work on the pipeline file while pointing the finger at the shield mesh itself.
3) There is something in the UV/Tangent maps that I've missed, or the shield mesh simply needs more rounded corners since everything is welded together (this is for the best shield effect in my opinion). I'm not sure how this could be the case since the distortions don't occur symmetrically (on both sides of the symmetrical ship).
As some of you might have noticed, a couple of these results seem to conflict. So, I'm going to take a break and come back later tonight. Any thoughts or ideas would be HUGELY appreciated.