I'm still impressed with the star field that opens Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. And it's a surprisingly hard thing to replicate today with renderers like Mental Ray. The problem arises because Mental Ray anti-aliases, by default, using adapative sampling. Stars tend to be a pixel big or maybe smaller and the sampling contrast thresholds tend to miss them. The end result is stars flickering in and out of existence. You can improve the render by decreasing the sampling threshold and upping the min max settings but then you end up with the ridiculous state of having long render times for an animation that has no lighting or shading.

Better is to use the rasterizer, as you can independently increase the pixel sampling while not increasing things like shading sampling.

But better still is to use something like Eric Mootzoid's emRPC, a renderer specifically designed to render particles, which is what I've used here. This will render a frame super quick (each frame here took 1 second to render) and will NEVER flicker.

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