1st Game VFX Demo Reel(2020)

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Hey man, good work putting together (what I assume is) your first VFX reel! In my years in the game industry I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of reels, and would definitely consider this a ‘first pass’ though, and look into trying to spiff up both the VFX themselves, and the presentation. This will go a long way toward getting people interested in hiring you. I have a few tips that’ll help you:

  1. Try layering/kitbashing some of your effects. Double or triple them up and change some parameters like color, speed, scale, etc. Add particle light renderers. Create sparks with some Curl Noise and/or Vortex Velocity, etc. etc. There’s so many ways you can make a somewhat dull effect really pop. Keep in mind though, if you go too crazy it’s probably not something that will work in a game since it’ll take up too many resources and eat into frame rate. But hey, this is a demo reel, it’s supposed to grab attention and be wild! Stuff can be optimized later. (Note: When you hit Play, you can press the ~ key to bring up console and type ‘stat fps’ to show framerate… green is good, red is bad!)

  2. Learn some Sequencer camera work and compose little orbits of your effects, and add some Depth of Field (DOF) to blur out the backgrounds while making your effect in focus and the center of attention. You can easily do zoom in/outs, and play with other Post Processing like motion blur, bloom, tinting, etc., there’s many options to play with. Just make sure that everything is in the interest of making your effect look better.

  3. Grab some free assets for environments and decorate your level(s)! There are even many preconstructed levels you can throw your effects into. This shows what they’d look like in an actual game environment, is a far, far more inspiring than the flat boring test levels from UE4. Again, you don’t want it to be TOO busy, simple is better. Even a great skybox is free and can be thrown in quickly. I’d also look into how to create a simple lighting setup as well if you do use some environment setups. Some people would disagree with me on this point, and like to see the effects naked against a grey or flat color (NOT black) so this is a personal preference. It depends on the kind of studio you want to get hired for.

I’ll leave it at that. If you have any questions or want further reviews feel free to reach out, and good luck.

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Thank you for your comment,I just have one question what do you mean by layering/kibashing that is what I do not understand everything else makes sense.

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What I mean by ‘kit-bash’ is to take other emitters you’ve created and combine them together. For example, in your electricity emitter, you could take another emitter you make of sparks, or smoke, and add that to it to give it more interesting movement and visual appeal.

Also, you can duplicate an emitter and change it’s properties (like color, scale, speed, etc.) to be slightly different to give variation to your effect.

Most VFX breakdowns will show you how this happens, particularly if you look at CGHOW’s breakdowns. Many times he’s duplicating the same emitter and just modifying the values to give it more depth and weight.

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