Welcome back, artbeaters!
I just want to quickly point out that I had my gaming color profile activated in my monitors since the first day and now I understand some things
This days have been such a great experience for me. I can’t even translate it into words. On last Wednesday we had almost three hours of live class with Jason Keyser and the assistant mentors. I can’t thank enough the VFX Apprentice’s staff for all the work and effort that they are doing in order to help us make our own path into the VFX industry. I’ve been in a lot of courses before (not VFX ones, but gaming industry related ones) and any of them had this way of interacting with the students. They take feedback really seriously and they are always willing to adapt and evolve in order to fill our needs. Thank you!
If you are wondering if you should join any of the VFX Apprentice’s courses, just do it. Imagine almost 25 artists from all around the world ranging from beginners like me to industry veterans with more than 10 years of experience sharing thoughts, anecdotes, tips and tricks in a voice conversation and +400 more in the community server. I can’t find any other best environment to learn VFX, honestly.
As I said, I can’t translate the feelings and the gratefulness that I have towards VFX Apprentice’s community. And today they presented us two new assistant mentors which work and willingness to help is over the moon.
I also received really helpful feedback for my Snowflake beat that I want to implement once I finish my current beat.
Going back to my actual work this days, I finished my material architecture and the Wispy Cloud part of Booms and Blasts. Currently I’m creating from the ground up in Niagara the simple emitters that come with the course resources in order to make our own kitbashed complex FX. I’m learning a lot about animation curves, timing and color gradients amongst other techniques and I’m creating my own library of emitters.
Once I finish, I’ll be able to create almost any simple FX and add build up and dissipation phases to my Wispy Cloud. I’m still thinking about which theme to use, though.
Here are some snapshots of part of my project structure:
Niagara Template Systems. Thumbnail means it’s finished and ready to reuse.
Niagara Template Emitters.
In the course they provide us with a master material with all the functionality that we will need in order to complete the course. The only drawback is that it isn’t production ready as it prioritises our learning experience over optimization.
I also recreated the master material in UE5 with the same logic as the original but with modular functions that build into each other and provide a more user friendly (for me at least) instance edition:
Some Material Functions.
Part of an instance of the Master Material UX comparison + smiley face done in Paint because I couldn’t wait for Photoshop to open at the time of making this 90’s collage in order to share my progression with my VFX Apprentice mates.
You can read the information about it in the EOD section above.
I’ve had over this past weeks a lot of times the same conversation with different level artists and I just wanted to say something to you if you feel yourself wondering in front of a blank canvas as some of my mates were doing.
If you spend all your time in the morning worrying about which shoes are the best, which is the best route, wondering if you are fully prepared, wondering if you have eaten the best nutrients, waiting for the perfect weather and the perfect time, the day is going to turn into night and you won’t be able to start walking your journey.
Just take what you have and start walking. Problems will arise, but that’s the fun part of making games. Iterating, getting better, getting faster and learning along the way. If you never face the problems you’ll never know where are your limits in order to break through them.
You will never be prepared, neither will anyone. The difference lies in who walks and who stays at base wondering about a lot of things that aren’t that important after all. Overthinking is only “good” if someone’s life depends on the outcome of your decision.
You don’t need a perfect dissolve texture in order to move on. I bet you whatever you want that perfection isn’t something that exists outside of pure mathematics.
Just keep walking. You’ll get there. You can do this. I believe in you.
Thanks for your time