BinaryBobby - VFX Sketchbook

Latest update:

2021 Aug 12th
My first reel from a released game - It Takes Two

Explosion - April 6th

Hi everyone!
I’m working at a game studio in Stockholm (not as a VFX artist) and i have recently gotten into VFX in my spare time and i’m trying my best to improve. I have been using Unity and Unreal for a couple of months now, just tinkering and playing around, i’m struggling a bit with setting up Shaders and using them in Unity, it just feels a lot simpler and more streamlined in Unreal.

Anyway, i’m currently focusing on timing/impact on my effects and for that i feel like Unity is quicker to set up and actually get to the prototyping part.

These two i have been working on for a day or two, trying to get the feeling down, how to properly pack textures, what shaders to use for particles etc.
One thing that i would like to know is how to make something like a “dissolve/erode” shader effect on a smoke texture perhaps? i feel like it would look a lot better than simply using all white mesh spheres that fade out over time. Is there a fairly simple way to set this up in ShaderGraph? I tried to set something up earlier today using a tutorial from Brackeys but i’m not sure it would work in a particle system since the dissolve is being driven by a Time/Sine function which just dissolves and “resolves” the mesh again. Any suggestions are super welcome and overall critique too of course!

Thanks everyone!


Another update and another effect.
I’m still trying to get my timings right and really want people to get a sense of impact when seeing the effect.

The textures are still mostly placeholders. One problem i have is i’m not satisfied with the colors. I’m not a Material Editor expect so i’m not really sure what Material domain works best and how to properly set everything up so i can edit Color/Alpha within Cascade.


your elements are looking really good. reminds of Project: Jhin’s E ability from League of Legends.

there’s a good buildup and the anticipation works, however I don’t think the effect matches the impact, this might be because your blood elements are a bit small or your screen shake is to strong.

I would expect a much more impactfull effect after that screenshake.

Timing and Animation are in my opinion the most fun and important elements, you’ll know it’s good when you can hear the Audio in your head which in your case I can :smiley:

Hope this helps, keep up the good work!


Thank you so much for the input, much appreciated!

Your point about the impact not matching the screen shake is spot on, now that i’m looking at it myself it’s definitely true. I was thinking of perhaps switching out the small blood particles (or lessen the focus on them) and add some splashing/spraying at the bottom, perhaps using a splash texture with some alpha erosion.

Thanks again!

Been doing some more tinkering today.

Not really sure what to make of this, mostly more timing/sizing practice.

I was wondering if there is a module in cascade similar to “Circle”-shape emitter in Unity, as i initially wanted to spawn small smoke puffs along the edge of a circle instead of using a mesh emitter for the “smokering”.



That would be cylinder location module probably.
You can find out more here:

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Gimil, perfect, thank you!

Also, didn’t have too much time to practice today, spent a couple of hours with Niagara Script which i feel have some seriously great potential even though it’s still pretty daunting.

Didn’t have as much time lately, but i’ve been trying out a few new things here and there. But mostly working on timing which i still feel can be improved a lot.

I’m also not super-satisfied with the way i’m handling UV preparations inside Maya before exporting my meshes. but that should come with a bit more practice.

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Been trying to get better at Shaders the last couple of days. I find it really difficult to “convert” math formulas to a node-based flow. But with the help of a friend i think i’m getting the hang of it.



Been a few days now, i have spent most of my free time trying to understand UV’s and how they behave on different meshes with different textures etc. It’s hard to wrap my head around it sometimes, when should i normalize the UV’s before exporting from Maya? where should i leave my crunched UV’s when exporting? stuff like that, but i’m getting the hang of it now i think :slight_smile:

I tried to throw together a kind of “Level Up”-effect, didn’t really have a specific outcome in mind, just wanted to learn how to wrangle particles and get used to new timings etc. I did notice some issues with GPU particles glitching/not appearing properly when “Restarting Sim/Restarting Level”, and the rays in the back of my effect is not behaving as intended, it’s not the same as when i’m not recording. My guess is it has something to do with the bounding box of the effect?

Also, the recording of this effect is a little messed up, it starts almost instantly which makes it a bit difficult to see properly.

Tried to set up a “Quake’ish”-style gibs effect (Ignore the decal spawn as that hasn’t been tweaked at all.)
I’m pretty happy with it overall, but the actual bloodtrails need some tweaking as the sprites are not really
obeying physics, i’m not really sure how to improve that beyond actually going back and redoing the bloodsplashes in photoshop.

EDIT: Video removed after cleaning up my vimeo account for space.

Been trying to improve my “gibs” effect a bit. I also added a simple rain-system and modified the Starter Content textures on the floor and walls to make the reflections look better.

I’m having trouble figuring out how to make it so that the spawned decals are being spawned with random rotation instead each one being spawned exactly the same.

Today for practice I tried to mimic an effect i saw in a gameplay video for the upcoming game Sekiro. You can see the effect here:

The effect in Sekiro feels a bit fuller and more fleshed out, i can’t really put my finger on it. It’s also really difficult to get a feeling for my own effect when displayed in a standard empty UE4 level.
Instead of 回生 i just wrote 漢字 because i couldn’t think of anything else :slight_smile:

Anyway, it was a fun experiment and i feel i’m even more comfortable wrangling GPU particles now.


Been spending a few days trying to do a nice fire effect. Was trying to get some really aggressive looking “oil-rig”-flame going. There’s always a bunch of issues with the translucency sorting when doing fire, but with some tweaking and moving emitter locations (especially the debris/trails) i think it looks decent :slight_smile:


I have been trying to improve my Houdini skills lately. Mainly trying to wrap my head around the difference between all the particle systems and how to adjust their force/gravity/drag and such. It’s a bit difficult but i’m getting the hang of it.

I rendered some spritesheets the other day and have been trying to get a nice explosion effect going in UE4 because i was super inspired by the explosion that “474” showed the other day. I haven’t looked into packing in normals and emission layers, i first wanted to actually get something decent rendered out first :slight_smile:

I’m pretty satisfied so far, but i’m not as confident altering Pyro settings in Houdini as i was with FumeFX, but i definitely want to keep using Houdini going forward, so i’ll stick to that!



I’m now almost exclusively working in Niagara, it was pretty daunting at first but i’m actually feeling very comfortable with it now. The possibilities with scripting is super exciting as well. Can’t wait to dig deeper into it, but i really need to brush up on my vector math.

Stumbling upon this thread in my bookmarks folder and having a look at my first post now feels a bit unreal. At that point I was in GameDev completely unrelated to VFX (Publishing) just dreaming about some day doing VFX for games. Having only done very basic graphics programming for the Demoscene when i was younger (actually using BASIC) it felt like a stretch. Here i am now though, i’ve been doing VFX fulltime at a studio here in Sweden for +2 years and enjoy every second of it.

We just released It Takes Two a couple of months ago and i have a lot more free time to tinker with shaders and effects again and will try to get back to posting more here again.

Updating this thread with my latest (and actually first) VFX reel from It Takes Two.