Boorch's VFX Sketchbook

Hi folks!

I’m an (ex)linear visual effects artist. I used to work as a Autodesk Flame Artist in post-production studios and I mostly did compositing/motion graphics. I’m also heavily into sound design.

4 years ago I’ve switched to game development and released 2 games (both are 2d and pixel-art :confused: )

Lately I delved into the realtime VFX land in hopes of pursuing this as a career someday.

  • Scene is rendered in Unity (Lightweight Rendering Pipeline)
  • Flame Ring and Distort Bubble has custom shaders I’ve created in Shader Graph.
  • All textures/flipbooks (except the smoke) created in Substance Designer.
  • All 3D models third party.

I’d love to get your feedback!


Hey boorch! Welcome to the forum!

First off, I would say that you’ve got an amazing sense of timing. The rocks bouncing add a nice touch. I also totally love your distortion cylinder and bubble, pretty well done for a first Rtvfx!

  • For now I would work on some color values and contrast. Almost everything is this hot purple pink blue color and giving it some contrast would really help. Check out the Official League of Legends VFX Style Guide the whole value section as well as page 22 for some help with color.

  • Regarding the bouncing rocks, I would look a bit more into refining the motion since the rock that bounces up that way wouldn’t land the same way as it started.

  • One other thing I would work on is your textures for the smoke at the end (both, the purple as well as the grey smoke). Currently it just looks very much like the same texture on repeat with less variation in noise. You’re probably already doing something similar but this post here should help a bit too: VFX Basics - Creating the scrolling texture with mask setup

  • Lastly if you’d like to, you can also try adding soft particles to your smoke particles so they don’t do a hard intersection to the ground.

Overall, great first FX and best of luck with your future VFX.

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Thank you very much for the detailed feedback!
I will keep posting iterated results to this topic.

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Lastly if you’d like to, you can also try adding soft particles to your smoke particles so they don’t do a hard intersection to the ground.

About this: I can’t seem to enable Soft Particles on Lightweight Rendering Pipeline. “Soft Particles” enabled in materials and I’ve enabled Depth and Opaque on LWRP settings. :confused:

Any help would be appreciated!

Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the LWRP and couldn’t help you with that. :confused:
My guess is you’d have to write custom shaders with depth fade / depth bias alpha. @bgolus probably is more familiar with this as he’s helped me with Soft particles before!

There’s a Soft Particles option in the LWRP settings that needs to be enabled too. However as far as I can tell this is currently broken in the 3.0.0 release that’s available for 2018 versions. Unfortunately that build is months old at this point, and I don’t think they plan on fixing any problems that exist in that version. They’re on like version 5.something of the LWRP now, but it only works with Unity 2019.

Oh I didn’t know that. I’ve decided to go with LWRP just to be able to use Shader Graph.
I suspect it’s not worth it and so I can just go with Unity Default Renderer + Amplify Shader Editor.

I know lots of people used to use Shader Forge but I think it’s discontinued. Any other “decent” visual shader editor package you can recommend?

Checked with the latest 5.2.2 and it doesn’t seem to work there either. Not sure if I’m missing something or not. I’ve not dug into the LWRP (or HDRP) much as I’m finishing up a project that’s shipping on 2018 using the built in forward rendering path.

I’ve decided to ditch LWRP and go with Unity defaults + Amplify Shader Editor.

Nevertheless, I’m sharing a slightly revised version of the fx for the sake of closure. :slight_smile:

Edit: I’ve designed some sfx and updated the video clip.
(There’s a tiny black square near the end, I guess vimeo had a glitch during encoding since the raw video file does not have that glitch)


I’ve tried a hologram/HUD sort of thing.

  • Textures created in Substance Designer.
  • Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor/Unity.


Aaand… This is a stylized explosion effect.

  • Flipbook created in After Effects (love subtractive “mask” animation)
  • Some textures created in Substance Designer
  • Particle System in Unity


This is a Warp Tunnel Effect inspired by Mirza’s tutorial.

  • Textures created in Substance Designer & Filter Forge
  • Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor / Unity


nice one! I like the style your going for. Maybe try some more movement in the smoke for a nice dissolve/disappear feeling, as it comes in contact with the wind.

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A HUD Element sketch, inspired by RzFx HUD Shaders. It’s also only 1 plane and 1 texture with parallax and rotation animation controlled via the material properties.

  • Texture created in After Effects. (Repeater rules!!!) RGB Packed in Substance Designer.
  • Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor / Unity.


Here’s a WIP effect I’ve started. I’ve been working on this for hours and my eyes hurt so I’m posting this as an “early stage”. I’d love any sort of feedback so I can tweak it before going in too deep!

(One thing I’ll do tonight is to tweak dissolve timing and add a trail for the “reappearing” moment to add a little bit of “fake” anticipation and stylized motion blur)

  • Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor / Unity.
  • Various Noise Textures used in shader created in Substance Designer.
  • 3D Humanoid animations from imported from Mixamo to Unity. Sequenced on a Timeline.


I was toying around with Substance Designer and came up with this ground crack and I just wanted to create a simple opacity mask shader combined with a Simplex 2D noise.

  • Texture created in Substance Designer.
  • Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor / Unity.

Sorry for the terrible compression. :confused:

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This is a quick shader sketch inspired by the “Demon Hunter” skins on Apex Legends.
I’ve just created the shader and dropped it on the model.

  • Texture/Opacity Mask created in Substance Designer
  • Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor / Unity

Fire Loop (1 plane 1 texture)

  • Pyro Sim in Houdini
  • (Flipbook + Gradient Map) Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor / Unity

Houdini is awesome!


An attempt to create a “Diablo-esque” Fire Shield using only 2 textures.

  • Textures created in Substance Designer
  • Shader created in Amplify Shader Editor / Unity


that looks super dope!

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