Competition: The Great Transmutator

April 3rd Update: We’ve announced some amazing prizes, added a few more sponsors and extended the deadline to May 31st for anyone interested in participating! Check out more on our recent announcement here: The Great Transmutator Prize Announcement

Welcome to our very first sponsored Realtime VFX Contest! We’re excited to be partnering with PopcornFX and SideFX to bring you this exciting new competition that’ll span the next month and a half! Best part, we’ve got some great prizes brewing that we will be announcing shortly so stay tuned! Woowoo! Here’s the pitch:

The Creative Director tells you to create an effect based off of the following:

Our main character has a special weapon: The Great Transmutator! This weapon has the ability to transmute object A into object B.

The Effect should be divided into 3 distinct steps:

DISINTEGRATION – The targeted object is disintegrated (separated into parts and loses solidness)

DISPLACEMENT – The object is displaced to the final target location (we must see the movement, the presence of the effect and feel the motion)

TRANSMUTATION – The object reaches the final location and is transmuted into another object (with different aspect and shape)

Rules: You will be judged only on the VFX part! The transmuted object can be an animated object (like a character) or a static object (even simple primitives). You can integrate 3d assets into your effect, utilize offline simulations played back in a realtime-engine, shader magic, or anything else crazy in any engine (Unity, UE4, in-house, etc.) or tool (Houdini, PopcornFX, etc.) of your liking. However, your final submission CANNOT be pre-rendered from a film pipeline and must be presented from within a realtime engine.

Timeline: February 28th, 2017 - May 31st, 2017 11:59pm PST.

Submitting: Create a new topic in the “Competition: The Great Transmutator” event category with your name in the title (e.g. Susie Stevens: TGT Competition WIP). This is where you will show your work in progress. When you’re done, upload and tag your final submissions on youtube or vimeo with #RealTimeVFX and #TheGreatTransmutator and email a link to VFXCONTEST@POPCORNFX.COM.


Panel Judges:

As always, ask questions below if you have them! We’re looking forward to see what you guys create!

Good luck, and have fun!


Wot! Loved the topic.I’ll try to enter this one.:boom:

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some Transmutator inspiration from GDC time stamp 0:54 Effects

any Epic artists willing to share how this was achieved :slight_smile:


Really excited to start working on this! Hurry up plane!

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Oooooooh Now I want to do that car transformation effect. That looks super trippy

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I wonder if they used geometry shaders for that, cause it would seem that standard unreal 4 doesn’t really allow for geometry shaders, you need to do some c++ trickery to write them.

I’m gona try and create something similar in the standard materials, but I’m not sure if it’s possible.


Urrrrgh. Want to enter this one, but I’ve got some work deadlines and a course I’m taking this month. <_< Excited to see the entries! :smiley:

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Cant wait to get back home and work on this. GL HF to everyone!!

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They used Niagara according to mr Kladis.

If you’ve got access to Houdini 16, I’d start this challenge by watching this:

and then look at the vertexanimation stuff from @luiz

Really sucks I don’t have time to participate in this one.


@NateLane hey, quick question…any news about the prizes?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Your timing is perfect - we’ve finally been able to lock down our sponsor commitments - I’m typing the prize announcement now, and I’m suuuper stoked about it!


Wow! We’ve come so far and have little over 2 weeks left! So many of you have been working on some amazing entries thus far. Keep at it! If you haven’t gotten around to it yet, fret not; there’s still time to make an amazing piece!

A quick reminder on proper submission rules:

  • Create a WIP thread in the contest page on this site here.
  • Upload to Vimeo or Youtube your final entry and tag it with #RealtimeVFX and #TheGreatTransmutator
  • Email your final entry to

Thank you all for your participation as we wind down to the finish line :grin:

Good luck!


Hey guys! I made a slight correction to the deadline announcement:

Note that you have until May 31st at 11:59pm PST, not just the end of the day on the 30th as stated in the original post.

5 days to go! We’ll see you guys on the other side :wink: