I was demonstrating to one of our Junior VFX Artists how you can use pretty much any source image to make interesting textures for VFX. I decided to use a rubber duck to create a muzzleflash flare. After posting on Twitter, a few people asked for a breakdown of the process, so I thought I would share here too. Hope it can help someone on their VFX journey
I like to use Colour Gradients in Photoshop to help visualise how the VFX would look in engine. I’d create this texture as a grayscale and apply the Colour Gradient in the Material, which allows for better reuse of the texture.