Educational resource feedback - What design systems do you commonly make vfx for?

Hey everyone, lately I’ve been trying to pick up some blueprint knowledge and experience so I can implement more features or functionality myself, instead of bugging our busy designers. In the near future I want to expand my blueprint skill set, and I figure: why can’t other people benefit from this too?

So to my main point: what kind of systems do you commonly build effects for in your every day work? At Gunfire we work with lots of interactives. Pull a handle, complete a puzzle, etc. and something happens. A door opens, lights flicker on, something powers up.

After learning how to set up whatever common systems everyone chimes in with, I’d like to put together a package people could download and build effects in. This goes along with all the discussions about demo reels; the overwhelming feedback being that everyone likes seeing vfx in the context of a scene.

My hope is the resulting package will give students, recent grads or maybe junior fx artist practical experience for creating effects in UE4. Starting out I remember only ever making looping and one-shot burst effects. I had no idea what to do with these in game, or how to construct an effect that needed a start, a loop controlled by designers, and an end. With something (relatively) simple for people to explore and mess around in, newer vfx artists can hit the ground running a little bit quicker when they get hired.

I was considering both a sci-fi and fantasy version. Thoughts and feedback?

1 Like

nice idea - to be honest i use blueprints for everything - they’re so powerful.

The main points i would cover would be:

Data Types
Construction Scripts and Simple Randomisation
Creating a useful UI using Exposed Parameters
Basic Trigger Volumes and Logic
Managing a complex effect using Timelines
Arrays and Custom Data Structs
Line Traces

I’ve hopefully got some time coming up to do some more tutorial work so might put together some blueprint stuff.

I didn’t mean so much as to what kinds of blueprints you use, but what kind of systems you commonly need to make fx for, like the trigger volumes and line traces you mentioned. Although I’m sure all of them are useful to learn.

Things you may need to open blueprint and attach fx to, vs triggering them in an animation sequence.

This would be AWESOME! This would be very helpful. Unfortunately, Blueprints are one of the things I want to get better at, but have to put lower on the list while I’m teaching myself the creation aspect.

For right now, I don’t currently know what the most common builds are. Yet, in my observation of games in general, most VFX occurs in relation to a Keybind (Cast Spell) or a Material Effect (Bullet hits Dirt).

As it is in so many of the realtime disciplines; Start with the big stuff, then work down. Having anything else more complex then said observation may be a cause for initial confusion for someone tring to learn. With whatever you choose to do, if you intend to make your work also helpful for those who wish to learn, make sure to break it up in sections of complexity.