Filo: Sketch #55


Final Effect for the challenge:

I wanted to try my hand at some World of Warcraft style spells and this is the perfect opportunity. It was a hard decision since there are way too many effects in the game, but being a shadow priest enjoyer myself i had to try my hand at the MIND FLAY! :octopus:

Some things to have in mind with this effect:

  • The spell slows down the target and applies some damage over time, not too much
  • It’s a filler spell with a relatively low importance, I might go a little more overboard than I should just for the sake of having some fun :face_with_hand_over_mouth:, but still… the vfx shouldn’t be too eyecatching
  • The camera is free and the effect should work from most points of view
  • The original palette is very dark because this is a void/shadow spell, but I love the “light vs shadows” flavour of the shadow priest so I’ll try to integrate some light/holy elements into the vfx.

Some of the references and moods:



First go at the concept:

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I made a flipbook of facial expressions to put as a billboard on top of the target’s face, to help represent the target going crazy when getting their mind flayed!

Some of them will need some more work, maybe add more faces, but they work fine as a first iteration when set up in a particle system



Some blocking progress. Sorry for the small gif but most of the shapes are random blocking textures to sell the motion anyway.


Wasn’t too happy with the beam so I’m trying out a different technique, I’m liking it a bit more



I love that sin wave shape

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Ty, I’m trying the Waveform niagara module, it’s a bit confusing at first but very handy and flexible, I’ll just paste some screenshots in case anyone wants to try this setup:

Waveform module

Using waveform to modify the position

The resulting meshes looking like some kind of sea monster:


wiggle wiggle wiggle


Super cool! I’m really liking the direction you taking this! :smiley:

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I’ve been playing a little more with ribbons, I’ll try to push them and make as many as the elements of the effect as possible with them.

Not much progress in general but I’m liking the feeling of the impact plumes, my first instinct was using soulercoasters but I don’t think they would look as organic so let’s see if I can pull these off.



By the way I’ve been beating my head against the Beam Setup module and I’m pretty sure the “Absolute Beam End” check doesn’t really work and the position is absolute either way. Maybe I’m missing something but I just ended up transforming the position myself



Having trouble getting the beam to stretch back out after setting up the modules as you indicated (it’s just all bunched up at the start point). As you noted below, setting Beam End doesn’t do anything. Any ‘gotcha’s’ I may have missed?

This was my Beam Setup at the time, try random vectors, if the beginning and the end are at the same point even when you move the emitter around the level then the “Absolute Beam End” shouldn’t be the cause for the problem


If you’re sure all the values from the image are the same, I’m not sure what’s the cause. Here’s an example of how I have the waveform set up:

The graph at the bottom isn’t that relevant, you could just use a float there

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Gotcha. Yeah my waveform is correct, it’s when I introduce the Particles.Position module and alterations that it bunches up. Weird… still investigating :slight_smile:

Are you setting StartPos like this:

And doing so after the Beam Setup?

You might be storing the initial particle position before the beam setup, which would probably be (0,0,0) and that would explain your results.

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Yeaaaaaaahh, that was it! I totally spaced on having to set that to particle position. Thanks, it looks great!

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I was playing around with the ribbons a little bit and I’ve stumbled into something great.

I’ve added a new ribbon with high amplitude that waves around in a similar way to the previous ones, and it looks fine.

But playing around with how the wavelengths affect the position of the trail I tried to give it some tilting by applying the vertical wavelength not only to the vertical offset, but the forward (X) offset aswell:


And the result of such a small change looks preposterously better to me.


It’s crazy how rewarding I find experimenting to be when working on vfx.

A cool byproduct of working with ribbons instead of soulercoasters or 2D flipbooks is how coherent it looks whenever doing a turnaround of the effect:


I should probably start working on the other parts of the effect… :sweat_smile:


Added some elements to the impact area and trying different things, I’m not loving the new tendril colors but I wanted to experiment a bit.

I’m probably not add anything else at this point so I’ll just post what I have, I would love to finish the remaining elements of this effect, the whole animation, ect… but there were other priorities this month so this is what I’ve got. It’s been a fun project though, and I’ll probably pick it up and finish it some time, I’ll post some progress here or in my sketchbook when that happens.

As a gimmick, I’ve tried to use only beam emitters whenever possible instead of relying on mesh emitters, I think only the yellow faces and their glow are not ribbons, I’ve found some weird behaviours regarding position that I’m pretty sure are bugs but it’s been a learning experience since I ribbons were always a little bit alien to me.