Hello! Oh no need to feel nervous, this is one of the loveliest communities around :3
I love the idea a lot! Never seen a honey VFX First of, it looks pretty good! You communicated honey well (which is the most important part). There are obviously things that we can do to make it look more polished, so lemme list couple of ideas I would have.
Right now I think the biggest problem is with change of states (bucket → honey bubble → honey decal), you can see that they almost instantly change into other states without blending (in nature usually everything blends between each other making it smoother). I would suggest adding between each state a rapidly glowing orange glow that would light up place where the honey explodes, that would already help with making a transition. Other thing for the second state (bubble → decal) to have decal grow from smaller size (to fit bubble size a bit more) and then after a short decal make more pubbles on the ground around that main decal. Kind of showing that there is a faling honey that didn’t reach the ground on the primary impact.
Bucket looks a bit stiff in the air. I would try making it align to velocity so that it rotates with the force it has, this would make it much more interesting imo!
For collapsing bucket I would actually try making a bit bigger particles, as I’m not sure whether it’s honey or bucket parts. I think it should help out communicating. Also I would add more velocity in other directions than up for that part, when I imagine bucket exploding I think it would have like a sphere force.
Apart of that, amazing job!
And most important… We all do hate our creations. Even if you work 30 years in the industry and create most impressive art, you still will have moments of self-doubt, but don’t let it break you! Keep on making things and improving. After 5 years I finally got to the point that I enjoy like 80% of what I do and just couple days later I doubt whether I should be a vfx artist and what I’m doing here xd It’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of as it means being an artist! There will be tons of people that will love what you are doing and keep building your self-esteem. And what’s important is that you made that first step of showing your work, it’s where you start immensely developing!
Well I think @Manus’s great feedback covered most of the biggest things I’m noticing here, so I’ll just add a few things that I think you could improve too:
The honey material could be improved, a good tip even when working with a stylized art style is to look at how real life works. If you look at honey, you’ll see it is more transparent, very smooth and glossy. Maybe increasing the scale of the noise you’re using would also help.
The ball of honey that goes up when the bucket explodes feels a bit too stiff//solid. Maybe try stretching it along velocity?
All of the movements here are very linear, but linear is boring! Using easing curves instead of linear curves on things like movements or scalings will pretty much always look more interesting and dynamic.
Also, just some general advice: it’s always good to think about what you’re trying to communicate to a player with your VFX. Here, I assume it is some sort of AOE attack, so think about what each phase tells us. From what I’m gathering here:
Bucket moves and falls on the ground: show where the attack is going to land.
Bucket scales up: timer to show when the attack is going to start applying damages/trap the player/whatever effect you’ve decided.
Honey balls appears, scales up then pops off: same as 2?
Puddle appears: the attack has gone off, anyone walking there will get trapped/damages/whatever you’ve decided.
Now, I feel like 2 and 3 have the same point, which might be a bit confusing. Unless I’m wrong, in which case I think the purpose of phase 3 isn’t clear enough! The goal is to have the player understand what’s happening without even thinking, and having clearly defined phases is the best way to ensure that.