I’m a student at Falmouth University in my final year of Game Art.
I’ve always had a big passion for VFX and that’s what I want to chase as a career
I’ve been lurking on this forum for a long time but I felt it was time for me to make my own sketchbook, I’ve been offered to present a showreel at an art exhibition in a few months, as well as preparing my portfolio for post-grad.
I would greatly appreciate any help and feedback from you guys, I want to keep improving and make my work as good as it can be.
I mostly work in Unity, but I have also made a few games in Unreal.
Here’s a dump of some stuff I’ve created lately for my current game project
This is a moonbeam attack I’ve been working on, I’m quite happy with it but I think the timing of the impact is a bit off however I can’t seem to figure out the perfect spot for it.
For this my biggest hurdle was getting the swords to stick in the ground and move at a fast enough pace, I’m considering adding some more portal-y effects to the magic circles.
This is a little healing pickup for the main character
My main goal at the moment is to improve my timing, because I think that could help me take my work to the next level. If anyone could give me some guidelines or help with that I would be extremely grateful.
Really strong start you’ve got going with these effects! I really like the color choices and overall shapes.
A couple of things in addition to the timing that I think need work:
Everything looks pretty additive, you’re going to want more contrast in the work so each piece isn’t just blown out with white. Save white to be those extreme highlights or points that you really want the eye drawn to (the front of missiles, etc)
You’re also going to want to add a bit more variance between some of the effects. Right now it’s looking like the effects are all really using the same textures and are just color shifting. Which is fine, but if your project allows, I would change up some of the textures a bit to fit the story of each spell more. This really shows on those missiles you made. All of them feel just like a recolored magic spell where you could make them feel like one is arcane, one is frost, one is nature and then one is cotton candy magic!
Not sure how the feather shape relates to healing, to me that feels more like a speed or jump ability pickup or something.
For timing, your moonbeam is the strongest. I would base your other effects off of that one. You have a nice snappy feel to the ending of it which feels really good. But the beginning of it could be a bit snappier too. You want that anticipation of the effect and then that really cool moment in the blast where BAM, moon beam hits! And then you want the fall off to show where the effect happened. Right now on the moonbeam, everything just disappears at once. It would be cool to have some of those motes last a bit longer and maybe a wisp of cloud where the beam was or something.
Then I would build off of that for the other effects as well.
A lot of the motion feels very linear, you want to have that ease in/out feel to them. Think of the animation rules for this.
I will definitely work on that, and most of it is using the same textures for now but I am definitely going to try and differentiate them a lot more. Your tips on the moonbeam are really good and that’s just been bumped to the top of my to-do list spontaneously.
For the feather it’s because the main character in this game is a bird, but I do get your point, maybe I’ll fiddle around with the sparkles a little add some plus signs or something like that i think could work.
Congratulations on shaping up your own portfolio. You have got a really promising start.
The best piece of work from my prospective is the missile. You could try to add a bit of colour variations to contrast of the effects more for the rest of your works. Most of them looks really really bright. Keep in mind, in a real game environment context. the effects might have different appearance when they are against a bright or dark background.
All of your effects are stylised fantasy, try do a few realistic effects to show you have ability of driving different kind of effects.
Honestly. I don’t think you will have problems to find a entry level job after graduation. Keep going, you will make it !
Just want to echo Sun’s point about different backgrounds. It is a very real thought to have in the back of your mind. Play around with the effects on various different biomes and lighting scenarios (Desert, forest, winter / night, day, etc). Another reason to make sure everything isn’t all additive, it will just blow out and be white on lighter backgrounds.
For the reel part:
If the goal is to work at stylized studios, I would continue pushing the stylized effects. But if you want to just be an fx artist anywhere, then I would definitely add more variety in styles.
If you’re dead set on stylized though, I would add some effects that have meshes in them, and then maybe even some non-fantasy stuff like effects you would see in Overwatch/Fortnite. Try working with flipbooks as well.
Not sure if you have seen, but @Travis created an AWESOME thread talking about getting started as a VFX artist and in the first post has some thoughts on goal effects to make for an initial reel.
I’ve done some work on the moonbeam based of the great feedback I got, thanks a lot to @Hyrun
I wanted to add a better sense of anticipation and aftermath to it, and hopefully that made the impact stand out more as well.
I also took your tips about putting my effects on game backgrounds and not just in an empty unity room so I grabbed a quick League ground texture and that helped me a lot to “ground” my work.
Just a quick update to the swords, I haven’t had that much time lately, but I wanted to tweak the timing a little with what i learned from the moonbeam, and also add some cracks for the end of the effect.
Hey guys, quick little update, I started reworking the missiles. After reading what you guys had to say about them I wanna challenge myself and see how unique i can make each missile, so here’s the first one I’ve been working on!
1/4 down, I have a couple of neat ideas for the rest so please stay tuned, i’m quite excited to show it off if I can pull it off properly
Been fiddling with a shield lately, really wanted to give the idea that the runes shatter towards the end. I’m considering trying to make a fancy shader for them to dissolve them rather than fade them out, but I’m not super clear on where to begin with that, time for research huh