KaguKin's VFX Sketchbook

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Hey everyone,
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 link to my current website which I’m constantly changing and updating in case you want to have a look


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.



These missiles are some of my favourites that I’ve made so far.


This was my first time trying to match up an effect using some animations from mixamo



Hey there!
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.

Keep it up! Looking forward to more!


Thanks a lot!

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.

Thanks again :smiley:


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.


Thanks again, I read that post and that’s what inspired me to finally get out and make my own sketchbook, since I realized I was gonna need some feedback to really push my work further.

It’s a really inspiring thread it helped me a lot to feel like I was on the right path and less lost



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.


Nice progress! Both of those effects are feeling better especially the latest one!


  • The moon beam’s build up could use a bit more oomph to it. It still feels a bit linear on the timing coming in. - The blast feels nice though and I like those motes that stay for a bit afterwards.

  • On the swords effect, there seems to be a weird jump when the swords are about to hit the top rune floating, they sort of just disappear.

  • Are those large circles supposed to be like bokeh dots or something? If so, maybe soften them a tiny bit and vary the alpha/color a bit more.

  • For both effects, I would push more contrast, a lot of it still feels very additive and white. Play with those values a bit more, maybe even play with some secondary colors in there

Keep it up! These are feeling really good and I’m excited to see your next pass!


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 working on this for a bit on the side, but I’m really struggling with figuring out what kind of textures I wanna use for it, so far I’ve just just used really basic gradients and simple “sparks”


I’ve also been following a tutorial by “Gabriel Aguiar Prod” on youtube, to learn some more about setting up more complicated effects and also creating the debris was a lot of fun.

Now to use that knowledge to make it my own huh :sweat_smile:

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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


I’d slow down the runes/make them more clear while they’re spinning. As it’s I saw it more as a pattern then runes before the shatter.

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