Magnetic Sand Chainsaw Sword

The Concept

The concept from this comes from kyrin21 over on twitter. highly recommend checking him out he as some really unique ideas.

The sword I’m focusing on was described as a “magnetic sand chainsaw” by kyrin to me on discord so started doing paint over of it to try and figure it out.

These paint overs led to a first pass sketch:


From there I got help over on the VFX apprentice discord and they gave me really good feed back with paintovers.


I rebuild a mesh that better match the shape and flow

added back some of the shader I had sketch out in pass 1

I then tweaked the shader to make the edges a bit darker

still a WIP but I’ll try and keep this post updated


Hey Shmoich,

That’s an interesting concept indeed!

What your first sketch established really well is the chain of sand running around the sword, similar to how a typical chainsaw operates. I miss that part in your current progress shots and hope it finds its way back in, no?

If yes I’d like to see it run much faster, nice to see the sand flow at medium pace in the center as counter balance and material hint, though the thin spinning chain should reflect sand flying that fast, it’d chop your fingers off getting near the stream. This way I imagine it could be a manacing invention!

Looking forward to see more

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Thank you @Dom for the reply, I think you maybe right about the chain of sand helping to sell the chainsaw motif a bit better I’ll try and find a way to bring that bat into the design

@Beardilocks has been giving me really good feedback on how to approach how the sand flows through the meshes.

his paint over

his ue4 material demo

here’s what I came up with for my implementation

I’m more satisfied with this current iteration but I think that the mirroring is bothering me, although magnetic fields are symmetrical so maybe it works

this mesh is made up of 2 layers the inner layer is set to alpha blend so the that the you get those more wispy fades, the outer layers is set to alpha clip in an effort to emulate the chunkier bits of sand.

the way I made the mesh is laid down the bas shape with plains (since they have clean UVs) and then loop cut and moves verts into place. This creates one layer the second layer is created using a solidify modifier with fill un checked in its setting. Unchecking fill removes that annoying rim and keeps the UVs clean.


Hi, I think mirror is goon only for model in this case, but not for UV. Because mirrored UV will look weird like this:


Updates on the sword:

I’m having a real hard time getting that “sand” look. I’m also unsure if should speed up the flowrate.

I’m trying to do a sand trail to help with that but I’m not sure how I feel about it.

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