My White Whale Challenge

One of Jason Key’s linkedin posts inspired me to share one of the hardest problems I never solved in game FX. Maybe you all would enjoy trying your hand at it. (I don’t need this fx btw)

“The perfect looping smoke sprite” If you only got 1 smoke sprite… this would be it. I have versions but nothing was ever perfect.

16x16 sheet. generic turbulent smoke (b/c the movement is in the sprite) and looping but no comp tricks visible… to an fx artist, LOL. I see your soft wipe rotos!

What makes it hard, other than looping, is the turbulence frequency. It can’t go “out” Its not exploding. Its generic smoke movement. If the turbulence frequency is too big our eye catches the movement and we see the pattern across all sprites. If its too thick it doesn’t play well as a sprite, and the fade out is ugly, unless you get fancy with the alphas.

Its a lighter wispier smoke, that layers together with random scaled versions of itself. Think this must do it all.

Its possible. DJ (@undertone) and I would talk about it at Infinity Ward b/c there was an old sprite, that became too low rez, called “smoke_white_alpha” that did this and I could never reproduce it. I used to watch it loop over and over. I think Robert "Robot "Gaines made it. Legend.


Yeah, There were a few smoke textures from IW that I miss, and haven’t yet tried to replicate. smoke_white_alpha.tga and smk_wispy_light.tga I long for. lol. They were so great, and got used on just about everything! I think Smoke_white_alpha was the legendary Mr. Gaines. I’m not sure who make smk_wispy_light.tga… I think it came from one of the sister studios. Mr. Nardini made some amazing smoke textures too, that got used on the smoke grenade. It’s funny how we can be fond for textures we used to have access to. :stuck_out_tongue: