Official VFX Sketch #21: Evolve

Welcome to the March 2019 Sketch! Evolve effects are often some of the most satisfying and beautiful (and horrifying as seen in comments!) effects we experience in the fantasy genre. It’s time we took a crack at it ourselves! Let’s get to it!

The Challenge: (create an effect based on the following): Evolve

Submitting: Create a new topic in the “Events > 21 - Evolve” category with your name in the title and the sketch number (e.g.: “Susie Stevens: Sketch #21 WIP”, and post your work! This includes any work in progress you may want to show as well as your final result. Final entries should be posted through either Vimeo, Youtube, or as a high-quality GIF.


  1. Be sure to cite your sources if you are using other artists work as a base, or even taking inspiration! Remember, this is a learning platform, and is meant to be used as personal work that pushes you technically and/or artistically!
  2. All entries must be made during the current month. Assets must be newly made.
  3. Any tools/systems/workflows that pre-existed can be used.

Timeline: 1 month (March 3rd - March 31st 11:59 pm PST)

Scoring and Winners: Sketch badges will be awarded to all participants. Points will be earned based on the amount of likes/buzz your topic receives (hint: show your work in progress ;))

1st Place (most likes and buzz): 1st place VFX Sketch badge and avatar badge
2nd Place (second most likes and buzz): 2nd place VFX Sketch badge and avatar badge
All Participants (put forth a visible worthy effort): participation badge


Voting: To vote for your favorite entries, all you have to do is drop some love by clicking the like button on any of the owner’s posts within their topic during the course of the month. This is not the only factor in determining the winners but it is heavily influential in the final results. Winners will be selected by the 3rd of the following month.

As always, if you have any question feel free to ask below!

Good luck and have fun! :star2:


Interesting topic! Here are effects from the game “Evolve” which I captured as reference in the past. Maybe this can serve as inspiriation :slight_smile:

This is also a nice breakdown how to make an “appear from bloog” effect:


Cool topic, but having hard time to get something in my head for that :frowning:

the effects from evolve are cool but the blood fx looks more like a summon effect?

what we want here? something transform into anther thing?

I interpret it not “just” like a transform but a transform into something better. The next step of the evolution. Could even be in the style for example a pixel-style flame transforming into a “better” low-poly-flame and then evolving forther into a real high-end flame?

I’m also not 100% sure :smiley:

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Hmm, I thought about pokemon evolution, but I suppose I’m not thinking far enough out of the box :smiley:

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yeah cool topic,

Also having a bit of a hard time, guess because the topic is so vast. says:
evolve [ih-volv]
verb (used with object), e·volved, e·volv·ing.

  1. to develop gradually
  2. to give off or emit, as odors or vapors.

I think it can be anything, really. Transforming something into another thing sounds pretty much like it.

Creatures transforming/ leveling up is where this connects to games the most I guess?
But also evolving level-art like done in DMC where the level evolves while you pass along, that stuff is amazing.

Or I was thinking super accelerated plant growth could be something cool to explore, from seed to plant in two seconds, so-to-spreak. Using houdini and/or blueprints/scripting.

But it could also be weird cloth sculptures being inflated using vellum…

Also handpainted fx could be something really versatile here, just because of insane possibilities:

//Edit: changed the gifs to be more evolving than transforming

Ah yeah, that upgrading aspect is important here, not “just” transforming stuff like we saw already in the transmutator challenge

I was gunna post Tetsuo transforming into the giant baby thing in Akira, but it’s pretty gross and gory, I guess people will just have to search it up themselves.
So are we going for something that is like a full on visual evolution where the creature transforms like in Evolve?
Or do you think something more abstract like in Pokemon where the Pokemon kinda go into some sort of evolution animation and then are suddenly a new form would do the trick?
Anyway here’s a video with all of the Pokemon evolutions from all the Pokemon games

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As long as it relates to evolve. A summon effect coming from nothing would be pushing the boundaries, although you could say a rock on the ground evolved into the demon ;). Evolve usually involves a change of form of an object, but do not worry about showing the object if it becomes too cumbersome. For instance Pokemon, as shown in the post above, is a bunch of particles masking a model swap that occurs in a frame. Feel free to create just the particle aspect.

Also, simply swapping a sphere for a cube on a single frame might be an easy way to display evolve, but again, the objects are not required, just the evolve VFX.


Really cool, didn’t think of growing plant but sounds awesome!

Love these ideas bouncing around!

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Some more refs:
And khazix evolving, all skins:

For those who dont know khazix is a champion in league of legends that evolves when gaining levels.



I wonder: A species is evolving by “removing” the weak. So…does a death-effect count as “evolving”? :smiley:

Non-Death-Related Ref:

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Super old, but one of my favorites


Oohhh this one looks like its gonna be fun!. This is immediately what I thought of


That is so cool, also reminds me of this scene from harry potter (only slightly less horrifying :D)
two for the price of one as well

Maybe someone could get morph targets to do something like this? Anyone? :smiley:

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I got another one!

UE4 Transformation by YOSUKE ISHIKAWA

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When I think evolve I always think of the Zerg in starcraft so I made some small gifs if anyones interested, I might give this one a go, will see!

Evolve02 Evolve01

Two of the gifs here a bunch more can be found here:

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Gotta say, I’m seeing an alarming lack of Flood references in here. Better fix that.

Since this above video is so low-res, here, I captured this for the sake of this post.

(Also - A Brighter Version of the above and A Scripted Version.)

“This is not your grave, but you are welcome… in it” :zombie:


Is a "level up"effect also considered an Evolve/Evolution? I guess yes?

Maplestory fx refs :slight_smile:


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I think this would be a bit indirect. But if I think about it just covering up a Transition between two stages. (like Pokemon evolution or Sonic to super Sonic, etc.) it would fit the theme more. But than the States could be whatever. A little conundrum.
That beeing said, something like this should give the felling of starting with something small and end in a grand feeling.