Official VFX Sketch #49: Waterfall

UPDATE: Here’s the final version. More info in thread below

Original first post:
I’ll just saying it again here. I’m going to join this challenge and make a waterfall for my side project game

My added rules for the art style are No transparencies, No masking material textures unless the whole poly face disappears. Its a low poly art style with more poly’s but not high poly. So far I’m not even using sprites, all mesh renders. I’m not going to hold myself to that per-say since I’m still feeling out the style but I’m leaning towards it as a challenge for myself.

(uploaded still for the icon)


Here’s a little lunchtime blockout

First pass at the shader. I’ve done this a lot before. I like how it looks but stylistically its not there yet at all.
I want more cartoon/anime feeling. Those stretchy white lines on the bend and edges, more flat shapes. The vertex movement is neat, maybe keep and improve on that.

On a technical note, the shader is suuuuper messy. I just bash things around while I’m trying to feel it out. But I like that we call this a sketch. Makes me feel like I don’t have to worry about performance or naming my variables better than scale1 scale2 scale3. :smiley:

the mesh looks like this, where I tried to get something non-uniform.


Update to style, I like how I got it to be more flat, but now the white areas seems a little too static for me. Not horrible but it could be better. The white is a bit blocky, some of that I want but its a little thick in width at points. Also I’ll like to clean this up to be the same look even simpler in material.


Some more refinements. Mostly getting the bottom water material working, and a first pass at blocking in the particle FX.


Well The shader is ugly needs to be refactored, but for a sketch, I think I’ll call it. Ultimately I think the water material needs more work in defining the style and rules of how water looks, before I can push this any further. I’m thinking about how waters edge might look which would change how the water fall might look. The particle work is sketch but I think it helped me think about some important things.


looks super cool so far!

Would love to see some close ups from different angles!
But that also means, that you have to move the cycling characters somewhere else, so they are still in frame :wink:

Thanks. The game camera is top down roughly there but here’s other angles.

The lighting only mode has some emissive in the material (see fake lighting in the material)

I generally would never show this b/c its WIP mess. Theres logic flaws, and things that would make me cringe but I literally think of this as a sketch that I would redo completely once I use this to define the look and use. I also use a lot of UV channels so it might not be obvious how this works.

The particle mesh looks like this. Its ok, I like the idea but not the execution… still I have a better idea for that fx


Thanks for taking the time to make a breakdown! And don’t worry about the behind the scenes, just getting any glimpse is helpful even if it is not “the best way” :slight_smile:

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I like how it turned out. I might join in late again. :smiley: Great Stuff!

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For the particle mesh, how are you going about that? It looks super neat!

all my FX are going to be mesh based (instead of sprite) But doing similar things as sprites. This is the root of the mesh flipbook technique, which is just 1 tool in the toolset as it were.

I like it but I think there are smarter ways to do things. I’m thinking like erode a gradient but on a mesh.

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Ok finished what I wanted to do. Sometimes I find FX that are shader heavy don’t blend well with particles w/o a lot of finessing. Its faster in some cases to just make all the FX shader based. This has no particles, even tho the particles did help blend the out cropped rock. Again I think when I do this for the real game I’ll re-work all this into something even more cohesive.

On second thought there is some scale work that needs to be done on the base water. It feels too high frequency right now.

Argh fine, adjusted LOL


Very cool! I think there are benefits to both methods, but this makes a very controlled effect which is really cool.