Omar Amores VFX Journal

Hi Everyone.
It´s been more than two years since I went fron 3D generalist to full-time VFX, and after all this time, I think is time for me to step forward and improve.
I want to go from this (actual work)

to this

And not only in terms of improving quality, but learning all techniques, tricks and resurces I can, so I can go from “average” to “resourceful experienced” artist, and along the way, I expect to create some things that allow me to have a nice reel.

So, I begin this journal as I begin this journey, for over a year that I´ll try to develop myself in every aspect possible.

Right now, from all the topics I could tackle, I chose two; from the tech side, I´m learning to create my own shaders and try to cover the more used in vfx, I´m still using Amplify Shader for tests and mockups, but I want to know how to code shaders not to be only more independent from this side, but also to actually understand the very basis of shaders. And from the art side, I decided to learn VFX animation in Flash; I´ve seen really good results from people who come from flash to 3D effects; I think its fantastic being able not to only create your own spritesheets, but also improving texturing skills, as well as timing values.

It´s been more than a week since I started, and I´ve been working hard with shader coding, learning the fundamentals a creting case by case all the basics.
Right now, I´m trying to develop a multi purpose VFX shader, and Im using the one from Nordeus, from their Unite Talk (that was of so, so much inspiration, thank you so much), and this is what I have right now:

I can choose blending and culling modes, animate the uvs or as a sprite sheet, and using the red channel as alpha and texture, coloring it with a LuT Gradient texture, and green channel its used as emissive, with a 2 colors gradient control in shader. I´ve also learn how to create multi compile shading so some of the features can be turned on and off.

I´ll keep posting my advances, and I hope to get a lot of C&C, and any tips or input that anyone could give me about what should I focus on, learn next or just a challenge to create something. It would alse be nice to hear some thoughs about what could I do that would be nice for a reel.



Cool idea!! I wish I had documented my own personal journey when I first got started. I’m interested to see how this goes :slight_smile:

A quick bit of feedback - I love that you have a visual target/vfx goal in mind. The big thing that I’m seeing as a difference between your work and your visual targets is timing. I nabbed your gifs and put them into After Effects to show you a quick little breakdown to help explain (I also slowed them down to 1/4th speed for clarity):

Most of the timing of your explosion is going to be in the resolution, not in the explosion itself. Timing can certainly vary, but I’d say you want to stop the expansion and/or heat of your explosion during the first third or even first quarter of your entire effect. In the gif, I show a little timeline of when your effect begins its resolution, vs when the other two start theirs.

I know you said you’re learning about shaders currently, but don’t forget about animation! imo, animation is the toughest cookie to crack. Even veterans still need reminders and practice when it comes to timing.

Good luck, man!


Awesome! Thats what I need more than anything; I´ve worked alone in VFX the entire time, without any experienced artist to learn from, so it´s always tricky to know where do you lack or what do you need more, and this, this is pure gold for me. Thanks for taking the time for a so detailed explanation, I´ll sure help me a lot!!

I totally agree with timing, It´s one of the key features of a nice vfx for sure! And thats where I think learning frame-by-frame animation could help me, going to the basics and applying them into my 3D effects; but you are totally right, I have to practice timing!! Learning it´s important but I should practice in the meantime, so I´ll probably start maybe recreating some effects, look for that timing magic.

Thanks again for the heads up!

And that’s the new standard of how to provide timing feedback right there! Excellent way to present it and very easy to understand. Good job!


I´ve been playing around today, trying to create the Rime fire shader from Simon Trümpler conference, I think it ended quite well. Also started a new texture setup for a more flash style fire (left).
Created in Unity with CG Shader code.


Awwww <3 Awesome! :slight_smile:


Thank you! And thakn you so much for all your awesome talk posts about FX!

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So, Im moving , as Sarah kindly suggested, to a more practical area, trying to tackle some effects and improve timing among other things.
So first thing Im going to do its a review of the meteorite-ish skill, and I´d like to ask about ideas for an effect list, that could eventually become a demo reel; as, what do you consider essential in a reel? or what would be nice effects to do for showcase.

Any suggestion, tips or ideas are more than welcome.

Thanks in advance


Wow, a lot of time has passed. Kinda busy I guess.
Well, I´m resuming my VFX quest, and I started learning vfx animation at Bitey Castle.
First week assignment on lightnings,rough start, harder than I thought, but had a lot of fun and learnt a lot about the topic. I know there is a lot to improve so feel free to C&C.

Btw, thanks a lot to @Keyserito ,without your tutorials I´d have been lost with Flash, maybe never started using it.


Glad to hear I could help! Keep on down this journey. You’re well on your way :^]


That’s some nice lightning @OmarA! Really excited to see how you progress in the VFX world :smiley:
How long is the course at Bitey Castle?

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Thanks! :smile:
Bitey Castle works with monthly subscription, every month you receive four lessons, and I think there is like over a year of content.