Orieus: Sketch #32

Final Effect:

Ended up being too busy with work to finish everything I wanted to improve from my last post but I’m still really happy with what I got working and learned a lot for the next challenge :slight_smile:

thumbnail still :smile:

Original Post:
Hi! This is my first RTVFX post, and first real vfx project. I’ve been learning Unity shader code and modelling for a couple months and thought I’d attempt the challenge and only post if I could come up with something somewhat decent. I’ve been pretty excited about my progress so this is me officially committing to the challenge! ٩(●ᴗ●)۶

My first idea was to do something kinda different - I liked the idea of doing a dark sarcophagus thing where the lid slowly slides off to reveal a pool of writhing sludge, and hundreds of these inky little hands rise of of it and gently offer you items from within haha.
I still like the idea but I dont really know how I’d approach doing the hands, and I kinda want to learn from something with a little more energy.

I’m still learning modelling techniques and wanted to practice retopology, so I thought about doing something pirate themed just so I could practice modelling a skull xD
After doing a couple concepts it kinda evolved into something pretty evil looking, and I liked the idea of doing a “cursed lootbox”, so thats my current goal!

I then worked out an animation concept where a key unlocks it, it kinda charges up with evil energy before exploding in a cloud of souls and laughing skulls before just breaking apart and the items just kinda tumble out. It might be a little over the top but it sounds full of learning opportunities :smiley:

Forseeable challenges:
Coding: I kinda have the first “charging” stage vfx in a pretty good place, and I’m starting to realize how tricky timing things can get. I might have to come up with some fancy scripts / tools to make this easier.
Animation: I don’t have much animation experience and I’m going for a similar effect to opening Overwatch lootboxes, so I expect this to be difficult to get right.
Chains: Not really sure how I’m gonna handle the chains breaking - can I just animate this in blender? I might just go with a simple dissolve shader and some basic movement, maybe some particles.
Curse wheel / sigil: I wanna improve on this - gonna study some runes. The current one is based on witches wheel sigils, writing out a random revenge spell I found. I kinda want it on a t-shirt.


I probably wont post again until I have the basic loop finished, to make sure I keep focused on actually finishing it. See you then!


First revision complete!

Made in Unity, default render pipeline with the post processing stack for bloom.

This uses the free noise textures from 1mafx: 1MAFX, and video music is from the borderlands 2 soundtrack
Otherwise all assets + shaders were made by me.

Things I want to improve:

  • I think the chain breaking animation is a little fast and unclear. Might need to rethink how to do this nicely.
  • I want to give the floating face some character - either animating it or replacing it with something more interesting
  • the dropped loot should probably be highlighted or presented in some way lol
  • I was pretty lazy with the particles and didn’t mask their edges, which can be ugly sometimes. Had trouble figuring out how to write a particle shader so I’ll have to spend more time on this.
  • It might be a little too dark in general
  • a physical key turning in the lock might be nice
  • camera animations are pretty basic - I think at least adding more noise/shake when the loot is flying out would be cool
  • maybe some runes on the chest to link it to the ground sigil

I’m open to all feedback, what do you think could be improved?


wow, even with music! super cool! <3

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Just posting a little breakdown of how I control the timings of things, because I think it works pretty well.

0-1 shader controls
Firstly, I made sure that each shader I made has a slider from 0 to 1 that controls the normal->activated effect transition (the simplest of which just control the alpha of the shader’s output color).

One script to control all shader timings
Then I made a controller script that referenced all those materials, and made use of the MinTo attribute from this forum post https://forum.unity.com/threads/inspector-2-variables-in-one-slider.253753/ to make a bunch of Vector2 sliders that define when, during the % duration of the whole effect sequence, each material would start it’s 0 to 1 transition and how long it would take to complete it.

Then I used a global 0-1 slider to preview the whole sequence. In the below gif I’m controlling the timings of the eye gem glow, the sigil lighting up + the burst at the end, the weird ripples over the sigil, the fresnel glowy-smoke effect and the green point light all with one slider, all timings easily customizable.

This let me quickly experiment with and fine tune when certain material effects were introduced to the sequence, without even running the scene.

This only really works for materials and simple components. I haven’t figured out a way to nicely sync these material timings with animations - it’s basically just a trial and error to get the timing synced as is.

Animation triggers
Luckily I didn’t need many material effects during the box opening animation, and I could control everything else (particle effects, rigidbody force triggers, custom scripts) via triggers in the box opening animation:

This method also lets you be really flexible with timing - for example, some things I control here are when the evil face spawns and when the loot flies out of the box. If I wanted to make the face appear before the loot, all I need to do is drag the position of the face event trigger to be earlier, and the loot trigger event to be after the face trigger. Easy! I also control camera change timings from here.

Hopefully someone finds this somwhat useful :smile:


Very nice! As someone who came from the tech side, I appreciate how much time you spent organizing the activation periods. It really sounds like that will help you iterate.

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Final effect:

Ended up being way too busy to finish everything I wanted - all I got around to was fading out the effects, tidying up the particle texture and I added some ‘souls’ flying out of the box. I also tried making the scene brighter but couldn’t find a color / atmosphere that worked as nicely.
I also keep thinking up more effects that I would love to add to is as well :smile: oh well. Maybe Ill keep working on it after the deadline.

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