Overwatch VFX Re-creation: Reaper Wraithform

G’day mates,
I’ve begun to deconstruct and rebuild Overwatch VFX in Unity. Today’s subject is Reapers Wraith form ability.

Here is my current Work in progress

Here is what I am aiming for.
Sorry I don’t have a video on hand atm.

-Soft Particles
-Wispier particles
-White skull.
-Adjust colours

I’d love to get some feedback on how I can improve it.


Hmm. I’m curious why the youtube video didn’t embed nicely… let me try their “share” link instead:



Nice! It works! Go back and update your links with the ones from the “share” section of youtube so they embed - I bet you’ll get more people’s interest!


Oh cool, I wasn’t sure about that either, looks like it worked for you, I’ll edit the original post with the “share” link


Hmm I must be doing something wrong :S
Here is my current Work in progress

Just the url

Ahh I see, I had given the URL a name and that appears to stop the window from appearing


Oh, yea, if you just paste the url directly in the text box (don’t use the hyperlink tool), it should embed.

This is awesome! Did you make other Overwatch VFXs yet, or is this one your first? :smiley:



So far just this one, I am mid process on Mercy’s healing beam and hope to share both my result and workflow once I finish.

My end goal is to cover most if not all their effects, and sharing what I learn with the community (and probably learn a bunch from feedback too)

btw I love your stuff, your work actually helped give me the confidence to post my work here xD


Awesome! Can’t wait to see all that, and I hope you’ll get a lot of feedback. :slight_smile:

And thanks! Didn’t expect that, but glad it helped. xD


Nice work!

I don’t know a lot about unity but is there a way to create a mask in world space based on the object location? If you can you will be able to have a unified dissipation on the mesh rather than a dissipation based on the UV’s.

Cool work with the smoke too! Personally, I prefer the smoke a little bit less distorted as it will read more like smoke instead of liquid (ink) and once I would have a good looking smoke not too distorted, i would create the cool wispy movement with the distortion by making the distortion textures pan. Maybe I would’ve try to scale the distortion textures from the center to have a more unified panning?!

It’s an exciting project you got there.

Have fun! ^^

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World based UVs on the object position should be doable, just require a bit of tinkering. Looking at it again today I think your right and it may look better like that instead being based off the UVs, would probably look real sick when the character moves around too.

Yeah his smoke is an odd one as it seems to be smoke at the top but more inky liquid at the bottom, perhaps two FX going off there.

Thanks for the advice I will keep working on it :smiley:

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I feel rude for just working on the post formatting and not even throwing out any feedback - sorry!

I love that you’re taking this source inspiration and trying to make it for yourself - this is my favorite way to learn too! I’m not super familiar with the source effects in Overwatch (have barely had time to play), so I’m just going to give critiques to make it your own:

The first thing that stood out to me is the extremely broad motion/dissipation on the character - it’s cool, but it could definitely use more detail. I tend to think of most effects like this in terms of the number of frequencies you have overlapping: You want broad motion (which you have and it’s cool), but you also want 1-2 more higher frequencies of detail. I’d suggest 2 - get another noise in there doing medium sized distortions, and an even smaller one to create the “shimmering” on the edges.

I’d also suggest playing with some colors in the shimmers - maybe just along the edges? this might be pulling you away from the concept too much, but it’ll help make the effect more captivating.

As for the smoke, I largely agree with @Alexandre_GM about having the textures pan

Your smoke particles are too visible as individual particles, in this case because I can spot the repeated texture and shapes a little too easily. You really want the effect’s individual pieces to fuse together into a larger whole.

Hope that helps!


I am really interested in mercy’s healing beam! Looking forward to that!

Thanks for the feedback! I was feeling pretty meh about the effect but now have a bit more direction I look forward to getting back to this effect.

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It’s nearly done! But I want to give it a proper write up and share my technique for it. Just need to find the time. Should be in the next few days :smiley:

@Scythe I’ve posted the Mercy healing beam effect, find it here


It’s looking really cool and you’re achieving that creepy wraith form behavior. Heres a couple things I’d add that aren’t necessarily part of the original effect:

  1. I agree that the world space stuff could look really cool. I also wonder about using a secondary set of uvs to shape the dispersal. If you layout his second uv set much like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man you might be able to capitalize on having your noise texture emanate from Reapers chest.

  2. A second idea is to use uv color as a mask to drive the density of the noise so that perhaps his legs dissipate much more than his head/shoulders. Or perhaps his arms and legs dissipate more.

  3. You might try pushing the smoke stylistically one way or the other. You could either simplify it and make it more wispy or increase the opacity a bit and make it more graphic.
    a.) You’re probably already doing this but i’d randomize the offset of the uvs per particle.
    b.) I’d also install several flow maps into your material for the smoke to transition into. These can be chosen at random per particle and they don’t have to be extreme, but enough to get some turbulence and curl towards the end of the particles life.

  4. I keep wanting to see a little kickup from below him as he’s hovering over the ground. It’s always at a fixed height and doesnt necessarily need to be a bunch of quads. Perhaps a mesh with some nice simple smoke and displacement or even simpler, a decal with a nice panning material.

  5. Last thing: I’d add some smaller/much smaller dark particulate emanating from his mesh since he holds about the same pose as he’s floating around. Like Keith mentioned this would add a finer level of detail and help the audience’ brain break up the edge a little more.

That was way more than I intended:P Its looking great!

gl hf!