PMiller SKetchbook


I’m applying what I’ve been learning trying to recreate more effects from Games I enjoy. I went and tried to make a fire similar if not the same, as the Fire From Borderlands 2.

Here’s the reference

some notes so far,
-The speed is all off
-My texture is wack
-I cant figure out the glow.

Can anyone help me figure that out? I feel like i shouldnt be having trouble with that, but for some reason I am.

I’ve got a panning material playing over one particle card, I figured that would emit light if i put a light module on it, but I guess not?


Also trying to recreate the spells from Diablo 2, starting with the druid. I think these will give me unique and difficult challenges that should help me learn. The one i started with was “fissure” from the Druid class.

I havent figured out how I want the rocks to look yet. Im guessing Hand Painted will have to do th ough.
(I just had a thought while writing this, but what if I make all the textures look like borderlands textures? it’ll be like Diablo, but with a coat of Borderlands on it! that could be cool :open_mouth: )


Going to try and recreate small electric explosion from Borderlands 2.

i took some footage of the explosion and broke it down.

Here’s some footage of the effect in motion

What it looks like is, when the particle hits, these things happen
-BRIGHT flash
-as its quickly fading, the blue becomes more diffuse and
-gives way to some electrical lines, (I"mnot sure if they’re animated but i imagine not ? )
-Some electric lines appear on the ground around it (or whatever surface it hit)
-Sparks finish off the effect

I feel like this is very simple once you get experience, but it should get me some XP texturing and what. It should hold its own quite unique challenges.


I took a break to make more fire, so i could keep getting more used to manipulating the Material Editor, Right now I’m havign a certain problem with my fire, it keeps flickering

I’m not sure why my fire is flickering. I thought it could havoe been the simulation i’m using, but like, I’m not sure why that would be the case? I toggled off all of the modules in my emitter to see what the problem could be but I couldn’t figure it out. Does anyone have any suggestiosn/

This is my material graph.


After I couldnt figure out how to fix my flickering, I took a break and created a nother, different fire. Again, trying to hit that borderlands style. I’m still not there yet. Ive ben creating these from scratch so i can get myself used to the material editor, and thinking my way through problems. I’ll say that iteration is helping me immensely.

I also put the fire in an enviroment, because I figured looking at it in a grey demo room would always make it look presentable.


Border Lands 2


its a good start but i think you need to focus on keeping the fire to the centre of the sprite - notice on the borderlands one how it always keeps that triangular shape - your sprite is more noisy and is too broken up a lot of the time, imo.

are you doing any UV distortion too? or just scrolling noise as erosion? a little bit more movement with UV distortion or Vertex offset would be nice here too.


Hey @tharlevfx thank you so much for replying!

ah ok,when you say, mine is more noisey and too broken up, does that mean, the gaps are too big between flames?

and to your second point, I’m doing UV Distortion (i think) I dont have my graph on me, but when I get home, i’m i’ll share it, i’m pretty sure its distortion though.

I’m taking a normal map , Panning it, adding its red channel to a uv coordinate node. then putting that into the uvs of another texture. That’s UV distortion right?

What’s vertex offset? Is that world displacement offset? Are you sayingI should tesselate that particle?



see how in your fire in this frame there’s big areas where there’s no actual flame - the firey noise of fire is more around the edges, the centre is usually the hottest part so more solid.

it sounds like you’re doing some UV distortion (adding animated/panning noise to UVs to create movement) but i’m not sure it’s coming through into the final sprite.

vertex offset and world position offset are the same yeah - WPO moves the vertex so the terms are interchangeable. I dont mean with tesselation though - your sprite is currently rendering on a quad - that’s 4 verts, you can mask off the bottom 2 with the Green channel of a UV map and then add a bit of movement to the top 2 with Time into Sine etc. - its just a nice cheap way to add a little bit of that sort of windy motion to a sprite


Oh i see! that clears it up for me @tharlevfx, Thank you a bunch.

SO my take aways are
-Add some movement to the top of the flame using WPO

  • Decrease the noise in the middle of the flame, because the holes are too big. Make sure the center is more solid
    -Mess with my Uv distortion, because its not coming through in the final piece.


I tried making anew flame with the edits provided, and attempting to add something new. NOt exactly what I wanted, but I did learn quite a bit, so its back, to the drawing board again tonight!


Doing the VFX for a project with some friends from Game school Online. Not much to it this time.
I’m just iterating on what I already know. Uv distortion is my preferred method of getting anything done, it just gives me some outstanding results. Flips books are cool, but they never seem to get me where I want. I might just not be doing it right, but I feel like i can get pretty close to actual fire using distortion.


First time doing a blood splatter. THank god for Andreas Glad’s tutorial. I’m slowly getting more familiar with houdini, and I"d really like to put it into my every day usage. (It’s the waiting that gets me. I’d like a computer with more cores, but thats going to have to wait.).

SO this effect is meant to be a blood impact for a creature in a game I"m working on. The creature is like a medical abomination, human/insect hybrid. I’m trying to take notes from Borderlands and gears of war for their impacts, SO I think the next things i’m going to do, after I produce more simulations, is add some action lines, and maybe a small shock wave, for exaggeration.

Heres the tutorial if yo uhavent seen it.


Making another blood splat sim. I’m having a lot of fun with these. Way more than I anticipated. I"m goign to try and keep doing more of these until its second nature, and I can just get these out of Houdini without even thinking about it.


Made another blood splat. I tried to add some verticality to it, and I think it looks ok from the top. Tommorow i’m going to put it on the creature it belongs on, to actually see what it looks like (in hindsight i should have been doing that this whole time).

how would i make like a vertical stream for a blood splatter? more of a tube ? like a water hose,


Here’s how the blood spllatters look like on the creature model from our project.

There was a particular problem i was having last night, in that the blood was not reflecting any of the light. I figured it out (some slight material adjustments). and Forgot to make avideo :/. Will do tonight.


I have a bad habit of just throwing up whatever i’m working on. I think it would be more useful to me, and others who might look at my work, if I use a more critical eye when i post stuff. Anyhow, THis is my current WIP on an effect i’m doing in Jason Keysers Mentorship I feel like I’m already learning a bunch.


Another update since a few days ago. I made a few changes that i think really make this thing better.

Here are some things I want to change tonight


I addressed those changes,and I gotta say I think they made a huge difference.


Changed up a few th i ngs mainly
-The textures
-animated a fireball kinda texture (Gotta cleain it up). But I don think i’m gonna use it in its current spot.
-changed the timing even more.

and most obviously, i got rid of the character and put it in a scene i put together with some assets i bought.


I got a great paint over from jason this month. I’m going to push this effect to the limits and make it the best I can. Effectively, my problem is, there’s not oenough motion in my textures, and the shapes arent super great. So i’m going to be spending a lot of this time trying to make those textures look way better.