Presentation advice

Hey guys, new vfx student in final year uni, i need some advice from multiple people please!!

So all i want to know is how people best showcase their effects? Do you record the effect in editor, or placed in an environment etc? What do yoy use to record the effect and so on! Im at a point where i need to post what I’m doing but not sure how or where to start when it comes to show casing! Thankyou!!

Hi Cundall, first time seeing you here, welcome :slight_smile:

There is many way to showcase your effect but one thing that is certain is that you want your effect to be presented cleanly, make a build for your effect and record “in-game” with OBS or another software. environment can be cool it depend on the effect i prefer to use a clean environment with just a slight checker board texture,
afterall you showcase your effect, not the environment.

Thankyou very much! :slightly_smiling_face:

So, i work in unreal, so the best thing to do here that I’ve seen is a dark checker canvas like you said, dark grey and grey withthe effect playing on top.

I’ll give this a go, but I’ve seen most people show their work in a dark area which draws everything to the effect, so should i remove sky spheres and world lighting and just use static lights to highlight an area? :slight_smile:

like everything else it depends on the effect - for lol style combat stuff i’d use a grey neutral background but for environmental stuff like water or rain etc. i’d want to see it in context.

also if you’re using unreal i’d probably just set up a quick sequence and then export to video - gives you much more control over your camera than a screen recorder like obs.

Okay, thanks for this ill have a look into sequencing and see what i can find! Thankyou!!

Always, Always, Always in context. I couldn’t care less what it looks like in an environment where it will never be used.


What @Partikel said. I’m always weary of FX shown in “showroom” gray style environment. Unless its a breakdown of the FX following showing it in context. The problem is when its just in a gray / black background, there is little ways to know just how many hacks are placed there. In context, there is less things you can cut the corners around. For example, additive blending makes colors and glows on magic FX looks amazing on a dark gray background… but against a blue sky it’ll look very faded and even maybe totally wrong colors veering towards white-ish…

We wanna know if you can make it look good when you don’t 100% control the camera, when you don’t 100% control what else is also happening on screen. :smiley:


Thankyou for all your help guys, hopefully i can manage to create my first post soon enough!

while i’d love to agree in principal, first time student reels just dont have the assets for in context stuff all the time, do they? If you’re really matching a games art style then maybe you can get away with a hack composition job, but if you do that badly that’s going to be worse than greyboxing.

context is great, but i wouldn’t advise someone to waste time on making a super cool environment to showcase your fx, if you’re applying for a fx job - if you can make it look good in greybox then you should be able to make it look good in context too.

if there does happen to be say a free unreal content pack that works for the type of fx you’re making then sure but it totally depends on the effects.

also this only really applies to student work - if you’ve got something shipped then obviously i want to see that in game and in context

There’s so much free content around these days I don’t see it as an excuse. It tells me more about their view of the effect as a whole and/or their workethic. But I might be unique in this regard. When I’m hiring I look for VFX artists, not spritemonkeys. They need to be able to finalize an effect with all that entails, not just apply textures to particles.


Especially now that Epic released all those Paragon assets. That is a professional-level environment and lighting setup. With the mix between natural elements like rock and vegetation and some metal features, you could showcase real, fantasy and sci-fi FX.


Great name for a band ‘sprite monkeys’ :smiley:

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