Sebastian Cabanillas - VFX Sketchbook


This is going to be the start of my sketchbook here on Real-Time VFX. I started learning at VFX Apprentice recently with no prior experience. I plan to share my work and progress of my VFX journey here. I’m open to all feedback and am looking forward to being part of this community!

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I completed my first lesson over at VFX Apprentice and made my first effect!
I ended up re-creating the fire from the lesson and also created a bonus effect by playing around with the modifiers that I learned from this lesson.

(It was my first time rendering with Unreal and Davinci resolve, I’ll try to get more consistent with the renders once I get better with the programs :slight_smile: )



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:boom: :boom: :boom:

Finished up the block-in series on Niagara this week! Hadidjah did an amazing job teaching/building a foundation for creating VFX. Throughout this series I followed along to create the effects then tried to challenge myself by creating an extra effect based on what I learned. I’ll post the effects below along with a little breakdown of the process.

Item Aura/Pickup

For this one I created a square texture on photoshop then slapped it in the sprite renderer. Also played around with rotations and spawn timings.

Damage Impact

This lesson was very satisfying. For my extra effect, I played around with the curl noise force module for the little debris flying off. Other than that, I just tweaked the timings for the flare/pop at the beginning of the effect to add some anticipation.

Heal Impact

This blockin looks so cool. Started to emphasize more of the animation principles like ease in and out. For the extra effect, I wanted to add some sort of anticipation. Ended up using the Vortex and Point Attraction Force modules to make it happen. I also swapped to a square material and added another square ring that quickly shoots up and fades out for some extra bounce after all that build up.

Missile Wind-up/Impact

In this lesson, I’m glad we got to get a first look at getting VFX ready for production by separating parts of the emitters and utilizing the sequencer. I can’t wait to create and take my first effect all the way through the pipeline and slap it in a reel.
I struggled the most with this extra effect, lots of trial and error. My goal was to make an RNG missile utilizing the Event Handler and Generate/Receive Location modules. The RNG side of it was just putting a Curl Noise Force module on the core. The struggle was with getting the Event Handler to obey and have everything go off just once- at the right time + location.
The only solution I found was by lowering the “Send Rate” from the Generate Location module to the point where it would only tick by the end of the Missile’s lifetime. This made the impact work like a charm, however, this method sacrificed the secondary action/trail of the missile. I tried duplicating the Missile core just for the trail to follow it at a 60 Send Rate, hoping the Paramater I set on the curl noise force would magically share the RNG between the Missile core and its duplicate emitter.
Other than that, I just adjusted the rotation and velocity offset of the windup and core to point upwards. Fun effect :smile:


Last but not least, THE EXPLOSIONNN!
I’m happy we got this for the last lesson to wrap up the block-in series, was really fun to create! Curve-ception. Its cool that you can just toss a curve on everything in Niagara. I liked the use of the Float from Curve on the drag of the smoke. For my extra effect, I just took a kit-bash approach. I used the replica missile and the RNG missile from the last lesson to add to the debris. I also utilized the sequencer to separate this extra debris and to get the timing right. For the missiles, I upped + randomized lifetime, added a lil shape location, adjusted the Add Velocity speed and offset to shoot up, and finally an Accelerate force to bring em down.

This block-in series was great! Time to move on to the Intro to Hand painted textures :smile:
I’ll try to post once a week as I’m getting through these Intro courses.
Thanks for stopping by!

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Worked on textures this week! I went through Intro to Hand-Painted textures on Krita and Intro to Procedural textures on Substance Designer lessons from VFX Apprentice. Great lessons!

Here is a little block-in I did to showcase some textures I made from these lessons -

Here are the textures from Krita -

Textures from Substance Designer -

I definitely see myself referencing these lessons when I start to make more textures in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!
Will be working on Modeling and Shaders lessons next! I will also start learning some 2D FX and concept painting… its about time I work on my poor drawing skills xD