Sifa's Sketchbook

Latest :

Hello! :octopus:

Figured I’ll start a sketchbook and post stuff as often as I can since I’ve started to get serious about this.
This is more of a personal thing for me where I’d probably document any weird shader or trick I stumble upon, or WIPs and other misc projects.

My current goal is get a job in one year from now.

I really enjoy art and animation and I also enjoy the programming/tech part of everything so I figured this is perfect for me and so far it’s been awesome! I started somewhere around this month, before that I had been self learning character art.

I’m always looking for critique and comments. I really want to get better.

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Saw Sirhaian’s Blackhole in Unity and tried to recreate it in Unreal.


So today I saw some butterflies around my window after I woke up and I had this idea to play around with WPO to animate the wings, along with the discussion we had on the discord about fresnel gave me the hint to make this and get it working!

Quickly whipped it up and got a texture to see how it felt.

Some notes to self :

  • Make a bug/caterpillar with this technique
  • Try rotating instead of moving the verts to avoid stretching
  • Make the wings flap faster and maybe match it to their velocity.

I played with particles a bit and I think this looks decent, learned a lot about mesh particles.

And a bonus spooky video playing with colours.

Notes to self :

  • Try making a material that gives them random colour at spawntime.
  • Play more with particle motion and look into curl noise.

More WPO shader experiments, just random ideas I’ve had here and there. I quite like this one, might be useful for some FX in the future. I see a lot of potential here, especially for dynamic stuff with a bunch of parameters, juicy :strawberry:


I played more with single mesh vertex shaders this morning.

Apologies for heavy gifs

Notes :

  • Apparently rotating with WPO is expensive so be careful with that.

For this I just played around with basic UV math to store pivot points to the UVs of the mesh!

Next up I think to make this process easier I want to see if I can get PivotPainter for blender working so i can try mixing WPO with Cascade next and get something cool looking together.

I also had an idea to skip the pivot painter process and use Houdini to store the pivot information using the UVs, I think I know a way to do that with VEX if I can sync the world scale from Houdini to UE4.


This is amazing, talk about a ground crack :open_mouth:
really curious to know how you did that, I assume you have given it vertex colors to mask which part moves and then there’s a circle with falloff overtop to give the effect a ramp. Never would have thought of doing this though, great job!!!


Figured out how to do pivot points for complex meshes, pretty fun and works great!

I think I could use this in Cascade with some math and parameters on curves to make some cool stuff or feed it in niagra to get collisions, perhaps?


Hey, thank you! That’s correct :blush: Procedural mesh generation with UVs and Vertex Colours in Houdini, and a simple TimeSine setup in UE4 with a Spheremask! Could use blueprints with different objects to make cool dynamic damage decals or some spooky wispy proximity based effects maybe :thinking: So much to try!


Shader math woohoo! I really should stop messing around with shaders and make some FX.



Hi i got super inspired by this and wanted to create my own, though i work in unity so i stumbled upon a little node translation error since im not familiar with how UE4 nodes translate to amplify. If you dont mind could you take a look at this? [The Add nodes are both 0.1]

The result gave some… Interesting results

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Hey! The nodes you copied were pretty sloppy by me and I learned a bunch after doing that and figured out a few more things. Are you on discord, so I can explain it to you? After I’m done with all these experiments I plan to do a full blogpost of what I learned just to archive it well and help others.

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Sent you a message privatily, thank you!

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Here’s some random experiments with the single mesh, storing pivot to UVs vertex shaders.

Incoming gif bomb :sneezing_face:


A very interesting attempt. I will wait for your next post!


How do you actually make your watermark? :smiley: Is there a gif app that does it automatically? :slightly_smiling_face:

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I use

it’s great because you can edit the frames to get the proper looping and reduce size, sketch on it, add watermarks, scale edit etc and has a bunch of options for exporting. Definitely recommend it! :smiley:


If your gifs are still big, don’t hesitate to compress them on websites like Optimize animated GIF after the screen2gif export, it works pretty well and reduces the size drastically :smile:


Helllooo! So I just wanted to have some sort of a conclusion or closure to my experiments so I ended up making a Houdini Digital Asset to automatically fracture any mesh however you like and the pivot points are automatically baked into the UVs. No Texture is loaded and everything works great out of the box. I’m very proud of this because I had this theory and I practically applied it and made it work :smiley:


The shader for the above gif.

Some other quick experiments trying out the workflow with the tool.


And here’s the Houdini Graph.

Spent all day trying various meshes in various orientations, sizes, rotations and everything works! :octopus:!

I’m not fully happy with the HDA though, there’s a few things I want to try and I also want to look at automatic material creation (if I can even do that) so I can use python or some other scripting along with these to make a one click solution and use that for something else in the future.

For now, I’m tired and sleepy. I think I’m going to work on an FX next.

(Sorry for your bandwidth loss, I’ll look into optimizing my gifs next time D:)

I was pretty sloppy on the actual HDA itself. I can definitely add a lot of options for the fracturing, masking, weird sliders and parameters but I’ll save that for some other time.


It’s so great! Thank for sharing! :smiley: