Note: This post will be using a heavy use of .gif and Imgurs “.gifv” ( which uses a standard HTML5 tag with MP4/WebM) format. Lots of pictures, both static and in motion. So for those of you on a Smartphone, DSL or what have you – this is your heads up.
For my first ever Official-VFX-Sketch, I can think of no better effect to start with then a fire. A Campfire no less. This month will be “shorter”, as nothing will be done during GDC’18. If it comes to pass that I can surpass this basic goal before the month is up, I’ll forgo some of my imposed restrictions, and see how I can push whatever farther.
I’ve made effects in both before, but never the same thing, with the same assets.
What I want to do is a fairly simple affair. I want to make, as close as I can, Campfire effects in both Unity (Version 2017.3) & Unreal 4 (Version 4.18). That’s it. In the event these engines for some reason update this month, I’ll be ignoring it.
I’ll be making the VFX Texture Assets in Photoshop CS4, with the Normal Maps being made in assistance with Ndo. The fire, smoke, embers and all as need be. I’m sticking with simple as much as I can. No simmed flip-books, No sourced textures, No volumetric mesh-manipulation from textures. Just cards and a ton of tweaking in each engine. Less is more.
In Unity, the Shader Plug in I’ll be using for the Shader Creation, is of course, Shader Forge. This is so I can control certain aspects of the material as I can in Unreal.
I’ve already gone and made a basic setting for my fire to live. The “Nature Stuff” was made with the free Quixel Megascan assets, and most textures are compressed in engine to 1024. All other textures of the scene were made at 1024 in Substance Designer because why not.
WHAT DO I HOPE TO LEARN:
- How far can I make a total fire effect with just Render>Clouds
- Differences & Similarities between the Particle & Material Rendering in the different engines
- Shader Tricks. A whole bunch of shader tricks.
(What’s with Spongebob? Campfire Song Song.)
ME JABBERING ABOUT WHAT I SEE!
Lots of embers. Lots of licks in those flames. Not very noisy on those edges. More like lots of pikes, instead of lots of saw blades - for those of you into abstract observations. More motion at the top then the bottom. Lots of quick Squish and Squash in the movement.
The fire tends to wrap around the logs, but that effect will be a stretch goal, as I of right now am unsure how I would go about making such a dynamic layer to the Overall effect, short of actually going and making directly the effect.
THINGS TO DO:
-Make Small “Lick” particles to help brake up the main silhouette if needed.
-Make the “Balk” Fire Shape
-Normal Mapped Smoke
-Make the logs glow as per reference
Here is my first iteration.
Right now, all I want is to get the basic shapes and motion right. That is the focus. Here is my quick V1 from both engines. Unity is… fighting me at the moment.
For these images, I put the fade in and fade out into this so that it would be obvious when it repeated. Seeing as this forum seems to handle Imgurs “.gifv” a bit better then other forums, I’ll forgo this little detail in coming updates.
Unity Campfire V1
Unreal 4 Campfire V1