Student Texture Cohesion Help

Hey everyone!

I am working on something new and it’s my first really big effect I think. It’s kind of a magic meteor spell, and I am having troubles with getting everything to look good together. I was wondering if anyone else has trouble like this and what you try to do to help solve the problem, or if anyone has any critique / advice they could pass on to me that would be great.

Here is how it’s looking at the moment:

I feel like I usually run into problems right around this stage with everything I do hehe XP

Thanks all!

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Hey Kyle! The thing you mentioned about getting things looking good together is something that a lot of VFX artists struggle with at first, myself included. Something very specific that has helped me in the past is blending elements together better.

For example, glows. Not being afraid to let subtle glows expand further out and overlap with other elements can help.

Above you can see you have a very bright white glow, however it falls off very quickly. Think of it in real life, how how a glow would really falloff. Physically speaking, light falls off in intensity by the inverse square from the source:

You don’t have to do this exactly, but you can get closer to it and it will help sell your glows that tie everything together, vs harsh/sharp glows that kill an effect.

Check out these street lights:

You can see that very subtle glowing of the air/fog fall off in a quick smooth way. Don’t be afraid to make your meshes/cards bigger and have that subtle glow fill up 70% of it.

So anytime you have a “bright” area of your effect, give it that proper falloff. The brighter the source, the further the falloff will reach. Hopefully in the end the pieces of your effect will start to melt together once you incorporate this into your work.


First of all, I think the effect looks cool. Even without context, I can guess what it is doing just from visual style and movement.

I think what you are seeing here, (and why it looks somewhat weird) is mixing of style.

Your effect starts of really graphic, sharp edges, readable froms.
Then it gets harder to read because of color overlap and a lot happening at the same time, and it gets more blury
And in the end the effect becomes somewhat organic.

Any of these stages work perfectly well on their own, but they feel uncanny together.

The player should be able to read what is happening in these kind of effects, so its often better to stick to one style, one meaning. (Unless ofcource it is meant as an effect which signifies either one of two meanings, like an effect which changes style of environment for example, or something which is meant as being out of place. Think the last Saint Row game)

I’d say, what you could try to improve
to make less colors overlap at the same time (From what I can see, the biggest culprits are the green beams overlapping your blue letters).
Choose a general style (Graphic or Organic in movement) - (Stylized or Realistic - General Visual style).
You can also chose a more specific style (Think league of legend theme skins)

Then finaly, try to implement animation principles

Biggest problem I see in the effect at the moment however, is the sudden dissapearing of the expanding ring. It feels really weird because the rest of the movement is organic, and then suddenly its gone.

I hope this is kind of what you where looking for, I’m still learning a lot of these things myself.
And I’m sorry for the wall of text. I’ll look into adding some visual ref, and links when I find time, this evening :smiley:

Keep up the good work :smiley:

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Hey Kyle,

The first thing I notice is that the effect lacks impact. Typically I’ll see a giant flare or explosion at the point of impact (depending on your style). You could add a quick light-pulse (additive soft-circle) to fake lighting as the ring activates/illuminates. That same additive texture can be used to illuminate the ground without using lights.

As I was once told- think of everything as parts to a whole. Whatever the focal point is should have the most saturation/brightness. The outer edges can be less saturated/bright to draw the eyes towards the center. It looks like you did that for the arcane rings, but it could also be applied to the aura. It’s hard to tell what the focal point is since it’s split between two rings.

Also, it seems like the stuff at the end lingers for too long- but that’s completely subjective. Since I do League stuff, the idea is to get it out of game-play-space quicker so it doesn’t stay around for long. That’s just something I noticed as well. Perhaps the explosion white ring at the end could be a lot quicker (0.05-0.1 seconds).

These are some questions I ask myself when making VFX:

  • What is the style/company? (blizzard/riot/mobile?)
  • What character is it for?
  • What is the theme? (this also dictates style)
  • What is the color palette?
  • What is the focal point? (projectile/edges/center?)
  • What is the radius/boundaries (explosion) of the effect?
  • How long does the effect last (before disappearing)?

Hopefully that helps with your design language! Keep it up it’s lookin’ nice!

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Thanks for all the info guys! This helped a lot! I’ve been super busy lately so this effect may need to be placed on the back-burner for a while but I will show updates once I do some more texture work!

Hey man, I struggled and still definitely do sometimes. I would say something to also take a look at is a mix of hard and soft shapes. A lot of these shapes have very harsh defined edges. Adding some blurs to them and using some soft very abstract looking shapes can help fill an effect and act as a nice transition from one part of the effect to another. Plus a well shaped blur is going to add to that feeling of movement even if it’s just a simple texture.