Stylized UE4 Explosion

Hey Real-time! First post here. I’m currently working on some rough VFX for a personal project and wanted to share my WIP with you guys for some critique! Going for a blend of stylized, and working with flipbooks / panning textures to try and achieve a procedural base that I can work off of in other emitters.



Love some of the curly shapes you have in there.
Could you detail us where you are in the process? Is it just one flipbook for the moment? Can we see it?

If it is… than I would strongly recommend that you separate the first part ( the sphere collapsing) from the second one. Because there is a lot of waisted space in it. I would add more frame to the second part to make it more fluid and replace the first by it’s own emitter.

For the shape itself, it may be a bit too symetrical for my taste and I think it would be easier for reading if you simplify the shapes and reduce the noise by the end of the animation.

It’s a bit hard to critique and help you out right now because we (well at least me) don’t really know what is your intention and what are your references.

Thank you for sharing!


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Sorry for the lack of info! I feel like I’m pulling most of my shape language from 80’s Anime style explosions, and a lot of color / feel inspiration from Splatoon 2. I’m trying to make a ‘grenade’ like effect that’ll be lobbed and explode in a large plume.

Currently the system is set up with 2 emitters, the flip-book explosion and the initial sphere anticipation. I think the orb itself is a bit hard to read, but I like the size that it’s act currently so I’m not sure how to get it to read better.


As for the flip-book, it’s only 9 frames for now but I’m thinking of experimenting a bit with motion vectors to try and get it to blend better, though since it’s so short I’ll most likely have to tween the frames manually haha! I set up the material with gradient maps and channel packed the texture to get some extra masks to play with.


Thanks so much for the crit! I’ll definitely go back and clean up some of the noise when I go to animate the rest of it!

Thanks for the break up. It’s clearer now :slight_smile:

For the sphere part:

  • I think you need it to be more snapier. The shrink pace is very linear. The whole timing could be reduced by the third.
  • On the global scale of the effect, I think there is a lot of nice details that you got there that may be unseen and that may end up being read as noise. You may want to either change the scale of the shpere or synthetize the style.
  • I think you need an initial big flash to catch the eye and to blend the apparition of the sphere.

For the Flipbook:

  • Concerning motion vector. I wouldn’t recommend using this technique in that case. These are doing great for slowmotion when you do not have huge gaps between frames. You can try, but don’t expect much. You may end up getting more artifacts than anything else in your situation.
  • As I’m seeing your effect right now, you’re expecting to simulate the whole plume with this single emitter… right?
    At the exception of cinematics, it is quite rare that we would build up an explosion from a plate where you see the whole plume. I would rather decompose the plume into smaller, more manageable elements and create the plume out of these. Right now, if you use that techninque for a gameplay element… it would feel very repetitive after a short period of time.

One last thing. Could we get an idea of the context of usage and the scale of things? This would also help us to help you :slight_smile: