Sven Majerus - VFX Sketchbook

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Hey everyone,
My name is Sven and currently I’m a 3D Junior Prop Artist. During my work time I found out that creating 3D props isn’t going to cut it for me so I decided to change the path and try to enhance my skills to become a VFX Artist. I’ve always been dealing with shaders a lot and I have a decent understanding of how particle systems work. Putting all these skills together to create awesome FX sounded like something I would really enjoy… So… here’s my sketchbook so I can keep track of my progress and to receive some feedback from you wonderful and talented people.

To start off and warm up, I tried to recreate the Battle Boss Malzahars R AOE Effect.


This gave me the opportunity to both refresh my particle system knowledge (working with Niagara) and to create an awesome looking effect without the use of handpainted textures (since that’s a thing I still need to improve). I hope you guys like the outcome and I appreciate every little feedback :smiley:


Good start and very welcome to the community! :slight_smile: Did you use some tech to display this tunnel on top of the ground without clipping/intersections, or is it just a texture which contains the perfect perspective as kind of an illusion of depth?

Hey Simon, thanks a lot for the welcome :smiley:
No actually the texture is just a grid. For the effect I used a plane that perfectly aligns with the top of the tunnel and have it not render in the Main Pass and Depth Pass but render in the Custom Depth Pass. Then in the ground material, I set it to translucent and connected these nodes to the opacity.

This basically uses the plane as an opacity mask as its the only thing rendered in the custom pass to tell where the ground should be invisible, and under the plane is the tunnel with the panning grid texture :smiley:


Nicely done! Thanks for sharing :heart:

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Adding more context for anyone seeing this:
This “technique” is also known as Stencil or Stencil Testing. You can give different meshes/shader different IDs in the Stencil Buffer, and grab that info of a specific ID in another shader/material. This should be possible in all engines, as it also is a feature in GLSL.

Here how to set it up in Unreal Engine: How to Create Masks With the Custom Stencil Buffer | Tips & Tricks | Unreal Engine - YouTube


See, you always learn something new :smiley: This method shown in the video seems even better than my version since it gives me more control on what ID should be considered for the opacity mask in my material instead of using everything that is rendered in the custom depth buffer. Thanks a lot for enlightening :smiley:


Hey guys :smiley:
I started a second project today. The goal of this project is to create a whole VFX Kit of Lux in the Arcade Skin Line. The reason I go for Arcade is because there are already several skins I can use as a reference and I took Lux as a champion because she has all kinds of VFX, ranging from projectile to little explosions to big beams. I first started working on the auto attack, a little projectile to get things going. Note that everything I show in this post is heavily WIP!.


I took inspiration from Arcade Ezreals auto and tried to go for a more rainbowish color scheme to emphasize the light thematic that Lux has going. The main goal for me was to get a visual hierarchy going, so that the front of the bolt has a greater visual interest. Turning the image to grayscale really helped with that. The more stretched pixels are there to show the direction the bolt is going.

I hope you like it, I will do more updates as this project goes along :smiley: Next thing on my list is to finish the auto up by adding a hit effect when the enemy gets hit.