Torbach - Sketch #51

ideas about how to abstract this

light purple → Halloween bats and dark Magenta first in terms of color and motion

not sure on bats even though I really like how they looked in D3

tinkering ideas and some particles I have laying around I think I can get more from

nothing optimized, just shuriken systems — i can see never settling on a look though so this may just stay unfinished sketching

might abandon the bats
too harsh and magical feeling
I could soften them but then it is just texture and I might as well abandon for simplified particles

I actually touched up the final look and wanted to consolidate it here at the top


lineup expanded greatly as I sketch color variety
(edit relinked video)

RIP little bat buddy - too magical look like the spell of a witch

new favorite is the red and blue concept



quote=“Torbach, post:2, topic:19787”]
new favorite is the red and blue concept
My new favorite too! :star_struck:

The third from left to right (green-blueish) reminds me of classic Thresh skin color palette, which has a pretty bad guy vibe hehe

I love the wiggly lines on the sides, they look so smooth. The color palettes are spot on!

I am REALLY loving the color palette on these. That’s a highly underrated element that I still struggle with. Particles can look great, but if they aren’t lit/colored in an interesting way it’ll kill the whole thing!

Thanks guys, great to hear from all of you.
a new bold version here for tonight and altered the trail a bit, more like wisp steam distortion now because I wanted ghost/Dementor rather than bat noise


Thresh skin

yes I see that - I tried to invoke how I felt about WoW Undercity there too

I love the wiggly lines on the sides, they look so smooth

a combination mesh with scrolling ribbon + a string of particles using scrolling noise to accentuate/hide the repetition

I am REALLY loving the color palette on these

Thanks. once I had some motion I really wanted to exhaust all the ideas from my scrap/mood board


Looking great (as usual). Your colors are particularly appealing. Have you considered adding a minor detail with a third color? I think it could balance the entire effect out.

absolutely agree.
compression has cost some of it in favor of motion so I’ll be pushing more for sure

can’t decide to focus on ultramarine… or medium orange so for now both
I hope to push a second contrast point behind the bright flame using hue rather than value so it may get flat… we’ll see



Love the red color, and the dirty smoke really feels “deathfleet”

vibrant and bigger with a 3rd color element —unfortunately subtlety is lost - brighter wiggles in the front

  • ultramarine greasy smoke in the back
  • some orange in the middle

HD png

HD vid comparing old vs new

gif thumb


very unique and perfect execution as well!
thank you for sharing the process with us

Hah, this is awesome! I don’t think I’ve seen such a combo of fantasy and combustion fumes yet! I really like the texture work. Each individual element connects with another in a seamless way. It all looks like a complex fluid simulation at the first glance!

amazing work! I`m specially impressed with the motion and how smooth it looks.

I’m amazed how smooth the steam moves and those are indeed some interesting color combinations!

I was wondering though: does steam or smoke in outer space even exist? I couldn’t find much profound information about it, but I’d guess that there wouldn’t be high frequency turbulence in the smoke trail, due to the lack of atmosphere.
Of course you’ve got artistic freedom (bat! :smile:) or you could just say that this is what it looks like within an atmosphere.

thank you all for the comments - I want to point out this sketch is cheating. way too many particles so that I can fake volume.

no major use of geo, tech/shaders to save performance. un-shippable sketch just one stage beyond a thumbnail to work on motion +color/value to sculpt something that ‘would’ be crafted with overdraw in mind, (throwing >1000 billboards at the screen is just for ideas)

ew look at that!

was wondering though: does steam or smoke in outer space even exist?

I got the feeling liquid propellent combustion would have to leave a long hot gas trail that would expand rapidly.

I couldn’t find much profound information about it

yah the reference I use for the shapes was based on what I watch with SpaceX launches over the year(s)

I i tried to compress it all into an effect that is tiny in length

then pushed around ‘X-ray’ +ghost +ion/fusion +dementor mouth for the engine and push colors around to establish some harmony that felt like the death even though there is not much ‘fleet’ going on, like perhaps a jump gate instead of ‘rocket’

and playing with various ‘boost’ ideas

however all i see now is superman colors

so i might want to go back to
reference again and use the Lich/green but add a magenta contrast
something about less color chroma/saturation works more for me


Preliminary green iteration and final ghost like dementor

[edit sorting fix]

now this one is my favorite no more saturated Superman

poison/rose feels from the magenta chem-trail after getting it in motion so I tuned purple to avoid rose petals


pulled back on color
green flame had blown out some of the negative space I wanted and the trail was too bright
this will be the final


actually this is my new final — doing it after the time period


oh wow I really like how you shrunk it down to pixelize it in order to check your color reads