Trevor McTavish: WoW Student Art Contest

Morning Realtime community! Our tiny VFX community at Ringling is preparing our blizzard entries. Here’s my reference / mood board & first pass. There’s plenty to fix and address but I really wanted to get this out there for critique and to show progression. :slight_smile:

Class: Shadow Priest
TLDR Concept: Projectile with a large wind up. Projectile is a mesh model that on impact implodes and leaves behind an animated sigil.

Ref / Mood Board:

Projectile Mesh WIP:



Ooo, looks great so far! I love how the sigil left behind is blinking and looking around— that’s a really nice touch. The timing on everything is also great and the big build up is really interesting. Color palette, shape language, and theme are spot on too!

A few things that caught my eye that you could think about as you keep working:

  • See if you can get the trail on the missile to be more connected. There are a lot of terms for this— we call it popcorning (how the particles left behind from the missile separate and you can start to see individual particles)

  • You could leave more lingering stuff from the missile to visually connect the buildup and the impact/state. Right now all the missile bits clean up pretty fast and there’s not much overlap between the different stages of the ability

  • You put a lot of effort into making a missile model, but it’s too dark and moving too fast to see how cool it is. You could address that in a number of ways— edge glow, glowing eyes, having it start to form during the buildup so we see it, motion on the missile that makes you look more at the head, etc. Currently, my eye is drawn mainly to the trail on the missile.

Looking forward to see what else you do with this

(just a disclaimer that I’m not judging the entries or anything, but just wanted to offer some feedback since it’s exciting to see WIPs!)

Update for today :slight_smile:

Appreciate the kind words and crit Sarah! Hopefully I was able to respond to your critique:

The trail for the projectile was developed further with your crit in mind. The life spans of certain particles have also been extended to incorporate more overlap between the stages. I attempted to fix the popcorning effect but wasn’t able to get a decent result without a ton of particles being spawned (wouldn’t fit well in WoW with the amount of overdraw); if anyone has any advice on how to manage popcorning of particles that would be awesome! Additionally the mesh is still black due to it being a super fast zremesh I threw in to develop the projectile asap. That will be baked, textured, and hopefully animated very soon :slight_smile:

Next update should include further texture work to match the WoW style, and further refinement of the impact.


Major Notes since the previous video:

a. Timing adjusted, 4 second cast time was too long for WoW cast times.
b. Mesh projectile dropped for now due to poor readability / silhouette as the projectile was too fast for users to discern what it was.
c. Trail of projectile reworked to reduce the amount of overdraw that I was creating spawning so many cards.
d. Hues adjusted to match the Shadow Priest aesthetic
e. The ‘Eye’ target is off for now due to a random bug that popped up. This will be returning asap!
f. We now have an impact! Look at it goooooooooo

Moving forward I will be:

  • Tuning the spawn burst of the projectile as it is too subtle
  • Fixing the ‘Eye’ target bug
  • Editing ribbons so the beginning and end of the trail are not cut off to harshly on the projectile
  • Responding to any crits or feedback

Thank you for your time! :slight_smile:

Additionally if anyone has recommendations on recording material in UE4, I would sincerely appreciate it. I’ve tried sequencer (for previous videos), and this update was recorded with OBS. I’ve recorded with both programs at the highest possible quality, 0 compression, and exported from premiere with the default Youtube HD settings. The end result still shows artifacts in the shadows.

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Evening Realtime!

Here is my final submission for the contest.

Major Notes:

  • ‘Eye’ target bug was solved, but no longer cohesively matched with the bolt. It was removed based off of feedback. However, the effect will not be lost! I’ll be posting an update on it in my journal.

Though the contest is completed I would appreciate any and all feedback to push this effect even further for portfolio purposes. Thank you everyone for your time and feedback. :slight_smile: