Tutorial for creating non-destructive attack swipe meshes in Maya (Maya攻击刀光)

Hi Realtime VFX!

I saw recently a post about “Soulercoasters”, and thought that I would share the best method I’ve found for making mesh swipes for attack animations. This is the technique I always use when making attack swipes on League, as you can see in the image above where I made these for High Noon Darius.

The reason that this method is good is because it focuses on working non-destructively - that is, by doing certain steps in maya we create a mesh which we can easily update without destroying any of its attributes, like it’s UVs. It’s also easy to adjust the shape of it once you see it in game, by just dragging around a few handles - no manual poly modelling required:


Please download this PDF to see the full tutorial. It’s also mostly translated into Chinese, for our Chinese speaking artists out there :slight_smile:

Making Attack Swipes in Maya (Real Time VFX).pdf (1.5 MB)


Oooh that’s so great Oli!

Thanks for sharing :sparkles:

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Oh that looks really good, always had a struggle creating those meshes so nice to see a proper workflow for it.

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Thanks for this one, it’s great!

Cool! I’m doing something similar! A colleague from work gave me a tip about a technique like that and I came up with something along those lines in Houdini.

For the curious ones:

In Houdini I attach two locators to the weapon socket, one for the outer edge of the blade and one for the inner edge. For every frame of the animation I spawn one point on each of the positions of the two locators. Then I use these points to create two curves (and outer one and inner one). The Sweep SOP can create a mesh from these two curves. To get more smoothness and even triangulation you can resample and smooth the curves with the respective Houdini nodes. And the cool thing about doing it like this: It’s fully procedural per weapon. So the curves don’t have to be drawn by hand. If an animator changes the animation Houdini can re-export the mesh with a few clicks!


That sounds really awesome!

I definitely think this process could be automated better, that process you’ve made sounds great.


That works great as long as the animations are nice and fluid. Once you get to the snappier 1 frame swipes, it fall apart unfortunately. (My worst one was a spinning attack that did two full rotations in 6 frames :S ) Having it curvebased prevents this.
If you rely fully on the animation, there’s no big benefit to using meshes over ribbons.

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100% this. Sometimes you have to make meshes that will be used to imply the motions of the animations, and ribbons and trails fall apart really quick the faster the animation is. That holds true for both attaching something in Houdini to make a mesh trail, and using trails in engines. There’s times when all you need is a ring or cylinder that roughly fits the path of an animation, and you’ll be panning your material so quickly on that most people won’t ever notice it doesn’t quite fit perfectly.

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In my case ribbons in UE4 provided really bad UVs (faceted) which is why I wanted to give with a mesh-based one. For snappy animations the technique sometimes breaks a little. Then I manually adjust the curves in Houdini and that usually works out. For that case I don’t really have a solution for how to maintain proper source files.

thx for your sharing~~

Thank you so much for this ! Awesome …

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Thanks for share! im really like league!

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