Unreal Engine | VFX & Shader Complexity | When Showing your Portfolio

I would love to upload my VFX portfolio but im not sure about the shader complexity

I feel bad showing my work with the curve being slightly into the red, I mean once a Lead-VFX artist told me that a little into the red is fine and to keep in mind that the complexity view mode values haven’t changed since UDK so they are rather outdated, he mentioned something about increasing the shader complexity values x4 ? when things are a bit white-ish, he mentioned changing the .ini so I guess coding stuff which I haven’t looked much into, maybe there is a script for it to paste into the Unreal Engine console?

but my question is: how would you guys feel about posting stuff with a slightly bad complexity or how you guys do it to show also the technical stuff of the VFX to show that it’s not just a good look but a game-ready VFX

First time I hear something about increasing complexity values inside the ini. Overdraw is an overdraw and if you’re spawning 100x particles in one place there always will be 100 particles. You can go with masked materials to reduce transparency, maybe use dither, create your custom dither nodes, create a simple logic to decrease the size of the particles if you’re close to the system to reduce overdraw effect nearby your camera.

Instead of using everything in the particle system, try to use mesh with the shaders. It’s just about the balance.

Shader complexity isn’t the end all cost of an effect, so think of it more as a guide to help you understand where you should try optimizing or reapproach a part of your effect. Red isn’t super bad, but pink and certainly white is what you need to worry about. I wouldn’t worry about messing with engine .ini files just for this.

To answer your question though, it’s a bit of a gamble posting the shader complexity view of your fx. On one hand, you may surprise your interviewers with something that both looks good and is more optimized than they expected. But on the other, you may show off something that a panel of interviewers knows could easily be done cheaper.

Like Blaze mentioned, just use it as a guide to see where you have too many particles.

I wouldn’t include a shader complexity version of your demo reel in job applications, but I would recommend having it easily on hand in case someone asks about it, or to post alongside your work here for feedback.

Try to have as much of the effect as “green” as possible. Some red is fine, and pink very situationally. Light pink and white in shader complexity is a hard stop where you absolutely need to rework the effect or material.

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first of all, thank you for your answer, you don’t include any tech info on the VFX in your portfolio?

In my case, since last year I am usually breaking down my vfx process. How I achive something, some shots from the shader, particle systems, houdini sims. I think that’s enough for the portfolio.

Not really. I had some screenshots handy of the shader complexity for a few things, but that was before I got my first job. Everything after that was recorded in games that shipped, so there wasn’t too much reason to have anything like that, since they wouldn’t have shipped if they weren’t performant