Vastir's/Nicolas Marschall Sketchbook

Hi Guys,

first Post reeeeee
My Name ist Nicolas aka Vastir. I’m from germany and I’m looking to get into the habit of posting my stuff online.
My first FX is going to be my interpretation of this awesome concept by Mathieu Reydellet from Dishonored 2 (the one on the right)

I thought I’ll prolly need about 3 days but I’m already skeptic. :rofl:
Anyway I’m looking forward to your feedback and I’ll post my workflow in here!
Nice to meet you all and stay healthy


Yey here’s step 1 of 12, just to analyze the effect I build the base Concept with simple shapes to see what textures and shapes I’ll need.
It’s not much but it helps me understand the concept better.

Questions that came up for me:
Should I uses toruses directly for the explosion orbs and then just let the Particle Color do the work? OR Should I make balls end then transition them into toruses to create the rolling smoke effect?

Making a smoke sim came to mind also, but I think to create the stylized look of the concept I thought Mesh animations will create a cooler look.


this is a really amazing concept and it’s a great idea to do the breakdown that you have - even just to get an idea of the forms etc. It might be worth blocking out the timing of the effect using the meshes you have to get a first pass at the timing asap, then you can keep iterating the time as you’re working on the detailed parts of the effect.

looking forward to seeing the finished result :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the suggestion. I wanted to go for a texture study next, but your suggestion inspired me to try this.

I think the timing is not amazing -> bad, but I also find it hard to immerse myself in simple shapes :rofl:.

i think your size by life needs more punch - try changing the tangents so it gets to full size much quicker.

its a good start though, good to have something first pass in and done so now you can iterate and work on improving it as you start making the textures etc.

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So here are my Notes on creating these Textures. I don’t expect anyone to read through that pile of scribbles. And if someone does I hope it helps.^^ But I thought I post it here just to keep it all documented.


Really cool idea and awesome concept. I will glad to watch for updates in this topic. Good luck and best wishes!:slightly_smiling_face:

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Today I worked on the Material for the core Explosion Balls. Its realy simple just a Fresnel and a Core Color that gets controlled via Particle Color, but I wanted them to have this roundness and that shadow line when the 2 meshes collide. Which I just came to see when I turned the baterial to baselit. It gave the mesh that sense of volumen back which I was looking for.

So yeah my whole day went to finding that one tick. Probably gonna make a Normal-Map and a better Diffuse map tomorrow. Before moving on to the more painterly textures.


Thank you! Looking forward to hear your Feedback :slight_smile:


So here is my Next Step. I just finished my Material Setup for my Smoke Toruses. I might use a stretched sphere in the end. The WPO is currently wonky.

I use 2 Vertex Masks to secure a the dark color that is used for contrasting the red flame streaks and the highlights that are given in the concept.
I’m currently looking for a way to get those highlight streaks on top.

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Just wanted to Upload my current status.

I still want to work on the smoke texture a bit to make it more aggressive and less fluffy. Also the FlameSpikes need some work.
And of course Sparks and light and the black Swirls are still missing.


I had an productive day :'D here is my current status. Will post breakdowns later. I think I’m almost done still want to do something with the ground and get some shimmer lighting texture behind.


Sorry I’m late had a lot of stuff on my plate.
I made a quick rambly Video today in the morning to show a little breakdown. I hope that helps.
Sorry my german accent :'D I hope what I say makes sense in any way :smiley:
And I edited the Video realy so if there are any questions feel free to just post them below!!!


Hi Vastir - Thank you for putting these videos and progress snapshots together. I appreciate getting a chance to look at your process. I think the effect turned out quite nice and the narration was pretty good too. One alternative idea - instead of shading the smoke darker toward the ground, what do you think about putting the darker shadow of the smoke away from the center of the blast. That way the smoke will look like it’s been lit by the energy at the center. Just a thought. Great work!


Ohh I think thats an amazing Idear, I’ll take a look at that!

I wanted to bring myself to interact more again and maybe make some stuff for the Realtime community. I failed at it last time but u gotta try and try again. So here is a Flipbook I’ve drawn lately. Including my Progress.
This was my first work I’ve done with CSP and I instantly fell in love with the programm. I hope I will be able to put out some more :slight_smile:
First Sketch:
Explosion0503 (1)
Then Base Line:
Filled the colors in:
Added more Colors and retimed it a Little:
Explosion3103 (1)
And then I added more Glows to it and worked even more on some smaler timing things:

I’m still up for feedback on this! And really looking forward to post on here more.