VFX - Materialization


I’m working on my final Demo Reel because i’ll graduate next week and the Jury is composed with recuiters from Ubisoft, EA and NVisio, a lifetime opportunity, so i don’t want to mess up. The video above will be the one i will showcase first. I got many feedback to get there and i’d like to have more if possible.

This materialization effect was made with a custom Dissolve shader made in Shader Forge that i animated backward with a square gradient.

Then i just animated a few other options such as the emissive intensity and code a little bit with Playmaker (to make the camera shake) and added other effects such as thrusters, stars, trails to give it the illusion it’s moving.

All critics are very welcome.

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Looks quite good so far. There are few things you could improve tho to get the biggest bang for a buck:

  • Add a particle effect in the ships location. This effect should build up anticipation before the ship actually shows up. It might be a flash of light, it might be some plasma energy, maybe some distortion
  • Try adding some secondary motion to the materialization effect. Something that will draw attention from the shader-based dissolve itself. Again, it might be anything that suits your overall design. The idea is that you should create an impression that there are more things happening at the same time than there really are
  • Add some finishing effect on top of that. Maybe the ship gets really hot during materialization so you can add some smoke, or maybe materialization process is not perfect and there is some plasma leftovers falling down from its hull?
  • I am not sure what these blue lines are representing? Are these to show air flow, or are they to show that the camera is moving? One way or another, move the emitter outside the camera view. Some particles are being spawned right in front of the camera. Maybe add some noise to get more natural “airy” look
  • Make the camera shake less drastic. It’s a nice touch but it’s slightly too strong. Maybe decrease the frequency too.
  • Remove the delay after the ship appeared (before cam shake kicks in) or fill it with some aftermath effects
  • Engine trail is very static and linear. Try adding some motion and shape variation to it.

I don’t know if this is anyhow helpful but I like to think about my VFX as if they were real. So I am trying to give them some reasoning, to build some lore, explanation. I ask myself some questions and answer them. Is this effect magic or is this something that could happen in real life? What is causing this effect? Is it a chemical reaction, an optical illusion or something else? What is the source of light here? Is it plasma, fire, electrons? How materials react with these elements? So for example, in real life when you pour acid on a surface you expect some kind of smoke. Smoke is caused by chemical reaction or even burning. Material touched by acid might start bulging because it is so hot. Maybe because material is so hot the acid is boiling too? And if that happens then maybe I should add some small splashes to my effect? Think about these things and choose carefully which elements are actually going to sell the effect that you want to create.