VFX Portfolio (WIP) - Augustus Allen [2016]

Ah man I’ve had non stop issues with soft particles as well. It’s a real pain at times. As you can see in this POST about the weapon glows/rendering order issues. Your best bet is to use shaders to perform that task instead of Shuriken although I’m a noob at them and probably Ohad or Sirhaian can guide you better there .

Here’s something I’m working on at the moment with soft particles turned off and on respectively, you can see the difference:

Now I’m not an expert in any way so here’s some my best advice regarding your demo reel TEST-04:

  1. The skull at 0:14 when it fades out the sparks at the end I would probably make them less sharper so they look more mystic and smoky instead of electric-y.
  2. 0:28 to 0:31 the impact need to be a bit more snappy. Like yours, stay for a bit and then fade out slowly. As per my knowledge, normally impacts last for 0.1 to 0.2 of a second. In some instances 0.05 even. But you may just be going for a different style.
  3. The lasery beams at 0:44 I would suggest adding a bit more power to them. Refer to THIS POST for some excellent feedback on @Agilethief’s art test. You can see a bunch of things happening when the beams hit the ground and move etc. I agree that Unity’s shuriken is limited but try what you will mate.

I absolutely LOVE the UFO, Axe with blood and the voodoo mask sack. I would recommend re-arranging them up ahead to catch the viewer’s eye so they can get hooked and then continue watching the rest of the video with interest.

All the best with your reel mate. :upside_down:

Okay, I see what you’re saying about the sorting. It looks like it’s one of those programmer things that’s over my head haha. Looks like Unity’s soft-particle DOESN’T work.

Cool aura by the way, I really like that. I really need to step it up on the next one!

  1. Okay, the skull sparks are easily fixed.
  2. Ye, I assumed snow lingers for a bit, but it looks like it overstayed.
  3. As for the laser, I’ll try to match it with something similar. That cyclops laser looks pretty dope. Looks like a tiling texture to me haha.

Thanks! Also, good point. Can’t unload too early, gotta sprinkle it in haha.

Alright, I made the changes and shuffled the VFX more. Hopefully the order is more interesting now.

If you’ve got a better arrangment, I’d be glad to hear it. Any more advice?


You’ve improved some pieces quite a bit, nice work! For me there’s one thing that really pops out, and it’s the hit effects on a couple pieces:

It feels very static because the shape is on the screen so long and there’s no real motion to it. I’d play with it a bit more to break it up.

Ok. I’m going to drop the impact one since its pretty bland. I’ll add more motion to the bottle w/ a nice dissolve.

The chest and champagne bottle need to be re-textured as suggested by a friend. They’re currently unusable (aka old ass clip-art). I’ve gotten some cool suggestions so far so I’ll be changing that.

The overall colors/shapes/sizes of all VFX’s need some minor tweaking as well, too similar.

Looks like I need to readjust my entire composition as well. Too much black space (originally intended to give more room for larger/farther effects.) I’ll need to zoom in more so it fits better.

I also need to cut out some VFX for a Blizzard Specific reel. I’ll end up having two different reels.

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0:33 to 0:36 you can see some good subtle impact mate. You can see if you wanna apply that to yours instead of totally dropping them out. :upside_down:

Aye, I meant one specifically (0:39), not all of them XD. But ya, that was my main reference point for the projectiles. I’ve recently added some color variation to all the effects (hints of red/green/blue) for color depth.

I was looking at different color palletes. Colder tones seem to head towards purple/red. I do realize that the icicle projectile is starting to look too similar to the arcane shot. Both are fast projectiles and have the same impact lotus. I’ll need to fix that up.

Here’s a basic rendition of where I’m headed for the bottle rework. Some kind of Night-elf Invisibility potion. Textures still need alot of work. Perhaps the bottle pours smoke onto the sphere or something.

Chest still being built. Some wierd optical illusion going on with the reference lol (Warcraft “Sturdy Chest”; bottom brackets don’t make sense from different angles?). I worked around that though so that should be out in a bit.

[Updated 11:48pm]


Okay here’s a more refined version of the idea. I readjusted the bottle’s color scheme (wasn’t paying attention before).

For some reason I hear strange VFX noises in my head lol. Typically to the beat of 1-2-1-2 or 1-2-3 in this case.

Does the VFX feel connected or it still lacking? What additional features/changes would you make to enhance its quality? Perhaps a faint moon logo beneath the sphere to connect it to the portal?

The caustics mesh and vertex offset is really cool. Thanks Sirhaian and ShannonBerke for the awesome breakdowns!

Here’s some color updates to the VFX. Tried to add some color depth overall.


Here’s some small updates.

There’s a distortion effect for the sword. It’s hard to see with the gif’s quality, although you can manually scrub through and see some of it in the original link. I created a cloud mask to break up the distortion some more.

For the bottle, I took a friends suggestion of using “Greymane’s potion ability” as an inspiration. The bottles spinning pretty fast but it looks funky slow/faster than it currently is. I didn’t add a trail because that’d be super noisy imo.

For the chest, I’m having a hard time coming up with an interesting idea. It’s either “drops down and opens” or “emerges and opens”. I wanted to try something cool with distortion.

Perhaps something to do with invisibility as well? Where the chest emerges transparent then de-cloaks like it’s some kind of secret chest? I don’t know about having coins shooting out violently. Maybe shooting upwards and suddenly stopping while spinning fast. Got any cool suggestions folks?

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Here’s something I built rather quick (thanks to awesome tutorials). Some kind of short-lasting prismatic spell-shield. The recording speed is potato-chip but the idea is there lol. It’s great that 3dsmax has an icosohedron feature, that made the task alot easier.

I was thinking of the opening colors being red/purple and the closing pallete blue/dark purple. Probably good to signify the start/end of an effect.


Looking cool man! I like the pentagon shield :slight_smile: . There’s a couple things you could play with I think. One is the timing. Right now the initial pop of the effect feels a little slow. It might be cool to really sell that initial pop by speeding it up, and then followed by significantly slower movement.

This is what you have:

maybe push it to this:

Think of your texture scrolling speeds like this, the actual scaling of your objects like this, rotations etc. That will help it feel more satisfying when it pops in and out.

Also the slow fade on everything kinda makes it hard to see the effect at the end.

Overall, you’ve made a lot of great improvements already on your work. Nice job! Keep it up man!

Thanks! I agree, it was pretty slow, hopefully things are more appropriate now.

I sped things up in and out. Add a speckly glimmer effect right before it implodes. I’m having issues with controlling the texture scrolling (wierd bug?) in animator. I understand how to do it, but Unity’s being dumb for some reason.

The portal is now separate. If I can figure out that Liquid shader then I’ll be happy lol. I removed the vertex offset because it has issues related to the camera and bieng a flat plane. I think I’ll change the final particles to spinning spirals instead of the typical oval shape. It was a cool thing I saw in that old 2012 VFX reel.

Wow that was really quick! So next thing I would start thinking about is the spinning rings. Objects with such quick motion usually need motion blur, otherwise they get very jittery and draw the eye. Since engines usually don’t give us this for free, look at the speed your moving something as well as the direction, and give it that appropriate amount of blur in the texture. If it’s something that is moving super quick like your rings, usually a new mesh is needed in order to fit such long streaks on them.

I’m ready for that jobbbb! haha. Olright, is this better? I did a lerp between the normal and blurred. I considered making it light up a little brighter, but I don’t know if that’d look good. I also increased the pull-out size so the ring implosion was clearer.

Apparently I can’t set the shader to additive otherwise opacity doesn’t work. That sucks, so I sorta faked what I know.

Alternatively, I understand that I can just create a taller mesh and increase the blur radius. Then I could just keep the same banding and blur it and have more room. Extra UV space.

Does the spin need to consume more visual space or is it good as it is?

You would need a new mesh if this were to work on this.

Ok. I’ll just create a taller mesh for that then. How much blur would you assume I’d need? Like full on blurred circle or just a bit taller?

I think my original message on timing isn’t as clear as I could have made it. The timing of your elements in your original, with the ring and shield simply scaling up, and scaling down again felt good. It just needed to be pushed. :slight_smile:

If you’re headed in this new direction with added spinning of the rings, yes a dome shaped mush with some nicely shaped blurs would help it blend better.

Remember with your motion, in this case spinning rings, to use slow ins and outs as well. This is one way to do it, but this is what I meant by timing. It moves in quickly and settles quickly. It’s subtle the difference but it helps it feel a bit better ;):

Looking forward to seeing more dude! ^^

Ah, I see. For the original, do you mean pushed like this? Should I include minor spinning or is scaling just fine? I increased the speed from 45 to 90.

As for the newer version, would I unwrap the mesh as following? I assume I’d just paint blur lines along the edges.

Which version do you prefer? The spinning (blur) one or the original (scaling)? Right now, I’m trying to create Warcraft specific abilities, including this one. If it doesn’t fit in, it’ll go into the other reel- but I’ll stop working on it atm.

Hmm, I still stand by my original bit of feedback. Also, you’ve introduced a few things that I don’t think make this piece better than before, here’s my thoughts…

-The spawning of your rings: the overly “bouncy” spawn that you have now is kinda going against my original feedback which I see wasn’t clear… I think it needs to spawn and settle quicker, not slower :slight_smile:

-The rotation of the rings: I’d slow it down. I also think that I wasn’t as clear as I could have been in my original feedback, but the rotation of the rings needs to be slower like your original. My original suggestion was to slow it down just SLIGHTLY, like 15% more than the original.

-the rotation of the rings: it seems that you’ve lost a very nice part of the orignial movement which was the subtle counter rotation of the middle ring. I would introduce that again. It helps break up the movement and make it not all the same :slight_smile:

-blur mesh: Yeah that seems like it would give you a good result. When in doubt it makes it easier to paint up a temporary texture, and slap it on the sphere while you tweak uv’s so you can see exactly how it will play with your mesh :smiley:

Hope this helps!