WIP - Axe Hit VFX

Hi Guys, I’m trying to make a axe hit that would fit in a stylised world such as Overwatch.
I’m trying to achieve the charge up you would get similar to a great sword from monster hunter.
Any critiques about the charge up and the hit would be nice.


Hey Nathan,
You’ve got a lot of great components happening here. The charge up has a clear read and the impact has a lot of power behind. Here’s a few notes:

  1. Weapon: These days so much can be done with materials that I very rarely leave the actual weapon untouched. I’ll often go back into the weapon and add a VFX pass to it’s materials. One way you could amp the charge up is by having the axe flare up over time. Perhaps even display engraved glyphs that you can’t see unless its charged.

  2. Charging Particles: The particles that start getting sucked in during the charge are great. We want those to add to the energy of the charge by increasing their brightness and density, and decreasing their lifetime. You’re already shrinking their spawn radius which is great. Think about the charge up like you’re condensing all this powerful energy and funneling it into the axe.

  3. Charging Energy: The sphere shaped energy is a great. But I can see it popping in as it spawns. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but more of a personal pet peeve of mine. You might consider using fresnel to alpha out the outer edge of the sphere. There’s enough of them spawning that I can make out the sphere mesh.

This is a great start! I’m sure others will have some input!

gl hf!



looking good - a few crits:

Totally agree with Yance regarding the weapon - even just adding an emissive glow to the edge of the blade as it’s in motion would be a huge improvement. Or glowing runes, or magic spirals around the handle, so many options.

With regard to the charging - i’m not sure you’re getting good readability between the lines coming in and the spheres - they’re similar sizes and sort overlap the same motion and space. I’d be tempted to try and reduce the spheres and push the lines more to create some variation between them. Similarly i think you’re already increasing their size, speed and intensity as the effect charges but i think you can push that more, start few and slow and really go to lots and fast towards the end.

This is probably just a personal thing but i dont really like that the motion of the charging doesnt get reflected in any elements - basically it looks like the energy is entering the axe but not going anywhere - something like a glow or material effect that scaled up in intensity over the charge would read better.

Animation - i realise you’re probably not so interested in the animation but its a big part of the overall look of the effect - it’s pretty static at the moment during the charge, a little bit of movement back into a wind up before the swing would add loads imo.

The trail during the strike is cool but there’s some weird diagonal line shading on it, if i freeze frame it, that’s just about visible during regular playback.

The impact overall is a nice effect but there’s a few small things - the big lines that move forwards are very wide for sparks - you start to be able to see large flat sections in the middle, either they need more detail (like a gradient or a highlight or a clear head and tail) or they need to be thinner.

The large sprites that move diagonally scale down uniformly at the end of their life which doesn’t make sense from the direction of energy of the impact - they don’t scale to 0 anyway so i think it’d probably look better if they just eroded away - more similar to how the trail dissipates.

Lastly you have this very noisey squarish fire type sprite that appears both at the start and end of the swing that doesn’t really read like anything - its not as stylised as the rest of the effect, nor does the motion imply any sort of energy. Having something that remains and lingers a little longer sounds good, but i think you need to revisit what sort of shapes and motion works best - maybe its just lots of little sparks that slowly fall, or a wisp of smoke or magical energy but that you have now doesn’t quite work imo.

Lots of little things but in general it’s looking pretty sweet - keep up the good work!


Thanks guys, will get to revising the effect, and post on here again soon :smiley:

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