Zellk's sketchbook



Hi guys! Trying to finally do my first post here with some WIP work o// - Ill most likely keep everything in this single thread as I go through my months of learning VFX o9

Here’s a little canon shooting, I’m only taking care of the VFX. The engine is a custom one made where I work and I’m trying to learn to do VFX while getting familiar with this engine at the same time (I only used unity before!)

I’m trying to keep a “stylised” / cartoonish feel without going too much into it (but I’m struggling finding consistency and determining how stylised or not I want it u_u).
STILL I’d love some feedback, especially on things like pacing, rhythm and shapes. Hope the gif will read correctly…


Hi there,

Wall of text incoming! Scroll to the bottom for a TLDR;

It’s a nice little effect you’ve got, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it per say. Personally for me, having dealt with weapon FX a lot over the years, it’s missing the “Punch”. Even though it’s stylised, you really want to sell that explosive combustion! Don’t be afraid to go a bit nuts with the muzzle flash, it feels a little bit lack luster at the moment as there’s only a few frames where it’s really seen and at that point it has already started to break up. A muzzle flash should be almost instantaneous lasting only a few frames and within those frames you want it to be big, bold and bright! The light itself lasts too long, as does the muzzle, make it bright and make it snappy. It’ll really help sell the weight and punch of the cannon firing. The side smoke exiting the barrel comes in too late for me and it dies out too soon. Try having it come in earlier just a frame or two after the muzzle and have it linger a bit longer; try an extra half a second or so. Throw it out sooner and then drastically reduce it’s speed, this’ll help sell the force behind the ejection of the smoke; Try utilizing Drag. I really like the light grey ribbon you’ve got for the projectile, it’s got a really nice fluid fade to it. The style of it with regards to the rest of the smoke is contrasting though. I’d either go for the light grey clean lines, or the dark grey soft smoke; i don’t think both work. If the dark grey smoke is supposed to represent unspent gunpowder streaking off the cannon ball then the projectile path being laid out by the light grey smoke should come behind this. Imagine contour trails off of a plane.


  • Quicker, Punchier muzzle flash; using more “full” frames, and less “break up” frames
  • Light source lingers too long, try tightening it up with the muzzle flash and ramping it’s brightness and expansion suddenly upon firing.
  • Side smoke from the barrel comes in too late and fades out too soon, make it linger and work on it’s explosive expansion; Quick to very slow.
  • Try to choose a style of smoke and use that throughout the effect or work on ways to blend both styles together.
  • I really like the light grey smoke trail / projectile line but try to have it linger behind projectile (dark grey mass).

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Best of luck and I look forward to seeing how it all pans out!
Feel free to hit me up if you need anything.


Aaaah thank you so much for that much input!!! Im gonna read over all of this again carefully and see how to best apply it all :pray: and come back with an update :muscle:

I’ll have to figure out how to record the effect better too, the gif reads slower than the effect actually is (but I believe most of the feedback you did is still valid, no matter if the playing speed is a tad slow)