My journey into stylized VFX
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My journey into stylized VFX

Mihaela Gagalova
by mishmish on 7 Jun 2021

A rigger joins the environment art party for one last push in order to bring our game to life!

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Round of applause for our sponsors

Update - 29 Jun 2021

Final Look 

Come experience them in-action, download the game at the itch page!

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Update - 7 Jun 2021

Steam Sprint 1 

In order to match the game's look and feel, I turned to using sprites for my VFX, and Cascade in UE4. In order to make sure the sprites loop well, I used Adobe Animate and then exported as sprites. Material in UE4 was transparent.

Bubbles Sprint 1

Borrowing material from previous block, and iterating on it was my go-to move. I added mesh type data in Cascade and created blueprints with multiple emitters, which I could then add to the level.

But again, the syrup material was heavy... and I need to adjust it

However, programmers on the team pointed out the effects are quite heavy. Since I cannot handle laggy gameplay, and have a need to optimize my work, I took it upon myself (with feedback from programmers) to fix my mistakes next sprint.

Steam Sprint 2

This sprint I am on a mission to make the programmers of our team proud (and satisfy my need for lack of white, pink and vibrant red spots). So, I worked my way to creating a new steam emitter, by selecting TypeData -> GPU sprites. This did not necessarily produce desired results

I adjusted the texture file, sadly was unable to get rid of the transparency option. So, I made sure to reduce the spawn rate, and rely on variety from Size By Life, Colour Over Life, Initial Velocity and Initial Rotation. 

I ended up with this emitter in Cascade

Some hiccups along the way to be noted down: Do not forget to click Set Fixed Bounds, otherwise the effect will blink the further away the player is from it.

Bubbles Sprint 2

Time to optimize the bubble particles by making them alpha masked and letting the particle system do the rest!

Soda Fountains Cleanup Sprint 2

I started off with making a new material for the falling soda. Sadly, I could not avoid transparency this time, as it reminded me of weird blue milk when it was opaque, which in hindsight, would  not look out of the ordinary for our game's scenario.

Still, I adjusted the material, and collected feedback from peers as I progressed through in order to achieve the best results. 

This is the node editor after i finished the setup. Textures and alphas made by me. I followed multiple YouTube tutorials and adjusted the setup to fit what was needed for the game.

As for the soda pool, it was all just a game of tweaks and adjustments, alongside collecting feedback from peers. I kept it transparent as well.

Final look in-engine and a before and after

Overall look of environment and Jetpack in Sprint 3