Tiina here again, Hello ! In today’s post I’m going to dive into the workflow of VFX magic and the process of creating clouds and wind particles. It’s a relatively new field to me so naturally I got very excited !


I had previous experience working on particles at a minor level, doing simple glowing effects and sparks. For our game, most of the particle effects had no 2D references. Concepts for character particles did exist, but general effects like explosions were self-directed. When I was tasked to update the appearance of the first revisions created by our programmer Justus, it made the entire process less complicated to have base particles to work on. I got a chance to focus on creating shaders for mesh particles and spritesheets for billboarded ones.


Shader creation with ShaderGraph is very interesting. The system consists of node setups similar to blenders own, so the curve to learn wasn’t too intense. I skimmed through several tutorials to find what exactly I wanted to create. Several of them brought up scrolling tiled sprites, so I gave it a try and created a couple of variations with different UV tilings.




I implemented this scrolling texture to multiple effects, but the original purpose of it was to make a cloudy area to one or our topworlds. I created a tiled

sprite in Krita, built a node structure for it to scroll and used the Lerp node to fade the edges with another 2D sprite. I then used this shader on a 2D particle, set the scrolling speed to low (0.1) to make it look like the floating clouds were changing shape as they moved.



The effect still felt rather plain. So I proceeded to look for a tutorial that was based on the stylized masterpiece, Windwaker, and created this spiraling wind particle. It was my first introduction to the Trails function in particle systems, that allowed me to create visualization of an after effect that a single particle could leave on its movement path. 


Trails required me to use 2 sets of materials, one for the particle that it emits from (alpha material), and one for the trail itself. It provided the option to stretch along the path which worked perfectly in this case. With the Width over Trail setting I was able to make the sprite thinner from the start and end, creating a dissolving effect.




Where the real magic happened was in the Velocity over lifetime setting. Here I could determine how the particle moved in the 3D space. Adjusting the axis in separate curves gave me control to direct the particle to move in a loop, hence the spiraling path. And there we had it, a visual representation of a wind movement.


Overall, I find the field of VFX really fascinating. It includes a lot of trial and error, which builds character. I find myself at the beginning of a new learning experience, and can’t wait for the challenges in the future.


Br, Noodleye !


Random development quote: “Nyt otat sellaset henkoset ja meet makamaan siihen neurosonicciin. Kuvittele se maailma kun CD2 on julkaistu questille ja psvr. Rahaa tulee ovista ja ikkunoista ja sulla on tosi hyvä olo“.