A blog about VFX, scripting, van renovation, and some other gubbins.


Week 13

Published 14th January 2019 by Henry

Introduction to VFX. Riot Games tutorials.


Choose a VFX area, 1 week study project

Afternoon: Presentations


Conveyor belt scene

Node shortcuts – M click for Multiply, S click for Scalar etc

Turn on Live Update and Live Nodes to see what everything’s doing

Pan and Rotate textures

Pan across

Rotation Speed


Texture properties – Tiling

Tiling a texture

Tom’s Useful Common Mats

LERP Explained

MPC – Useful for creating globals across materials so you can change things across the scene



Iterative process – don’t spend loads of time on something only to realise it’s shit

Material Blend Mode – additive for light as it makes things brighter


Depth Fade node for removing clipping lines

Horizontal gradient flipped horizontally

Panning Light Rays

Power node to control contrast of mask

Custom Depth – Thomas Looman



Emitter time and particle time – mostly use particle tim


Ctrl click to add a point

Alt Ctrl click drag to select multiple

Spacebar to reset emitter

Required – Sub UV to select parts of an image as particles (H and V)

Need to add a Sub UV index node and then Random intrepolation so the emitter selects a random part of the image for the particle.

Initial Location – Make particles fill a box volume



Multiplying a normal map makes no visual effect because pythagoras. Multiplying the length of the normal won’t make any difference because it affects XYZ equally.

Use power node to increase contrast of a texture, as it will scale rather than clip (i.e. 1 will stay 1, 0 will stay 0)

Power for contrast

Particle spread in a box is Initial Location

Particle Colour node takes colour from Colour Over Life

Normalising a normal map using blue and LERP


Dynamic Parameter – sends values to material (Parameter>Dynamic in emitter, Dynamic Parameter in material)


Camera Clipping

Emitter particles will appear in a flash. So use camera depth fade node in material:

WeAreMidnight Event Visuals



Shift + W : create keyframe for animation

Viewport: View > Settings > Resolution Gate – shows the rendered area of the scene

DirectX Development Kit: Download it to see Targa thumbs



GPU Particles

Right click > Type > GPU Sprites

Because of the way GPU calculates things, a bounding box is needed so the GPU knows when the emitter is on screen:




Vector Grids

Import the UE4 vector grid shelf into Maya.

FX > Fluids> Create 3D Container

Display > Boudary Draw > Full

Play theanimation to see the emitter

Check the Velocity Draw checkbox to see arrows for the forces within the container

Velocity Draw Skip – removes some of the arrows so you can see




Week 11 Retrospective


Week 14

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