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Evgeny Starostin did a full breakdown of his small Magic Fire effect made in Unity and shared the project files. Let’s study and recreate it!
Here you can also learn about the production process and tips for great CGI from our previous article with Evgeny.
Hi! My name is Evgeny, and I currently work as an FX Artist. Recently, I made a small personal project in Unity, and in this article, I want to share with you my workflow and the project files for it.
I was inspired by Hades, an RPG by Supergiant Games. When I played it for the first time, I was so astonished by the art and FX that I wanted to create an artwork in a similar style. Plus, it was a chance to try my hand at making a magical fire FX in Unity.
It all started with a simple fire sprite. Firstly, I made one base shape and then assembled four variations of it into a sprite.
Then, I made a simple particle system for the fire.
To make the fire even more interesting, I decided to add a dissolve effect to the particles. So, I wrote my own shader which is mostly based on this tutorial.
The lesson clearly explains in details how to use Custom Vertex Streams in Unity. Feel free to get the shader from my GitHub page.
As a result, my fire particles started to dissolve in this way:
To make the fire magical, I prepared two copies of the emitter and slightly changed the size of the particles.
About then, I was thinking about the color for the final version of the fire.
I ended up opting for the initial version and continued working.
I like the concept of magic placed on the palm of a wizard’s hand as if he/she is casting a spell. Once, I found a good reference for it on Pinterest (check it here) and wanted to carry out that idea.
Then, I used this rig to pose the hand and sent the result to Unity.
Then, I added a few new emitters with overexposure, small particles, and trails to the main fire.
Each effect complemented the overall look.
At some point, I thought that the work is done, but then I decided to add something like a leaking effect. So, I made an additional mesh and put it between the fingers.
Here I used a shader based on a noise texture constantly moving along one of the axes. I also added more particles, with the same fire material but another behavior.
Evgeny Starostin, VFX Artist
Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev
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