Being a 3D VFX artist, I am an avid fan of video games and consoles. My love for video games comes first which led me in the way I am today. While I got stunned by looking at a high-end explosion in the opening sequences of my favorite game Uncharted 4: A Thief End, I was equally thrilled to see the stylized effects in the games from Blizzard particularly the hot favorite Overwatch and the ever fantastic Heroes of the Storm.
Most recently I have recreated an stylized effect from Overwatch Game. The ever funniest and dangerous Junkrat Frag Launcher explosion.
Recreated Effect: (Junkrat’s Frag Launcher Explosion)
There were 18 layers in this effect. Timing is critical for each component because most emitter layers are short lived. These layers can be categorized in these groups
3. Instant Flash
4. Burst Ring
5. Burst Core
Here are all the layers used in the effect –
The shockwave group is fired first. It also serves as a background light filler for the flash to come.
Smoke appears pretty much right from the beginning and lingers till the end of the effect. It is a dark brown smoke that fills the back of the explosion.
The instant flash literally lasts about 2-3 frames. It is a quick bright concentrated flash and makes up the initial blast.
The burst core blows hot gas outwards from the center. These are high velocity particles but with high degree of drag so slow them down almost to a halt. However these fade away before they come to a complete halt (or at least they are supposed to). I used fiery textures to give the center a burning gas look.
The burst ring result from the center explosion and moves outward as it dissolves. I did not use texture flipbook for the burst ring. We put together a pixel shader script to mask with soft edge (thanks to our engineer). Pixel Shader: Masking with Soft Edge
Sparks are generated as a result of the center explosion as well. These particles are created at the same time as the Burst Core. There are two different types of sparks utilized – one with trails and other use stretched particles. These sparks are timed to die just slightly after the Burst Ring dies.
As we can see in the window below that how critical the is the timing for emitters for the impact of the effect. There is very little difference in the start times for different layers but these had to be set apart literally by 2-3 number of frames to get the right feel in the overall effect. Imagine lots of iterations.
I plan to make a video tutorial very soon. I hope my post here was useful.
See ya all later.