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A jam submission

UnstableOrbView project page

Submitted by Plumjam — 9 hours, 13 minutes before the deadline
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CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Research + Development#44.2004.200

Ranked from 10 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • I really appreciated the thought and creativity that went into this submission! Using some concept art from an industry professional as inspiration and trying to turn it into a new unique effect in the League of Legends style is no small task, and I think you did a really good job with this. I really liked the breakdown of elements in the documentation, and appreciate your use of meshes in parts of this. There are a few quick tweaks I think you could try to punch this up a little. Perhaps try to increase the intensity of the light at the start to grab your attention faster, as well as some quick subtle flashes. Could there be some ground debris that comes up when the orb hits the ground?That might help tie it into the environment better. Maybe shorten the alpha crush time on the decal at the end, and make sure we see that resolve in the video. Keep up the great work! -Ryan Hoss Senior VFX Artist Deep Silver Volition
  • Hi Plumjam, Just an amazing work. You have good reference, good philosophy. You give me timecontrol and camera. This is AAA vfx. Very good optimisation, nice timing, nice color. The only thing : i see you trying to do LOL vfx like. you need to specify to the player where your explosion hurt. a clear cirlce or better decal on ground, but actualy the VFX is very hard to dodge because we don't see the explosing area. Very nice job again, Lowys Clément, VFX artist ubisoft MONTREAL
  • Really great job! Very polished and very good looking effect. I really like what you did with very simple assets. You made those assets shine in your work. There is some adjustments I can suggest you make. You can work on your explosion a little bit more. I am expecting a bigger bang when the orb explodes. I felt your effect starts like it is going to do damage to the area however your explosion looks like it would give out more of a stat effects to the enemy more than damage them. I think it is lacking this the most. (or if it is the other way you want to do a stat effect to the area you can tweak the start to make it look more calm :)) One last thing is the tail on the orb, I am just a little obsessive on these things:) I would want the tail to form and start when the orb starts moving rather than the smoky texture you have going up right before it rotates to become the tail. Other than these you have a great effect on your hands. If you make little tweaks like these to it to finish that last %10, it would make an amazing portfolio piece. Amazing job overall. Keep up the great job. Good luck on your submission and your career ahead!! Can't wait to play a game you worked on.
  • Presentation/Documentation/R&D: It's well documented, And provides details on the workflow (Concept Art, Result, Breakdown). Good. A very minor con: a different font could be used, as the one used for capital letters is very distracting. Technical: Demonstrated a good aray of techniques for common VFX production like Meshes and Shaders with panning textures. Good. Creative: Not the most original effect as the LoL inspiration is pretty clear. The effects works and is recognizeable. Colors schemes matches and the way textures pans is pretty good. What you can do to improve yourself; You MUST improve your sense of timing and execution. The VFX shown, while pretty and technically well done, has its timing feeling OFF. Build Up, Impact, Extinctions are here, but the overall execution feels off. For that matter, I would suggest you to : - Go on Youtube and check: The Artistic Principles of VFX ( Specially the Timing part, in your case. - Watch this: - To read Elemetal Magic vol. 1&2 by Joseph Gilland - If you can: Buy the VFX Apprentice Course made by Jason Keyser.
  • Here are some notes I made while looking at your project - Great use of colours - Effect is easy on the eye and is readable on the presented background - - Texture look very clean and in style. - Great use of meshes to lineout movement of the energy. - ArtBible is consize and to the point. -Very comfortable with creating materials. - Effect aprouches lol artstyle in colours, but misses the mark on animation and player feedback. -Lol effects highlight where damage will hapen before it happens. A player would find your effect unfair to play against as they don't know where they are in danger and where they are safe. - Turn on two sided on Explosion_Inst, the effect feels to heavy on the front because we can only see the side closest to us. -The effect lacks character during the projectile phase, it just kinda gently floats towards it's goal. You could try speeding up the projectile in the beginning and the end. -Does the effect do damage the first time it lands? It isn't very obvious if it does. But it also doesn't make sense for it not to do damage. -The crack remaining on the ground has high contrast which makes it look like it might do damage, try toning it down, or line it out better if it is supposed to do damage. -The chargeup effect still runs when the projectile gets launched, for a bit of punch, try a small pauze between the charge and the projectile launch effect. - Project is really messy - Lack of naming convention on the meshes and textures - Texture compression settings are incorrect, greyscale textures should use grayscale or alpha compression to save on memory. - None of the particles systems have thumbnails, no emitter naming. - Elements in the scene should have descriptive names , not sphere 6, cube 3 etc.. - Materials lack comments, the nodes run all over and through eachother (Use redirector nodes to help clean up your material and make it more readable) - I would have liked to see some progression and personal thoughts during the project. The effect looks really good, and you are clearly comfortable with a lot of the tools and workflows used to create these effects. What I would like you to work on is the reasons and motivations behind the effect. What are you comunicating to the player, and why? What is this orb, what will it do, when will it do it. And to be able to explain that using only the effect.
  • I really like the texture softness and overall colours. There are a few things that could improve the effect in my opinion. - At the moment there is a lack of timing and transition between stages (cast, fire, impact). Adding flash, flare between the stages could improve the effect overall. - With secondary impact, the crack ground texture could be expanded even more to indicate another impact, also a shockwave might help as well. In my opinion, the colours and style is pretty much there, just needs final touches in terms of timing, and some flashes/flares to indicate end/start for each stage. Good job overall!
  • Overall Thoughts: A very clean, stylized and well crafted effect with some subtle motion and a nice payoff at the end. Some smart use of meshes and shaders with a clear style guide, taking influence from Moba's such as LoL and sticking to a defined colour scheme. You've created 4 clear phases of your effect and they all read nicely with clean silhouettes, feeling impactful without being overbearing or causing too much on-screen noise; for reaction based competitive games, this is incredibly important. Areas of Improvement: First port of call would be to create some sort of precursor or tell to the start of the effect. A glint or flare, possibly a glow that expands outwards from the spot your ribbons are drawn to. This will pull the users eye to the effect before it kicks in. Allowing the player to not only see the effect in its entirety, but in reaction based games it provides a tell; a visual cue to let the opposition or your teammates know they need to be ready to react. It only need to exist for a handful of frames but it will have a big impact on the readability of the effect. A bonus to this is it will also help build up the tension of your first phase. The release of the projectile feels a bit lackluster, for such a grand build up in the first phase we want to continue this on and really sell the release of all that energy on the second phase. A quick punchy flash or lens flare at the source of release would do this. It would also be worth quickly ramping the brightness of your projectile to get that punch for the release (could also be applied to the ending explosion). Over-emphasizing the squash and stretch at the time of release would help sell the illusion of speed as well as playing with the timing of your projectiles animation to make it reach the peak of it's arc much sooner, as it then starts to slow and descend down to it's impact position. At the impact point you generate a crack decal. It's a nice touch but the weight of the projectile's impact doesn't have the intensity to sell the creation of a crack. Having the orb land on the ground, squash out (allowing for the ground to absorb the transfer of energy) and then bounce back up will tie the crack to the projectile and tighten the effect as a whole. Sending out a small, brief shockwave at the point of impact, which fades out just beyond the crack decal would also be a nice touch. The final phase and explosion has some nice timing to it, some clear beats and a satisfying pay off. It would be really nice to tighten that up once again to really sell the weight of this projectile imploding on itself and then exploding with a release of ethereal energy. Make the Orb grow larger, Hold it there at it's peak for about 0.25 - 0.4 of a second, quickly ramp the colour intensity (maybe even all the way through to white for a few frames) then suddenly collapse it in on itself as the explosion releases. In tandem it might be worth scaling up your "static energy" texture also to help sell the expansion of energy. Playing with the WPO (World Position Offset) on the orb as it expands will help the feeling of erratic or uncontrollable energy; again adding a tell for players of it's imminent and inevitable detonation. Overall it's a well balanced effect with a clean style, it's pretty performant and it does the job at hand. Well done! Thanks for you submission and I wish you all the best for your future career. VFX Artist @Sony Playstation.
  • Hello im a VFX artist from Ndreams: Nice colors and nice shape, i would say rise your timing skills more, the animation curve for the projectile for example, also in the air the projectile as the riot vfx style guide said , should be more solid, brighter in the middle for example. But that said, very good VFX!

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Jam Judge(+1)

VFX Artist on R6 Siege here: 

Well, nothing more to say than what I wrote in the feedback section. You just need to develop the artistic side, which in the end is more important overall. The tools can be learned quite easily, the artistic eye, on other hand is a bit more tricky.

That said, good job! Just continue on your path and never stop to learn. And one day you'll get there in a blink of an eye. 


Realy polished and clean effect, well done man!


Beautiful :0 Not sure if you can tell from my profile picture but i love oranges and purples haha


Lovely colors