Visual Effects Artist Roundtable 2014


For those who can make it to GDC, here’s the schedule for the 2014 Visual Effects Artist Roundtable!

Wednesday 11am-12pm
Thursday 10am-11am (Focus on Lighting and Rendering)
Friday 11:30am-12:30pm

You’ll notice one small change is that Thursday’s session will focus on Lighting and Rendering. I’m expecting that session will still interest everyone here, and hopefully it will bring in some new faces too.

As always the conversation will be about whatever you guys want to discuss. If you have thoughts about a topic you’re interested in, please post it here and I’ll try and make sure we have a chance to cover it. To get us started here are some things on my list:

• Anyone using raymarching in their effects?
• How are the new consoles changing your approach?
• Tricks for making the best VFX for Oculus/VR?
• Anyone baking offline fluid sims (i…e fumeFX) for realtime rendering (beyond sprite sheets)?
• Anyone using realtime, 3D fluid sim in a game?
• What are your favorite techniques for high end mobile VFX?

Reply with whatever you’re curious about it and can’t wait to see you guys!!!

If you’ve never been, the RT’s are awesome both for tech hints and for networking with your peers.

The Tech Art roundtables (separate from the VFX one) are wed 5-6, thurs. 530-630, and friday 10-11. I dont think there is a technical animation round table this year, but there is the Animation and Character Performance RT which is intended to get riggers, technical animators, and production animators talking to each other :wink:

Ppfff, I miss doing these roundtables. Have fun !

( Please take notes :slight_smile: )

Ill be taking notes at both roundtables hopefully. Also theres a meetup though not sure on time (so far either wed or thu 6-9) so maybe make it a tech art and vfx meetup :slight_smile: Also interested in tools for vfx (Photoshop/engine side)

Roundtable notes here!

Meant to drop in on one of these, really sorry that I missed both of them:


Yeah, this is what happened on Rocksmith 2 – we ditched Gamebryo’s (lol) internal VFX solution for Fork. It was ‘better’, but isolated in a lot of ways – particles end up feeling like a thing that lives off in a bucket all by itself.

When we were doing evals a while back, the solution that we really liked was HellHeaven (which is now called…PopcornFX? – it was pretty fully-featured, offered scripting support, and all kinds of other stuff. We were worried about performance (and a lack of shipped titles at the time), so we went with Fork.


This, exactly. This is what we do here - we’ll actually use something like that (a tool running in Unreal/Unity/etc) during pre-pro/lookdev and use that as leverage towards helping us get what we want.


I’m less concerned with FPS and more interested in what you’re using to get the effect that you’re showing me. Did you make this in Maya? Unreal? etc. I’m interested in seeing that you know how to build things out in interesting and novel ways – some big crazy effect in Unreal using particles, animated textures, custom shaders, etc etc etc is what I’m looking for. Impress me first – I see a lot of artists (this isn’t limited to VFX) who are so inside their own head about optimization that they end up cutting themselves off at the knees, and all it does it limit their development. We’ll optimize later. Make it look good first.

Other notes off the top of my head:

PBR – really excited about this, and even more so for stylized visuals. Look at Monsters University, for example.
fluid sim – I’ve been looking for an excuse to do the ‘sim in houdine, bake to mesh, bring into maya/engine’ workflow since I saw Eben @ Naughty Dog’s talk on it last year. This will be huge moving forward.

I’ll add more thoughts/musings later.