[Riot Art Contest] - Yanni Tripolitis

Yanni
polycounter lvl 6
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Yanni polycounter lvl 6
Hello :)

I'll be taking part as well!! First time participating in a VFX competition and frankly I have to say it's slightly intimidating but really exciting.

I've got quite a few ideas of elements and approaches for those two effects but nothing solid to show yet.

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  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    Hello,

    Apologies for the late update, I wanted first to have something solid to show and not just random ideas. After experimenting with various approaches, elements and colours the final idea for one of my two spells is a dark “necromancer” like spell, which could be the ultimate skill of a champion. I was always a fan of spells that had lots of blacks contrasted with bright colours and since I'm doing it for a necromancer I think black and shades of green could be ideal.
    The aim of the spell is to crowd control the enemies or split up them up should they want to avoid it*. The necromancer summons three souls from the Abyss to attack random enemy champions in a range around the caster. All three of them are unique and affect the enemies differently, one will snare them, another will silence them and the third will deal damage and return part of that damage as health back to the caster. Each soul will attack one single enemy but multiple souls can affect the same enemy causing the debuffs to stack but not to refresh.

    To create this spell I will require the following particle systems:
    • One particle system for the cast of the spell by the “necromancer” sphere.
    • One particle system for the souls/skulls/trails projectiles.
    • One particle system for the impact.
    • One particle system for the application of the debuff effect of each soul.

    I will be using UE4 to create the effects and 3Ds Max and Photoshop to create the assets and the textures.

    *The spell is most effective when at least 3 enemies are around the caster, so the best way to avoid it would be for the team to move away from the necromancer and only leave your team’s tank/initiator near to allow all three souls to attack them instead, leaving your team’s carries and damage dealers safe.

    Colour Scheme and Concept:

    As mentioned above the colour scheme for the spell will consist of three shades of green and one pure black. I didn't want to use complementary colours because it might get too “noisy” in motion and lose its signature colour pattern.

    Apologies for the mistakes in perspective (good thing you can’t see my doodles :P), painting isn’t my strongest part.

    As seen (I hope) in the picture, the “portal” to the Abyss will spawn below the sphere and once open wavey black lines of various thickness will emerge as well as thicker ribbons that will “fly away” and distortion to indicate the air coming out from the Abyss.

    Once the portal is open the three souls will come out. The souls will be embodied with dark skulls that will blend in with smoke. I want the skulls to be barely visible and not the focal point of the soul, almost like a shadow with some highlights to give the idea of the shape. From each skull, similar to the portal, lines, embers and ribbons will follow the movement of the soul. As each soul is flying, heading toward the enemy, the ribbons will create an ethereal-like trail of the souls’ movement.

    Ideally, for better player feedback, the souls need to look different so the (supposedly) player knows which soul is chasing them. In all honesty though I haven’t decided yet how each one will look different.

    3D Version:


    Below you can see the initial rough version of the effect so far. Environment lighting and geometry isn't done. 

    I’m not sure if we are allowed to receive feedback, but if we are I’d really appreciate any criticism.

    As soon as I have something worth showing, I'll update my thread again. Thank you for taking the time to read my wall of text .


    EDIT: Links to images were broken.

  • Sirhaian
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    Sirhaian polycounter lvl 3
    Woaw! Looking really nice! :O
    Can't wait to see the actual animated effect! :D
  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    Hello again,

    first of all apologies for the late update. Unfortunately I haven't got as much free time as I would like to spend on this project so the updates have to be one every one or two weeks.

    I have decided to make some changes to the effect (more to come). After seeing the "Tales of the Black Mist" trailer, I realised that my effect could easily suit a champion who belongs in the Shadow Isles background. So far all the champions that come from the Shadow Isles are dark or skeletal-like with smoke and various shades of green. Based on this style I've modified my effect so it could better fit the LoL game.

    The skull mesh for the souls has been reworked and updated. It now reads better from a distance and it's more stylised without much detail. The colour scheme has also been updated and it's now got a hint of blue.

    Below is a draft version of my effect, most of what you see will be improved. Consider this a block out and a rough experiment of how it will look. The souls and their animation paths haven't been touched, I'll first focus on the main effect and then move to the souls, their trails and the impacts.

    Thank you


  • Sirhaian
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    Sirhaian polycounter lvl 3
    Uwa! This looks so nice! o_o
    The style is just perfect. Love it!
    Maybe the skulls are a bit slow. Excepted if it's like the Twin Shadows item's active.
    (http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Twin_Shadows)
    No, really, it's an awesome work! :o
  • THendersonVFX
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    THendersonVFX polycounter lvl 3
    Outstanding wispy smoke! Any advice for creating something like that? Did you sim it in a 3D package, or make it from scratch in Photoshop? I really need to get better at making unique smoke textures, so any advice would be great.

    The only feedback I can offer is that the bright energy swirls stop a bit too harshly. If you could make them fade more as they reach their peak above the sphere. Because they are much brighter than your other elements, it is more noticeable when they "pop" out of existance
  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    Thank you for the feedback guys and I'm glad you like the effect (so far). The wispy smoke is actually the only thing I've spent time on. It's painted in photoshop, 4 different versions used in random with some distortion so they don't look static and alpha erosion.

    I'll do something similar to those swirly meshes, they need more definition and better variation. The idea is that as they go up the shape will get eroded (some VFX artists hate this term so I'll call it "eaten away").

    As for the animation paths you are right it is indeed quite slow. I haven't edited the speed at all, I will try and make them more dynamic and smoother some time this week.

    Thanks again :)
  • Klemen
    Nice one Yanni, you're staying true to your concept. I think you could afford to make the skulls a bit bigger, a lot of the nice detail gets lost at a distance.
  • THendersonVFX
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    THendersonVFX polycounter lvl 3
    I think the black streaks for the skull trails stands out and contrasts a bit too much. It looks good for the levitating elements around the sphere, but seems out of place for the ribbons. A darker shade of green, or something like deep purple may add a bit more to it. Also, adding trailing particles at the base of the skull where the mesh and ribbon meet will help break up any hard intersections the player may see; possibly some smoke like the stuff around the sphere.
  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    Hello again,

    apologies for the late update, after some issues with my home PC (dem graphics cards man..) I've finally managed to spend some time on it over the weekend and the past week.

    First of all due to time constraints I have decided to change the purpose of the spell. It no longer CC's random enemies in an area, instead it will be a single target damaging spell.

    In detail,

    ACTIVE: You create a portal to the Shadow Isles and summon three Souls to attack your selected enemy champion. The Souls can only travel a certain distance from the initial casting point with 60% (+/- 10%) of your total movement speed when casting the spell. If the target dies before the Souls reach them, they will disappear.

    Moving, casting spells or using items while the Souls are summoned will close the portal and force the Souls to disappear.

    Casting Range: 800
    Max Distance: 1200
    Cooldown: 150
    Soul 1: 10% of Target's Maximum Health
    Soul 2: 15% of Target's Maximum Health
    Soul 3: 150% of Total Damage Dealt by the other two Souls

    The idea behind it is that the spell works best in close range and it can be used to force the enemy champion to retreat, should they want to avoid the damage. Items such as Banshee's Veil (or skills like Nocturne's Shroud of Darkness) are a great counter to the spell, because it works best when all three Souls manage to deal damage. The downside to the spell is that it greatly makes the caster vulnerable to CC and damage and renders them useless to cast any other spells while the Souls are summoned.

    As you will see there are quite a few things added/removed or changed, with the most important change being the colour scheme. The silhouette/form of the spell is more clear and readable and the souls are now more "concentrated". If I've got time left I might make the portal slightly 3D so it doesn't look flat when seen with a low camera.

    Bare in mind that the effect is not done, I'd say maybe 80%. Currently the spell doesn't have a beginning and an ending, the Souls and their trails require a lot more work and the impact will have things added (to differentiate the 2 first impacts and the third which deals different damage). The main body of the effect is done (excluding beginning/ending), depending on how much time I've got left after I finish the second one I might get back to it and add some things that I want (such as upwards blur).

    Lastly for my second spell I'm thinking of creating my own take either on Malzahar's ultimate (Nether Grasp) or Karthus' ultimate (Requiem).


    Please ignore those 3 lines that appear at the end of the effect, it's the trails resetting their position - this is not part of the effect and it will be fixed (too tired at the moment).

  • sgtscience
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    sgtscience polycounter lvl 5
    Great work man. And an lol fan I appreciate the descriptions and thinking behind the effect as an in game spell/ability. I was wondering how you controlled the souls in Ue4. I just started using it, so any insight would be cool.
  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    Hello,

    I'm happy that you like my effect so far :). The description only aims to put a "background story" to the effect, same way an environment artist adds a story to their environment, it helps me with the aesthetics and the purpose of it. I also like coming up with my own spells :P

    The animation for the Souls is nothing complicated, I just created 3 animation paths in Max using the Line Tool, imported them as AnimSets to UE4 and then attached the particle system to them. That way you get more control of timings, rotations and motion. Plus animating in Unreal directly is incredibly annoying. Hope this helps =)
  • sgtscience
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    sgtscience polycounter lvl 5
    Yes that's very helpful thanks. I thought you could do that with UE4. I need to dig around for more documentation on that.
  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    Hello,

    it's been 3 weeks since I last updated my thread.. damn time goes by fast.

    So as I had said last time, for my second spell I will be doing my own take on Malzahar's Nether Grasp. I decided to slightly change the description of the original spell, to suit my own purpose and to somehow fit in the "build up" requested.

    ACTIVE: You infuse your energy from the Void and after a brief delay you channel it to the target enemy champion to suppress them and deal magic damage every 0.5 seconds for a total of 2.5 seconds and while the channel holds.

    Range: 700 units
    Cost: 100 MP
    Delay: 1 second
    Cooldown: 80 seconds
    Total Damage: 550 HP

    Unfortunately due to time constraints I will not be showing a video today but only a screenshot. If I get some time tomorrow maybe I'll post one, otherwise I'll just share the final video next week.

    Thank you
  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    Hello again,

    the video of my current WIP is below. There are quite a few things that will be added before the final submission.

    Thank you
  • Yanni
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    Yanni polycounter lvl 6
    For the last time in this thread, Hello!!

    I submitted my final video today and here it is...

    https://vimeo.com/115030854

    I'm happy with the final result, but I could keep working on it for 3 more months if I could :)

    It was a great experience and a very fun project! Now off to celebrate the holidays! Merry Christmas to everyone :D
  • Flylink
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