Get up to speed with the techniques and pipelines for creating complex, high quality, AAA ready particle effects for your games!
This course will teach you how to create advanced particle systems using PRACTICAL REAL WORLD projects!
Particle systems and visual effects for games is a deep and complicated subject, and once you learn the fundamentals of the tools, it can be hard and frustrating to take your effects up that extra level to something that looks like it belongs in a new best selling game.
This course will teach you that extra step.
Good particle systems are not just derived from the behavior of the particles themselves. Their look comes primarily from their textures. Being able to create high quality, believable textures is a vital skill for creating effects, and this course will teach you how to do just that.
Learn by DOING
This course is divided into 4 projects, each intended to cover a different key facet of creating particle systems. In addition to this, we will have a final project that will combine all of these lessons into one complex, unique, and truly impression effect that YOU will make! For each project, we'll go step by step over not only the particle behavior, but creating their textures as well.
Downloadable project files to help you follow along and learn!
This course includes several .zip files that contain the Unity project for you to use, After Effects project files, and the finished textures so you can follow along with any portion of the curriculum!
This course will cover:
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In this video, you'll learn what particle systems are, and what they can be used for.
In this lesson on Particle Effects, you'll learn what different particle shaders are available in Unity, and the difference between Additive, Multiplicative, and Alpha Blended materials.
In this lesson on Particle Effects, you'll learn how to set the start values of your particles including size, speed, rotation, and more. You'll also learn how to change the shape of your particle emitter and how to control the number of particles produced.
In this lesson on Particle Effects, you'll learn about the different parameters of a particle you can control over its lifespan, including color, rotation, and size, allowing you to change the look of each particle over time.
In this lesson on Particle Effects, you'll learn about the Rendering module for Unity particle systems. You'll learn about the different types of particles including Billboard and Mesh rendering setups, as well as how to change your particle material and maximum scale.
Create a constantly emitting magical torch with some provided textures! Learn how to combine random rotation with the lifetime scale of each particle to create an organic looking flame.
Finish creating the torch! In this guide, you'll learn how to control particle properties with custom curves to create some pulsating rings and spinning light flares. You'll also learn how to control specific particle rendering types with the behavioral parameters to make some realistic looking sparks.
Instead of emitting our particles continuously, learn how to emit them in a burst to make an effect more akin to an explosion.
Finish up the Magic Burst by creating some star flares and a burst of smoke. You'll learn how to combine continuous effects with burst effects for more realistic behaviors.
In this lesson on After Effects, get familiar with the interface, learn how projects in After Effects are organized, and what compositions are and how they are different from After Effects projects.
In this lesson on After Effects, learn what layers are and the basics of how to manipulate them. You'll learn how to trim layers to fit specific time frames and how to edit parameters like their position, rotation, and opacity.
In this lesson on After Effects, you'll learn what Blending Modes are. You'll be introduced to modes like Add and Multiply and you'll learn how these can drastically change the look of your composition.
In this lesson on After Effects, you'll learn how to use the Masking system. Masks are immensely powerful and you'll learn how to quickly create simple masks and how you can use the Pen Tool to create your own complex custom masks.
In this lesson on After Effects, you'll be introduced to Effects. Learn how to use the Effects Controls panel and how effects can be stacked and combined to create very complex looks.
Get started making your own custom particle textures. In this lesson, we'll get familiar with the versatile Fractal Noise effect and use it to create a cloud of smoke.
Dive a bit farther into texture creation and learn how to combine Fractal Noise with other effects to create an arc of smoke.
In this After Effects lesson, you'll learn about Adjustment Layers and how they can let us combine Masks with Effects.
Learn more about the uses of Fractal Noise as we combine it with other effects to create some vertical rays of light.
In this Particle Effects lesson, we'll start creating the Pillar of Light. In doing so, we'll learn about the uses of Horizontal Billboards and Verticle Billboards for controlling our particles as well as the importance of the maximum particle scale.
In this Particle Effects lesson, we'll learn how to apply the collision module so our smoke slides along the ground, giving the illusion of dense fog.
In this After Effects lesson, you'll learn how to animate in the software. You'll learn what keyframes are and how to manipulate them as well as edit the length of your composition so that you have just the right number of frames.
In this lesson, we'll cover how to create specific shapes with fractal noise, and how to animate it so it can realistically decay.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to combine multiple noise and distortion effects to create a realistic turbulent smoke animation.
In this lesson, we'll learn about Texture Packer, a very useful standalone utility for quickly packing the frames from our animations into texture sheets that our particle systems can read.
In this Particle guide, you'll learn how to use our texture sheets to create particles with animated textures.
To create a more stylized particle system, we go over the Mesh particle rendering mode so our particle system can emit solid spheres.
In this lesson, we'll animate masks to create a texture for our sphere particles.
After Effects has it's own particle based effects. In this lesson, we'll learn the basics of how to use it to create a stylized smoke texture.
In this Particle Effects guide, we'll combine our 3d mesh particles with the textures we've made to create the final smoke puff effect.
In this After Effects lesson, we'll create the texture for the debris flying around in a tornado-like pattern. In doing so, we'll learn about Layer Styles, which will help us add a sense of depth to the texture.
In this Particle Effects lesson, we'll create the tornado at the center of the effect, and learn about how we can efficiently reuse textures in order to make our workflow more efficient, and take up less memory within our project.
For much of this course, we've been creating cloudy/atmospheric textures for our particles. In this lesson, we'll learn about how we can use the tools in After Effects to create crisper images like shards of glass.
In this After Effects lesson, we'll cover how to create the plumes of dust that emit from the shockwave and learn how to manipulate the Fractal Noise to emulate real world effects.
Now we'll create the individual plumes of dirt and debris for the shockwave. You'll learn how we can use texture sheet animation to randomize a particle's texture selection to make our effects look more organic.
In this Particle FX lesson, we'll learn what sub emitters are and how we can use them to instantiate many copies of our dirt plume effect for the shockwave.
As we finish our initial shockwave, we'll add a burst of light to kick it off. To do this, we'll create some radial light flare textures and learn how we can use adjustment layers to ensure that our particle textures aren't spilling out beyond the bounds of our composition.
In this After Effects lesson, we'll learn how to change the length of our composition after it has already been made and how we can combine the evolution parameters of multiple effects to give our effects a more liquid feel.
Now it's time to create some lightning! In this After Effects lesson, we'll learn about two different ways of creating lightning in After Effects: The Advanced Lightning effect, and combining the stroke effect with a mask and some turbulent displacement.
It's time to assemble the glowing orb at the heart of the effect. We'll combine the textures we made in the previous couple of videos along with some older ones to complete the orb.
In this Unity lesson, we'll learn about Unity's built in Animation window and Animator component, and how we can use it to animate various properties of our objects.
In this Particle FX lesson, we'll learn about how to animate many objects at once with a single anim file in order to control all the movement and particle properties of our orb.
In this video, we'll cover how to animate various properties of our particle systems like the emission rate and start size to make our orb decay over time.
Combine many of the effects we've covered in order to make a high resolution, organic looking ring for the aerial shock-wave.
To build the shock-wave itself, we'll use the texture we made in the previous video as well as combine some of our older textures with 3d sphere particles.
In this Particle FX lesson, we'll cover what particle trails are and how we can use them to create some energy tendrils that emit from our aerial shock-wave.
Now the the trials have been made, let's learn about how we can use curves to control physical properties like force over lifetime and drag in order to manipulate the behavior of our tendril particles.
Hello, my name is Tim. The simplest way to put this is that I like making games. So much so that I've delved into every aspect of their creation from art and animation to programming and sound. If I had to narrow it down though, my biggest passions within this field are 3d modeling and FX animation.
I studied Digital Arts at Chapman University and I'm honored to have won the "Best Art" award from the IEEE GameSIG competition two years in a row. As a freelancer, I enjoy working on a wide variety of projects. From small indie teams to multi-million dollar foreign companies, I love it all and look forward to the challenges and experience that each has to offer. Most recently, I developed a VR experience to show off an AI program at a technology conference in South Korea. It was an amazing experience that helped me practice doing more abstract art styles as opposed to my usual realistic models and effects.
During the summers, I teach at a company called Digital Media Academy (DMA) where I teach topics like VFX, 3d modeling, and game development to high school students. The courses there are pretty fast paced because we have to compress about a college course's worth of curriculum into a one week bootcamp. Thankfully, this means that I now know how to compress and distill new ideas and techniques to their most crucial components so that YOU can learn them as fast as possible and get on the road to creating your own amazing games, models, and effects.