I had the incredible fortune to kick-start my Visual Effects career with Gasket Games working in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Storm Ground, I joined them in July 2019 and stayed until the game launched in May 2020. Before this I’d only worked as a 3D generalist.
All of these effects were made in Unreal using Cascade and since the game is cross-platform I had to make sure they were optimized enough to run in the Nintendo Switch without dragging the fps down too much.
Note that all of these recordings were made before the game launched, while I was still in Gasket. Because of that these might not be an accurate representation of how the game looks today. Also, this was all recorded in engine and some present the assets in a different camera position than the game allows.
The effects that I enjoyed the most doing were those that animated the vertices of the mesh. I had already seen this tutorial before but hadn’t had the chance to implement it in something. This was a great opportunity for that so I translated it from Unity to Unreal and used it as a base for a lot of the super cool stuff I made. This is where my background as a 3D generalist and Unity helped the most I’d say.
These skulls were used in two different situations: for environment in the very first map of the story and for the gallows ability. I made blueprints, particle systems, and the animated shader for them while Lee Salo made the mesh and textures. This has no rig/armature or bones, it’s a static mesh with a fancy shader I made using masks, math, world position offset, and what I learnt from Andrey Torchinsky. The orbiting skulls use a material instance that adds a little bit of a curve so it adds to them swiming in circles since it’s such a long trail. There were three blueprints: spawner, forward movement, and orbiting movement. The first two were simple, the third one was a bit more involved and it included a functionality so that when it received damage it would launch them upwards while growing their orbiting radius.
The Maggotkin were probably my favourite faction to work with, I just had a lot of fun making their gross stuff. I did a lot of the VFX work for them. In this spotlight video you can see the big vomit (0:42) or the tongue ability (1:05), I don’t have individual videos of them but they’re well represented in this one.
The Nurglings have this ability to take some damage in order to spawn a corruption seed, which we represent as maggots. I made these with a world position tiled texture of the maggots and some more world position offset magic driven by a particle system.
Then we have the corruption itself. This one went through a lot of revamping since it was the staple of Maggotkin. For the final version I made a blueprint that would spawn some meshes (eyeball or tentacles) randomly in pre-specified positions and the material that also used world position for the textures to avoid a tiled look for both color and vertex position offset.
This is another one I’m really proud of. It is subtle but it really makes a difference. Note that this camera angle is never seen in-game, it was just recorded to show off the shader animation better. There’s three different models for the Gnarlmaw Tree, they all use material instances from the same shader, it’s a static mesh with no rig. I use 2 UV sets for the movements and one for the color textures (model and color textures not made by me), no texture files are used for the movement animation as I only used gradients and math, same logic I implemented for the flying skulls.
I also worked on a whole lot of particle systems, here are some that I thought relevant to add in here.