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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for Game Developers Conference 2024.

You will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App. The GDC 2024 app will be available for download in Apple Apps and Google Play late February 2024.

Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

Visual Effects Summit: Technical Tricks for VFX: Fake Volumetric Sword Swipes and Curling Smoke Rings

Gregory Oliveira da Silva  (Senior VFX Artist, Beyond-FX)

Matias Mahler  (Senior VFX Artist II, Beyond-FX)

Location: Room 3006, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Showcasing the use of simple math and some smart 3D techniques to fake volume on effects. The speakers go over the tricks to create a volumetric Laser Sword effect in Unreal, using Niagara to control visual properties of the material and to pass position and rotation data to the shader to achieve a smear effect while keeping the volumetric glow around it. Also, this sessions explains how to use Dot Product and Cross product to control the rotation of 2D particles inside Niagara in a way to fake a twirling motion of dust in the wind. As a result, the left side of the ring to rotate to the right, the right to the left and the center won't rotate at all.


Attendees will leave with a better understanding on how to fake volumes with planes using shader tricks, and how to use position transformations and interpolation to create a smearing effect on a mesh, and some basic Niagara workflows to put the whole effect together. Other than that, attendees will understand vector math a bit better, being able to do separate rotation behaviors based on the position relative to the camera.

Intended Audience

Intermediate Realtime VFX Artists looking for insights on how to use vector math and transformations on their shaders. The talk is mainly focused on covering the math used inside the material, which can be insightful not only for Unreal user, but for any other Engine as well.

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