This project was about exploring Real-time VFX in Unreal engine and what you could do with different elements to create the illusion of a burning match. I wanted to make everything from scratch and by that, I mean everything from particle systems to pixel & vertex shaders to textures and the model. To finalize it I created a blueprint and put all the components together and made them be driven by an event and a timeline.
My idea was to use this is in an adventure game, possibly a cave in a dark forest where the player triggers an event where it is dark and needs to see. The player would be able to get a close up look at the match.
The stick shader is made of a vertex shader. By manipulating the positions of the vertices and comparing their positions both in local and world space I created several abilities regarding its deformation, scaling and, bending. I later masked out these results using a ramp, driven by the stick-bounding box length.
This was made of a pixel shader and the main components for this were to create a flipbook and use a camera sprite. One challenge I had with creating the fire was to make the fire scale different but keep its essential form depending on from what angle you looked at the match. I am quite proud of how the dynamic sprite sheet turned out. By manipulating the UV coordinates and scaling them using the camera’s rotation it creates the illusion of the fire burning around the stick and the overall volume of the sprite sheet. I later used different noises to pan the UV: s giving it a more organic and random feel.
I made this using both pixel shaders and particle systems. I wanted the fire to act quickly and behave naturally. Therefore, I used a flipbook of four different textures with distorted UVs. The particle systems’ key components were to create a burst effect and control its initial velocity. I later made a smoke effect created with a decal made with an alpha channel which I then used inside my particle system. For the smoke, a key feature was to manipulate its alpha over life and then giving the decals a random rotation.
The blueprint is made by a triggered event and the components are triggered by values in a timeline.
All textures for the stick where created in Substance Designer. The fire textures where made by photos I took and later eddited in photoshop. For the stick fire texture i masked out diffrent portions and stored them in sperate rgb channels.
You could also see some reference images i used in Unreal down bellow.