This project focused on environmental VFX for an underwater scene based on an illustration by Josef Barton. I hadn't worked with underwater environments before, so I had to do a lot of research and problem solving to get everything looking right. This project took 9 weeks to complete.
Figuring out how to translate some of the more abstract parts of the illustration into 3D challenged me in many ways. I spent a lot of time looking at real world reference for flora and fauna to make the silhouettes lifelike. I incorporated techniques like vertex painting, and flowmaps to make the magical swirls look smooth. I also explored using scripting in Niagara to affect the speed and color of particles based on how far the were from the center.
I had solve how to represent the school of fish at the center. I opted to use a combination of particle systems and a mesh with panning texture layers to show both the denser core and the looser groups around it.
I really enjoyed solving all these different visual and technical problems, and learned a lot about representing underwater environments and how to use meshes and materials for various effects.
"Waterdance" by Josef Bartoň: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/8enarQ