Shadow Magic Portfolio Piece - Real Time VFX
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Hey maggie!
I think the concept is cool! However, it shows a little more aggression in effect than your actual effect, which is really cool! I think your effect would benefit a lot from looking more like this.

Right now your elements are working a little against each other. As if you have this symbol coming into play covering the swirling particles (after 4 seconds) but not responding to the vortex exploding and turning into a projectile (around 16-17 seconds in). The same goes for the large symbol that is slowly growing. It does not respond to the projectile or does not support it at all. Both elements should help build the projectile in one way or another.

For example, you might have the first symbol covering the vortex shrinkage for a very short period of time just before the projectile fires and the vortex explodes into particles. This could be the queue for the other icon to quickly grow out and slowly fade out. But please experiment how you can support the projectile.

The particles that shoot out when the projectile is formed (16-17 seconds) and shoot must be really faster in the beginning and then slow down. To do this, use the "Limit speed over the service life" module in Shuriken. (You should be moving 5x faster at the beginning, but slowing down pretty quickly)

The same applies to the impact, these particles also move too linearly. Start quickly and then slow down just like you animate the large mesh column that comes in. I like how the column looks a bit like a tornado in your concept and is kicking up particles. Try experimenting with the Velocity over Lifetime module. There are settings for the orbital movement there that could make this possible.

When the ray net hits the ground (after 17 to 18 seconds) your smoke particles are too transparent and too late to play. I think that's because it spawns out of the beam. You can make it appear farther out by increasing the radius of the Shape module and changing the radius thickness to a value close to zero. This causes the smoke to approach the edge of the radius. You can use a hemisphere as the shape for the particles that will shoot out when the beam hits the ground as well.

Overall, I think the concept and the idea are very nice. If the effect looks like your concept, you are well on your way to getting a really cool dark magic effect! Stay tuned and don't forget to post your work in progress if you'd like more feedback.

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