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Ultimate VFX - Massive Visual Effects and Particle System Collection

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by MirzaBeig, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    @hopeful

    Will do! In it's current state, it's best for massive particle fields because emission isn't quite working right. And I was only able to get stretched particles by speed (a Shuriken feature) working in 2D. Both of these things can be fixed, but I'm still learning about all of this stuff for the GPU as I experiment. Lots of things are planned, and I'm currently limited most by my own lack of experience with GPGPU. A lot of this stuff would be easy if I was doing it on the CPU.
     
  2. Sentrigal

    Sentrigal

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    Right... for some reason I haven't even considered the amounts of data we are talking about here. I had only considered latency. That is indeed a bit ... problematic...

    However, I think the most important event thing would be collisions. And other than some sub emitter magic, you probably wouldn't care which particles you collided with, only with how many. Other interactions could be solved on the GPU I'd wager. Like reducing lifetime of the particle and what have you. I'm imaging say a flamethrower here. Which would probably look absolutely gorgeous with 50k particles :D
    And if you knew the amount of particles that you collided with per frame, you could basically build the whole weapon with the particle system. Without doing some approximations based on wonky timing and some shady math. So that sounds kinda useful to me. But... I guess you'd still have to store at least one integer per collider in the scene... might also become a problem, don't know... hm... Well, luckily for me that's YOUR problem :p
    On the other hand, what is a single integer against the growing amounts of VRAM, right?

    Ah, yes. Good old Unity... well, that certainly sucks. Would be interesting to know if there's a pattern to that. I mean, if it only affects GPUs from say 2012 and before, it might be worth to make it a checkbox or something. Otherwise, yea, that's a problem...


    Yep. I suppose a picture says more than a thousand words, so this one is from Wikipedia:


    But again, it's not that "I want" that, it's just some random idea I had. Not actually sure if that's useful at all. If I tried, I could probably come up with some cool scenario where it would be invaluable to have that but... I might be stretching it here xD

    Eh... yea, sure. I wrote a multi-threaded voxel engine once. And that thing melted half of my brain. So... I don't even understand the scope of your problem here, guess you are on your own with that one :p

    Haha, I can tell you that I want my damn flamethrower! But what I meant is, I'm not really asking for features here, I'm just kinda brainstorming. I think it's because this whole GPU thing is so intriguing. I mean, my graphics card apparently has 1664 cores. That's so much processing power I can't even get my head around it... it's like suddenly having access to a damn quantum computer or some alien tech. But I simply don't have the time to learn this stuff right now, so talking about it with some random people online is all I got :D


    Edit:
    Haha! Just downloaded the beta and played around for a bit. You better step up your game now, it's pretty cool stuff :p
    Though the beta really feels like a beta right now, everything is kinda laggy and I get random errors...
    Also, I have a feeling these updates will spawn a whole bunch of threads crying about performance. The lights, the noise... throw in collisions and your little system can really hurt your CPU I'd wager. Even more reason to finally get a good GPU system on the store :D
    Or a multi-threaded Unity for that matter <.<
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  3. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Guys... the Unity 5.5 beta is available for everyone as of today:
    - https://blogs.unity3d.com/2016/08/30/get-the-unity-5-5-beta-now.

    The particle system just got its next super overhaul. WHY DO I EVEN BOTHER, LOL.

    But really, this stuff looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!







    Now, to be fair, the new noise module for Shuriken doesn't do exactly what the turbulent force affector does in UVFX 2.5. Because I'm assuming it applies it to the entire system. Whereas with UVFX, you can either apply it as a component directly to the system, place it in the world and apply it only to the individual particles that come within range from any system, or only to particles from a set of systems that you can define in the editor.

    Plus, you have the GPU variants and vortex + attraction affectors as well. And on top of that, you can attenuate the force by distance for any of these with a curve if you want.

    However, I'd imagine because the noise module is native to Shuriken, it may outperform even the GPU variants head-to-head. This is something for testing later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
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  4. hopeful

    hopeful

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    On the other hand, think of all the cool new things you can do when you put your artist's cap on. :)
     
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  5. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Well, that's true! I'm really looking forward to abusing the new trails.
     
  6. hopeful

    hopeful

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    That's exactly was I was thinking you might do. :)

    I don't know what exactly, but I suspect you'll come up with some good stuff!
     
  7. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    You know me too well. :)

    Definitely need to step up my game! I also tried multi-threading particles for the turbulence force affector before moving the core to the GPU a while back. The experimental copy is still sitting there...

    Anyways, I did get that emission problem partially fixed for the GPU system. It's unlikely that the GPU system will be released with 2.5 now - it's in too much of a hacky state. I originally just wanted to get the turbulence stuff finished for this version (which I did). Even though Unity is integrating noise with Shuriken, it's impossible to do some of the effects I posted earlier without the force affectors.

    Like this one:
    - http://gfycat.com/AdmirableFreshAmericantoad
     
  8. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Hi @MirzaBeig,

    One thing to remember though is no matter how good unity make that new particle system it's still a tool and someone has to make the effects. Your VFX pack contain a mass of really really really nice looking and well made effects. All ready to just use. That alone is a massive time saver for those who are great artists. For non artists it still is the best option IMHO.

    So in theory these tools are just more you can use to make more great effects for the rest of us. Whether as separate packs or additions to the existing ones.

    :)
     
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  9. KodiaRok

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    I didnt see anything yet about Mobiles..I know its a bit intense but would it work on mobile for let's say a Shockwave or Implosion / Explosion Effect?
     
  10. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Hi @NeverCon

    Yes, Ultimate VFX will work on mobile.
    It's mostly a collection of Unity particle system prefabs, so there's no issue of compatibility.

    That being said, the included prefabs are not in anyway thoroughly tested on mobile platforms for performance and as such, are not optimized for those devices. Performance on mobile depends on several things, and a major contributor to loss of FPS is overdraw + the amount of pixels an effect takes up on the screen.

    There are, however, some obvious recommended steps to take into consideration when porting:

    - Swap the shaders to use the Unity mobile particle variants.
    - Reduce particle counts on the particle-heavy effects.
    - Increase the alpha and brighten up the colours for effects that are heavily layered while reducing the particle emission rate.
    - Reduce the texture size and quality settings from the texture importer.

    There are updated Windows demos available here:
    - http://www.mirzabeig.com/products/ultimate-vfx/demos/

    You can also build your own effects that are mobile-optimized from the start!


    If you let me know which effects you're interested in, I'll port some of them to mobile for you myself to give you an example of what's possible.

    I have a Galaxy S5 I can test on, so I'll upload the Android .apk for everyone to try out.
     
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  11. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Just started the upload to the Asset Store for v2.5.0. It includes everything mentioned so far except for the GPU Particle System, since it's still in an untested and in-progress state (after roughly fixing the emission stuff).

    As usual, anyone who already owns UVFX can send me their invoice number (PM or e-mail) for the latest copy!

    This version will require (at least) Unity 5.4.1f1.
     
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  12. MirzaBeig

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    Even with the update awaiting approval, I've added several prefabs to the XP Titles expansion (the one best suited for game menus, title screens, credits, and so on). The last effect from the second link is my favourite so far and the total prefab count is almost at 260.

    - http://gfycat.com/ClassicRemorsefulChameleon
    - http://gfycat.com/HoarseLavishAnkolewatusi

    They really show off the new force affectors (the same ones from the v2.5 update) which won't be possible by default even after Unity 5.5's Shuriken improvements. But I'd REALLY like to make something similar with the new trails module. I think it would look even better.
     
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  13. hopeful

    hopeful

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    @MirzaBeig - I really like the FX in the second link. Can the vortex in it be run in reverse, so instead of pushing out it is sucking in?
     
  14. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Absolutely! You'd simply reverse the forces (ex. 25 -> -25). Actually, what I'll do right now is look into making a video tutorial for the force affectors and see if I can have that up online in a few hours (or by tonight).
     
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  15. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Done! I set my recorder to a high bitrate, so there's considerable stutter in the Unity editor, but the force affectors actually have great performance even with several thousands of particles (even before compiling).



    I may have started mumbling a little bit when I started talking about the different ways you could use the affectors (locally, globally, specifically), and how you can move them around. You can use the offsets built into the component interface, but you can also just move the game object itself along with freely rotating it.
     
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  16. blackbird

    blackbird

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    which particles are the gpu one ?
     
  17. hopeful

    hopeful

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    @MirzaBeig - The update notes for 2.5.0 are confusing. It might be good to clarify them, and to also clarify the status of UVFX 2.5.0 for Unity 5.4.1 versus the new particle situation in Unity 5.5.
     
  18. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    @blackbird

    Only the force affectors have GPU variants you can use. If you go to add a new component and type in "GPU" you should see them listed.

    @hopeful

    Good point. I think I drafted the notes a bit before Unity 5.5 was announced for beta download and didn't realize it could be confusing for people after. I'll draft a new version right now for the 2.5.1 patch. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know!
     
  19. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Also, for everyone, here's my current plan for next steps now that Ultimate VFX 2.5 is out!

    - I have a patch available that adds several new prefabs for the XP Titles expansion set and some bug fixes to the new force affectors. It's live here: http://www.mirzabeig.com/products/ultimate-vfx/downloads/.

    - I'll be hoping to add some more video tutorials for the force affectors -> showing how to do cool and interesting things with them.

    - In a few days, I'll upload the demo that can be added to UVFX separately.

    - And of course, focusing on pushing out a copy of the GPU Particle System for everyone to try. This will be the main focus for the next release.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  20. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    GPU Particles were giving me a headache, so I downloaded Unity 5.5 and made this in two minutes using just default particles. It's amazing! Going to import UVFX 2.5 and see what else I can do.

    upload_2016-9-21_7-41-13.png

    Also, I just checked out the beta forums for 5.5. This thread is making me reconsider continuing working on the GPU system:

    - http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/custom-particle-data-in-shader.429501/

    Alright, got UVFX 2.5 + the 2.5.1 patch in Unity 5.5.0b4 without any import issues. It's looking good. :)

    upload_2016-9-21_10-1-36.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  21. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Hi @MirzaBeig,

    This is why I said there's still a place for UVFX. That took you 2 mins but would have taken me a couple of days learning the particle systems and then a bunch of time being artistic.

    Looking forward to seeing what you produce:)
     
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  22. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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  23. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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  24. ZaZy

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    Hi @MirzaBeig,

    First off, thanks for all your hard work on Ultimate VFX and making it available at such a reasonable price. Some of your latest prefabs are truly impressive and I can't wait to integrate some of their components into my project.

    The challenge is though, that my project is on mobile and as you rightly pointed out the main issue with mobile is overdraw (but also texture memory). On PC, transparent rendering is not such an issue so testing overdraw optimisations doesn't give you comparable results to actually building / pushing to a device and profiling that.

    The main issue I have encountered while using some of the UltVFX prefabs on mobile is sprites with large areas of fully transparent pixels causing a lot of overdraw. An example of this is the 'tex_vfx-ult_particle_sprite_point' texture but also the spritesheets for effects like rain or snow.

    To give you an idea of the magnitude of performance impact this has, I created a simple Unity project to run a cut-down version of the 'pf_vfx-ult_demo_psys_loop_smog2' prefab with the fire and smoke particles removed (I only wanted the embers). I then trimmed the ember sprite from 512x512 to 256x256 by removing the excess transparency pixels:
    (512x512) ------->(256x256)

    To compensate for the larger appearance of the particle in the sprite, I simply reduced the 'Start Size' of the ember particle system by half. I also tried using the Mobile>Particle>Additive shader but this didn't give me any improved performance so I reverted back to the standard particle additive shader to retain the tint. So what I ended up with performance-wise is the following:

    (48ms frame-time) ------>(26ms frame-time!! )

    So I essentially doubled the framerate (i.e halved the frame-time) by simply trimming the excess transparency area from the base sprite and halving the particle size to compensate. This is only the start as there could be further optimisations applied but the scope of this post is purely on overdraw.

    In conclusion, I don't mind doing this sort of basic optimisation myself but I suspect that you could achieve a better result, especially for the more complex effects (snow etc). Is there any chance you would consider integrating this type of overdraw optimisation to the base prefab sprites and spritesheets in the future ?

    EDIT: Fixed some typos
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  25. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    @ZaZy

    Thanks for this detailed breakdown. I've been aware of this issue for a while, but I didn't realize the magnitude of the performance impact it was having. Of course, the more particles there are on the screen, the easier it is to notice as it starts adding up.

    I haven't been able to edit the images as efficiently since I haven't had Photoshop in quite some time. The latest textures I added to the package were made using GIMP (and I really don't like it...). This isn't to explain the empty space - especially since that particle you mentioned is actually the first I ever made, and it was done in PS. But it does make me slower to edit in general. The good news is that cutting out empty pixels is pretty straightforward. I'll just have to be careful to keep the resolution to a power of two so that compressing it in Unity doesn't change the size again.

    It's going to be tedious to edit all the particles and prefabs, but I'll start the process with the most obvious textures like the point sprite:

    upload_2016-9-24_22-24-17.png

    Maybe I can find a plugin or write my own. Or just find some one-click built in autocrop for transparency.

    EDIT: Yup... found it. I'm currently working on something, so I'll continue this in the future.

    upload_2016-9-24_22-45-40.png

     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  26. ZaZy

    ZaZy

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    Yes and square aspect for PVRTC compression compatibility. I haven't deployed to iOS yet but from what I read Unity still requires square textures for this (correct me if I'm wrong).

    This makes optimising the 'tex_vfx-ult_particle_sprite_droplet' sprites a bit more challenging (see screenshot below). The best I could come up with is a bit of a hacky solution involving single row texture sheet animation coupled with a stretched billboard o_O

    upload_2016-9-25_19-50-59.png

    Thanks Mirza that would be much appreciated, it's not urgent and in the long run will make porting future releases of Ultimate VFX to mobile easier.

    Thanks again for your time and keep up the good work ! :)
     
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  27. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Just wanted to drop an update:

    I just got a license for the entire Adobe CC suite, and v2.6 is close to being pushed to the store.

    upload_2016-11-13_0-7-31.png

    Prefab count exceeds 270 as well! :)

    upload_2016-11-13_0-12-33.png

    upload_2016-11-13_0-13-9.png

    upload_2016-11-13_0-14-10.png

    Some textures have been updated for performance, and texture import settings have been selectively modified to balance quality and size/compression.

    I've also made this tutorial video which includes some of the new prefabs included with UVFX 2.6:



    This update has been fully tested on the latest line of Unity 5.5 beta releases, and will be released for that version.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
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  28. Blackbox514

    Blackbox514

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    Hi,

    I just bought Shuriken To Sprite sheet and I'm getting an error as follows: The type or namespace name 'ParticlePlayback' could not be found.

    I'm using Unity 5.4.1.f1 and also have the Ultimate VFX Particle Pack v2.5 installed with the latest patch from the Asset store so I'm up to v2.6 I suppose.

    Any ideas?
     
  29. Blackbox514

    Blackbox514

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    [UPDATE]
    Hmm... I fiddled with it in Mono and seem to have fixed it.

    Here's what I did. In ShurikenToSpritesheetEditorWindow.cs there was missing the following line:
    using MirzaBeig.EditorExtensions.Utilities;

    Also, I needed to delete a couple of redundant "ParticlePlayback" as follows (ie ParticlePlayback.ParticlePlayback -> ParticlePlayback) which was strange.

    I'm not sure if this was due to my own setup or the package itself.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  30. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    @Blackbox514

    Hey, sorry about that! I think it's due to the packages, so it's not your fault. It's most likely that Shuriken to Spritesheet needs to be updated to follow the same folder structure as UVFX. I'll look into it! If you still have similar issues, just e-mail me with your invoices for both and I'll send you direct downloads that are up to date.

    If you've applied the patches, the version of UVFX you have will be 2.5.1.
    2.6 will have a lot more :)

    I've submitted it to the store, and it should be live within the week.

    Here's a video showing how to make one of the newest prefabs in UVFX yourself:



    More can be found here and here.
     
  31. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    v2.6 has been released on the asset store! I've also made another tutorial:

     
  32. hopeful

    hopeful

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    @MirzaBeig - Hey there! :)

    I'm running Unity 5.4.2f1, and the store doesn't seem to think this latest update of UVFX is for me. It doesn't indicate that I have an update available. Should I download it anyway and see what I get, or is the update only for users of 5.5?
     
  33. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    @hopeful

    Hello! :D

    This update is 5.5+ only. The newest prefabs have started to heavily integrate all the nice new features of Shuriken (you can see how I made some of these in the tutorials). I already have several more prefabs and a few textures ready for another update, as well as ideas for tutorials on breaking them down.

    Just a note: unlike before where I could still provide the package directly for older versions, my cross-version export/import tests failed, so I don't think it would work between Unity 5.4 and 5.5.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  34. blackbird

    blackbird

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    5.5 is still beta you should stick to official one its unfair against your supports who want to use it for commercial with unity 5.4 and below and once you update it you lose the old package to be honest this not funny
     
  35. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    @blackbird

    Hey there!

    Don't worry, you haven't lost the old package. I haven't even deleted it:

    upload_2016-11-18_14-46-45.png

    If you use anything less than 5.5.0, you should automatically be able to download the 5.4.1 version. If you use 5.5, then you should get the newest version. v2.6 of UVFX uses features that aren't even available in previous versions, which is why it's a 5.5+ update only.

    If for some reason the Asset Store is giving you trouble, you should still have a local copy which you can find (assuming you're using Windows) here:

    C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Unity\Asset Store-5.x\Mirza Beig\

    upload_2016-11-18_14-49-1.png

    I'm also not the only publisher who does this (from the ProBuilder page):

    upload_2016-11-18_14-49-58.png

    Let me know if you still have issues.
     
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  36. hopeful

    hopeful

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    I'm looking forward to 5.5, and will updating Unity as soon as that release becomes official. ;)
     
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  37. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    I'm very close to pushing another update to the store. Another expansion was finally released on the Asset Store (after weeks of waiting). UVFX owners already have everything in it. :)

    - Storm VFX

    Next update will be another price hike for UVFX and more awesome content (new textures, texture updates, more prefabs, and so on). Here's a preview that improves the XP Titles expansion pack! It'll also be released as a standalone in the future. Prefab count is around 300 now.

    - Particle-Based Title Screens (animated GIF/Gfycat)

    upload_2016-12-14_23-54-21.png

    upload_2016-12-14_23-55-11.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  38. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Great work on the title screens! :)
     
  39. MirzaBeig

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    Thanks! The update has been submitted. The total prefab count exceeds 300 now, and I have over 200 textures (sprites/spritesheets) for the particles.

    That's the good news. I also have some great news...

    I went over and edited a large majority of the textures and was able to cut down their sizes without sacrificing a great deal of quality. The package is much smaller, yet has many more 8k texture spritesheets with 1024px^2 per frame and 64 frames (I might actually edit these later to be 4k, I think 8k is... overkill). The newest textures are for fire and smoke.

    upload_2016-12-16_20-2-21.png

    Also, here's a demo of a fireworks system that's in the new 2.6.2 update.

    - Fireworks! Animated GIF/Gfycat.

    I'm expecting the update to be live by the end of next week.

    - Updated WINDOWS demos.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  40. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Smaller textures are better, but do try to keep the high quality in there. :)
     
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  41. fieryben

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    Hello. Nice package you have here. These are full 3d particle effects and don't have a plane or something similar that just faces the camera? I know some effects are created like that. Thanks.
     
  42. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  43. fieryben

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    Right. Thanks for your answer. My main concern is that I will be using this for VR so it would be weird if I use a billboarded sprite texture and the player sees the effect directly from behind.
     
  44. Firlefanz73

    Firlefanz73

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    This exploding mouse trail looks useful for a FIREBALL or similar Magic spell :)
     
  45. MirzaBeig

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    More effects and a new component is inbound for the next update! It's based on the After Effects plugin, "Plexus". You just throw it on a particle system and configure a few values to create the sort of network-like effects you see in the demo video below.







    And UVFX is due for another new demo video to showcase all the effects, so I'll likely be recording that in 4k (the last two videos were tests for running UVFX with a 4k screen resolution at a solid 60fps).
     
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  46. pixelsteam

    pixelsteam

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    Great, perfect for my project. When do you expect it to be live...
     
  47. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

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    Posts:
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    I could send you the component itself right away, but I've run into a problem connecting a monitor to the computer I was using. I won't be able to access it until next week. If you send me a reminder next Wednesday, I can have it ready then!
     
    pixelsteam likes this.
  48. pixelsteam

    pixelsteam

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Posts:
    924
    @MizaBeig Any news on the update?
     
  49. MirzaBeig

    MirzaBeig

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Posts:
    527
    @pixelsteam

    Hi there! I have full access to my desktop now, so I can send you the new component. Can you PM me your invoice number? Thanks!
     
    pixelsteam likes this.
  50. vice39

    vice39

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2016
    Posts:
    90
    Hey all,
    I am using this asset with my VR game, running on Unity 5.5 and using SteamVR. After I added the asset my game crashes when I build and run it. It will crash right after the splash screen. If I build with "developer mode", it works. If I remove this asset and build, it works. The log files do no provide any useful information.

    Any ideas how to troubleshoot this?
     
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