My waterfall VFX was predominantly made as learning experience, to see if VFX could bridge my love for programming and art
Since my Capstone game, I've been looking to get into VFX and Technical Art. So I decided to use a challenge by Harry Alisavakis to start learning. I began by reading Joseph Gilland's Elemental Magic, an excellent book on the fundamentals of SFX. I have some plans in the future to start a project for the sake of learning some more!
'The wind Rises' by Hayao Miyazaki
To start the project out, I looked around for some references. I found a Gif I liked from "The wind Rises' by Hayao Miyazaki. Since this was my first real Shadergraph work, I decided to keep it simple. Analyzing the elements from the source, then attempt to recreate each piece before bringing it back together.
To start, I sketched out what I thought each element that made up the work. I came up with the river foam, the edge, the fall distort, the river foam shadows, edge elements, and finally, the splash.
Using a tutorial from , I learned a method of creating perpetual shapes. Combining a gradient texture with a noise texture, then passing it through a smooth step function. The tutorial increased the gradient to make a smooth fade-in. However, I animated the noise texture instead, creating a moving water-like element. This process was applied throughout the project and was a huge help.
As for piecing each element together, I wanted each component to be separate, to allow reuse later in other places. Here's an exploded view of what the waterfall looks like minus the splash.