I created this example project for a Tech Art Class I gave for SAE School Australia. It is an extension of my previous project called “One Shader to Rule them All”. The basic idea of both projects: (Almost) all materials are based on only one (super duper) shader to speed up the creation of vfx materials. In addition I wanted to learn more about stencil buffers and challenged me by making a magical card with a little interior inside and a dragon being able to peek out of the card.

🔗 Project & Breakdown on Artstation
💾 Download Project Files
📑 Visit WIP Thread

Sound by Daniel Hawk
Idle state to show off the dragon peeking out of the card and sparkles & trails which have their origin “inside” the card and can extend into the “outside”.


The use of UV Distortion for fire was inspired by the work of Johan Karlsson: https://realtimevfx.com/t/sketch-10-jqarlsson/4235/16
For a quick setup for these swoosh-trails, I’ve made a Blueprint allowing me to deform a tesselated plane via spline.
This idea was inspired by the Portal from Chris Murphy: https://youtu.be/WzeeXMcui_0
Tutorial about the displayed particle gate: https://youtu.be/h_t0c2J8bBE
The updating is all done via Blueprint events which are called from the sequencer.
A small overview about the many iterations I did for this effect. More details in my WIP thread: https://realtimevfx.com/t/simon-trumpler-vfx-sketchbook/4177/314

Thank you for looking at my breakdown! I hope you liked it :)

Have a great day,

Class Feedback

fantastic. showing examples in Photoshop (channels etc) and 3D package (UV deform) were extremely helpful for us to understand concepts you are explaining in UE. Thank you Simon. Great pace, explained at a great level (even for this old brain to keep up) Really engaging. Much appreciated
amazing: Going through how to do stuff step by step and explaining everything that is happening.
It was lovely! I feel like I learned a lot. Can’t wait to play with the files. Thank you :) I have so many fun ideas now
It was very interesting! Most of this information is new to me, but its good to get a picture of what the course will look like! Keep up your good work.
Thankyou so much Simon! Great Tutorial!

Sources & Inspiration

3rd Party Meshes

Quadruped Fantasy Creatures: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/en-US/product/7f7775996f7442b187f6fa510ec9d289?sessionInvalidated=true
Infinity Blade Grass Lands: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/en-US/product/infinity-blade-plain-lands

3rd Part Textures

Noise Textures by Luos: https://luos.gumroad.com/l/bouSt
Noise Textures by Niels Dewitte: https://www.nielsdewitte.be/index.php?page=Pages%2FVFExtra.php
Noise Textures by 1MAFX: https://1mafx.gumroad.com/l/14Noise
Stylized Meadow Grass: https://www.texturecan.com/details/287/
Sandy Trail: https://www.texturecan.com/details/265/
Sky Photo by Dewang Gupta: https://unsplash.com/photos/aATI6lXTPqE


Spline Meshes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKIiWa19EMI
Getting Started with Technical Art in Unreal Engine 4 with Chris Murphy: https://youtu.be/WzeeXMcui_0
Card VFX by Silver Yuan: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/L3d6Yr
Card VFX by Silver Yuan: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/9mvAky
Card VFX by Silver Yuan: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/3oA9YA
UV Distortion for Fire by jqarlsson: https://realtimevfx.com/t/sketch-10-jqarlsson/4235/16
Impact by Yuqing Shi: https://twitter.com/Lasphir/status/1618298181154115585
Fire Impact by wan qi: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/WK5JYQ
Portal by Lyle Yang: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/nE5WL6
Portal by Vfx_haley: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/8wg2aq
Card Portal by cgHow: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/lRldJo
Card by Anton Sjöholm: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/OokRVK
Dragon Breath by Nazar Kosteikov: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Arleo5
Dragon Breath by Tyler Bradley: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/oVmmJ
Fire Impact by semen almashev: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Len4aK
Lost Ark Monster Kaishtter Skill FX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Cnvc7J69DY
Unreal Engine 4 – Dragon Breath Fire Effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYfOtb0UUcQ
Dragon Breath Making of – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXup89pfpkk
Game of Thrones – Season 7 | Breakdown Reel | Image Engine VFX: https://youtu.be/o-FWbHExno4?t=37

One thought on “The Unreal Stencil Dragon

  1. Unreal Engine

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