General information

Date completed June 2019
Role in team Solo Project / Developer / Visual Artist
Environment Unity 2019.1.8f1
Language C#

Description

Since I’ve started experimenting with Procedural Art, I’ve been mesmerized by the possibilities. Since I had a bit of extra time on my hands, I decided I should learn how to use the VFX Graph made by Unity. The VFX Graph enables you to make complicated particle systems with millions of particles, without crashing your PC.

Iteration

To make beautiful art, there is no other way but to iterate multiple times on your project. The first thing I did was simply the most basic particle system there is in the VFX Graph and play around with the variables. I then continued to follow along with a few tutorials and started to understand how to make my own graph.

My first VFX Graph

I was quite content with this first work of mine, but I wanted to have a bit more influence on the way it behaved, because as of right now it just did its own thing, regardless of the surroundings. To make this happen, I followed another tutorial and applied what I had learned to create the following: a contraption that always follows the player, giving them a platform to walk on.

It works by calculating the distance from the player to a specific particle (which looks like a simple cube) and decides at what height that particle should be based on that calculation. If the distance is 0, obviously the particle has to be at the height of the player, so the particle forms a platform for the player to walk on. If the distance is higher, the height should also be increased, up until a certain threshold.

VFX Graph based on player position

In the end, I decided I would love to make the particle system react to music, so I made it into an Audio Visualizer. I created a simple C# system in Unity that enabled me to add any variables and change them based on the volume and frequency of the music.