MATURE CONTENT: The Last of Us Part II: Car Ride; Fire and Smoke FX, Horse Death FX

FX I Contributed Horse Deaths When horses die, I applied two versions for horse deaths dependent on which surface type the horses die on: mud/water splash FX for wet surfaces and dust/debris FX for hard surfaces. If the horse died on a hard surface type, it’d leave behind dust and debris. If the horse died on a wet surface type, it’d leave behind mud and splashes. This was done by adding splasher-object-state ‘Dead to the death horse animations. I then took the object state I had created for the anim and added it to the splashers I created for the horses, so when the animation got triggered by the player killing the horses, the FX would play depending on which surface type the horses would land on, whether that was a wet (mud-thick, water-puddle, etc) or dry (concrete, stone, etc.).

FOB Car Ride I worked with Character and Script to get the gore FX working appropriately for the horses; before they weren’t working correctly because the horses didn’t have UVset3 setup and were using the wrong surface type, and the blood-and-gore part mod was not loaded. There was a lot of collaboration on this. Another VFX artist had set up the systemic gore gun FX, which after the bugs were fixed, the gore on horses were working as intended. When Abby and friends get past the bridge, they get ambushed with molotovs down the alley. I hand-placed the molotov-trail effect to the molotov bottle animation the scars were throwing. The effect was already premade by another VFX artist, I simply hand-placed it through EFF with appropriate positions. The molotov effect on the humvee was a collaboration between the lead VFX artist and myself. I duped the molotov effect from the master molotov effect, and removed FX that was not needed. I used expressions so it would work better with velocity and the humvee for this specific instance. I also set some of the children spawned from the molotov to work with FG objects, because initially it was flagged to work only with BG. The lead VFX artist then took what I had put in and brought the molotov particle effect to polish.

When the molotov hits the trucks, through EFF I keyframed custom fire fx (repurposed materials, but I created custom fire particles from scratch) to start on the windshield, hood, and roof of the humvee.

The fire FX on the windshield and the roof was made from a flipbook I got from video footage; I edited the footage in After Effects CC, exported the edited footage as targas and imported those into flipbook-gen, which then were exported into a flipbook. The material was duped from a pre-existing fire material, and I replaced the textures and adjusted the material to work appropriately with the particle.

The Fire on the hood particle was created from scratch, and I used a pre-existing material and texture. I duped the hood particle from another fire particle I had made, so it can be custom for this bespoke moment in the game. I used expressions so when the molotov hits, flames rolled
up from the front of the hood towards the windshield, and over time, they would die down slowly into small smoldering flames. This is the same particle that is used on the roof of the humvee, as well.

The windshield particle I had made from scratch, along with the material I made long ago that was repurposed. I worked closely with the lead VFX artist on this specific particle to reach the fidelity we needed. For the flames on the windshield, I took in feedback from the lead VFX artist and applied rotation, different sizing, and a spread that would cover the driver’s windshield since the character states he “can’t see”. This particle too, I used expressions so that when the molotov hits, the flames are bold and bright, and slowly over time, as soon as the humvee hits the ledge and drops down, the flames die off.

As the truck was rolling down the hill, I used expressions on the particles to dictate when the fire began to die out. Midway down the hill, before they crash, I have the fire on the windshield die out first. Then, after the humvee crashes, the fire comes to a low smoldering flame on the roof and hood of the humvee. Smoke fills the humvee and disperses into the air. The smoke particle was duped from a pre-existing smoke effect; the expressions and color were adjusted to spawn appropriately for this moment.

June 29, 2020