This is one of the refreshing, holiday scenes that typically inspire me (and make me nostalgic when I live far from the ocean). I first tried to process in Substance Alchemist some sand and pebble surface scans I did in Brittany a while ago, but lighting conditions on the field were not perfect and my scans were not good either, so I went for a material study in Substance Designer instead. This is what I came up with.
The material is 100% procedural, created in Substance Designer and rendered in Blender Eevee.
Some reference pictures from Beg an Dorchenn, Plomeur, France:
Some shader and particle study I did after work for the last couple of days, playing with Shuriken particles, Amplify Shader Editor and ShaderGraph in Unity 2020.3 and URP. This is spontaneous inspiration (the effect isn’t based on any particular reference), although there might be some seismic charge influence from Star Wars.
No VFX Graph here. I wanted to make some simple game fx, to work on basic features such as dissolve effects, shockwaves, distortion, and experiment a bit more with custom vertex streams to make the most of what shaders can do and avoid using scripts to controle them. The whole fx uses a single packed texture of noises and patterns I imported from Substance Designer.
Shader for the solid sphere:
Shader for the custom distortion effect:
I came back to it a few times to adjust the timing, bring improvements on the different parts and add some camera effect.
From something that looked quite linear at the beginning I managed to get to more interesting and punchier results I am starting to be happy with, although it could still be improved on some aspects (optimizing shaders, removing artifacts, adjusting timing again…).