FX, FX, and more FX!

30 November 2018

FX Engine Updates

Eric Mintzer

The fx engine may have appeared good on its cover, but behind the scenes there were nuances which costed us development time to upkeep fx and create new ones. Also, the fx engine had a large performance hit to both Crescent Sun load time and GPU ram. I performed a major cleanup to the backend this month which makes building fx much simpler and improves performance. And yes, tutorials for building your own FX are coming soon!

New FX Pack

James Johnson

To coincide with an updated FX engine, I’ve created 7 new FX for Crescent Sun! Some are evolutions of previously included FX, some are all new creations, and some are dreams realized, FX our old FX engine couldn’t handle. These FX weren’t just made to look great on their own, the goal was to build several FX that worked well when layered together in varying orders, so experiment with them all! Many of these FX are complete, but that doesn’t mean they won’t gain more features in the future. The rest of this dev blog will go into detail on these new additions to the server.

Glow, Frame & Echo

James Johnson

These are the simplest FX added to the Crescent Sun media server in this update. Glow does exactly what it says on the tin, lighting up parts of the image with a bright glow! Frame is a bit of a niche effect, which generates borders within your video. For the moment it has two modes, lens, which creates a lensing distortion, and CRT, which reminds of viewing footage on an old CRT tv. Echo creates feedback based echoes and gives you the option to spin and zoom them as they fade out.

Camera Shake

James Johnson

I’ve found a great way to match the intensity of a buildup is to simulate camera shake. Control the intensity, the speed, and the zoom of your own earthquake with this effect. In addition to the surface level controls there is a seed selector, to change the randomized shake, a Zfix option that tries to help keep the zoom contained, and if it doesn’t, there are several options for how to extend the image if the edges become visible. Hold and Zero work great for logos and Mirror works well for footage.

EX: Combining Camera Shake & Echo


James Johnson

A popular visual effect is making your modern video look like aged footage, and growing in popularity is degrading footage to bring back waves of 90s video cassette nostalgia. Using the new VHS FX, add noise, damage the colors and edges, and introduce some wobble reminiscent of a shoddy vhs player.

EX: Combining VHS & Frame

RGB Offset

James Johnson

Yet another popular effect is to introduce chromatic aberration, or an RGB offset. Real chromatic aberration occurs due to imperfections in camera lenses, causing the red and blue to be offset in opposite directions more towards the edge of the image. This effect seeks to emulate that and then some, building upon a previously existing effect in the server. You can swap between a more realistic lens shaped offset, or source your offset from the affected video itself. Not only can you perform a basic offset, there are controls to add a separate wobble to each individual color channel. Additionally, it’s easy to select between offset modes, with a traditional Red/Green/Blue (RGB) mode, a Cyan/Magenta/Yellow (CMY), and several 2 color based modes that look great on logos.

EX: Combining RGB Offset & Glow


James Johnson

Sometimes, to make something look better, you’ve got to make it look worse. In the spirit of glitch art and breaking things in general, Destroyer is the first in an upcoming line of glitch based FX. The main aspect of this effect is a horizontal warping glitch effect, with some larger scale horizontal and vertical displacements as add-ons.

EX: Combining Destroyer & RGB Offset

2018.1.71 | __________ | 11/30/2018 | TD099: 25850

-FX_Glow added
-FX_Frame added
-FX_Echo added
-FX_CameraShake added
-FX_RGB_Offset added
-FX_VHS added
-FX_Destroyer added

-Improved load time for Crescent Sun
-Significant speed optimizations during workflow on massive stages
-GPU RAM usage reduction

-Fixed issue where you mapping window gets stuck behind the main window