Thanks for the critique guys. I honestly appreciate honest constructive critique. However, while I do agree on some points, I disagree on others. I'm not trying to sway the vote, but I do have strong opinions on this effect and design methodology in general, and I'd like to engage in this interesting debate.
First, Phantom Hoover's critique. I do agree that my effect looks slightly more regular than the original effect, but I would only relent that it only looks slightly
more regular. Getting rid of the regularity was a huge part of the design process. When I was designing this, I iterated so many times that the return for my effort was getting less and less. I made 13 different warpmap folders, each with about 20-40 blend files ( I increment and save like crazy. Old habit). The earlier versions looked ok in still frames, but once they animated, the regularity was unbearable. Once I got to where the effect currently is, for me, it became close enough that it was worth putting the iterative process on hold and submitting this effect. Getting 5% more quality was starting to take exponentially more time. I intend to let my subconscious work on the problem, and one day, I might revisit it.
Additionally, the 3D warpmap tends to compress the effect on the outer edges, adding to the regularity. I don't know if it's the shape of the model itself, or the uv map.
Now for mjn.mixael's post:
I agree that there are plenty of opportunities to add artistic flair in other assets. I really like Nyctaeus' Hecate. It took what I thought was something of a muddy implementation of the design, and fleshed it out, and it even looks a bit more consistent with the Orion now, and consistency in design aesthetic for a particular race is really important in my opinion.
As for my subspace effect, I think there could be some
room to add a little bit more detail in the "ripples", but I believe the broad, definable, larger shapes are absolutely essential to achieve the charm and mystique of the original effect. Adding tertiary detail would need to be a very careful process, because trying to improve on what I already believed to be an incredible design concept and implementation for the warp out effect (referrring to retail version) could ruin the effect entirely. Too much detail, instead of looking realistic, could look fake as well, too muddy, poorly defined, etc. The watery nature of the original effect is an important feature to retain, and tertiary detail, if done wrong, could make it look cloudy. So I'd say trying to slightly improve an already great effect (again, not bragging. Talking about retail) is the last, non-essential step.
Not saying I won't revisit adding tertiary detail in the future. I may try to improve on the effect by messing with the original concept in the future. In short, I think the larger shapes of the original are the most important feature to retain, otherwise, it's a completely different effect with a different impact. I always loved the original quality of the retail effect.
Admittedly though, you guys got me thinking about it, but I got other responsibilities right now so, maybe later.