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Learn how Vertex Animation Textures (VAT) provide an efficient and powerful solution for recreating complex and non-traditional animations and FX in real time. Because VAT only uses textures and shaders to achieve the visuals on the GPU, it has a much lighter performance impact on the CPU, compared to traditional skeletal mesh animations. These lessons use the VAT 3.0 which offers a more streamlined workflow, additional advanced features, and a lot more customizability.



Simon is a tech Artist that loves building procedural tools and assets. By adding more and more procedural approaches to his workflow, he is able to build 3D models with speed and flexibility. During his studies at Digital Arts and Entertainment, he taught himself how to work with Houdini. After his studies, he started working on Ary and the Secret of Seasons at eXiin. Currently he is a Houdini freelancer and focuses on creating procedural content.

More from Simon Verstraete


  • gaisitabo 2 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Hello, the downloaded Unitypackage project file is corrupted.

    • Simon_V 2 years, 2 months ago  | 

      Make sure to use the latest Unity version ( 2021.2.0b9 or higher ). Then create a URP project with that Unity version and once Unity opened, click on the package to get the content in your project.

  • sanford 2 years, 2 months ago  | 

    my project is on 2020.3 LTS, which version do i get? and are there any tutorials for the older versions? thanks!

    • Simon_V 2 years, 2 months ago  | 

      The version that I mentioned is highly recommend ( 2021.2.0b9 or higher) because new version has new shadergrapgh features.
      Check the Install video here above and around 2:25 you have multiple package you can try for older unity versions

  • ptmarks 2 years, 1 month ago  | 

    Hi, I really appreciate all of your work on this topic. I hope to be able to apply it to my own work if possible. I have a few questions and comments regarding the current state. First, I don't see any color with the particle example using Unity 2020.2.0f1. I think one of my earlier attempts I was able to get color in the particle sprites. Unfortunately because I updated the SideFX Labs toolset it overwrote the previous versions, so I've lost that work. I remember stumbling across a video that showed a hack by going into Shadergraph and cross connecting nodes to get color, but can't find the reference. Hopefully you have some tips.

    Also, is there any reason you can't create a new version folder when updating the toolset and not delete the previous versions? I've had to throw out two previous WIPs, and now have started creating archived copies of the json files so I don't inadvertently destroy future work.

    One final note, your latest version forces URP 12.0 when using the URP_VAT3 json. This is the only one with presets, and since the videos don't show what the settings are in the presets it is difficult to use the URP setup with earlier versions of Unity. Unity 2020.2x currently is no where near ready for real work, so it would be nice to be able to stick with a more stable version and still have all of the benefits of your efforts.

    Thanks again for all of this work. It's a super important topic and again hope to be able to leverage it to its fullest.

  • dsn 2 years ago  | 

    Hi, I follow the steps then install VAT plugin with Package Manager.
    But the ShaderGraphic shows error. The sub shader graph shows error message.

    I have tried different Unity version (2021.2.0f1, 2021.2.1f1), but both the same.
    Does the problem cause by URP12.1.0? Because the both Unity only support URP12.1.0

    • Simon_V 2 years ago  | 

      I had a similar issue a while ago, it seems that due an Unity update some subgraph features are not properly working anymore.
      What worked for me was using the 2022 Alpha version

  • dsn 2 years ago  | 

    Thanks, now shader graph no error on 2022 Alpha version.
    But I have another issue now.
    The fluid example seems misses parts (https://drive.google.com/file/d/14bXANyqW0NjvGuvr2SWhl3Dn3lVpEXae/view?usp=sharing).
    Any solution to fix it?

  • LIUKUN_0718 2 years ago  | 

    The same error is shown in URP12.1.0 or 12.1.1

  • wsstuantran 2 years ago  | 

    Hi! , I test Vat with Houdini 19 and unity 2021.2.3f1 ( I just starting learning houdini), I do all the step setup like video above both cloth sim and RBD sim but I just show black material and mesh .The simulation animation not working , If anyone just meet same issue? (sorry I not really good at english).

    • infinate 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

      Same behavior occurs with Unity URP 2021.2.5f1. No errors in the console. Mesh appears black/unlit with no animation inside Unity. Followed the Cloth/Soft Body video for setting up the asset.

      • wsstuantran 1 year, 5 months ago  | 

        Sorry for too late reply my friend , I solve this problemb , Its because the setting of texture format in unity I dont remember exacly option for that (maybe RGBA 32 bit) .

  • MrMochi 1 year, 7 months ago  | 

    The Project Files dont include a unity package. It just another zip folder named "Archtemp". I am not able to install the project files. Perhaps it needs to be reuploaded

  • MrMochi 1 year, 6 months ago  | 

    Is there anyway to get these VAT to work with VFX graph or Shukiren? You can pretty much just plug these into Cascade in UE4 and they work as particles. Does Unity have a similar pipeline?

  • Faykod 1 year, 6 months ago  | 

    Hello Simon, im wondering what to do with the bounds Min/Max parameters in the shaders. Where do I find the correct values?

  • UnlikeView 1 year, 2 months ago  | 

    Does it support HDRP unity?

  • penshooting 1 year, 1 month ago  | 

    If you find your result is weried, you can try to toggle your Color Space to Linear.

  • wangdonglai1902 1 year ago  | 

    we need support HDRP unity

    • Maruan Anbaki 5 months, 1 week ago  | 

      Make a copy of the shader graph within VAT package
      ; and change the shader to hdrp
      ( all this within a unity hdrp project )

  • ljianwen161 11 months ago  | 

    The VAT3 has no utilities.hlsl which made me unable to really implement it into my project.

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