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Aaron Aikman

Lead Technical Artist, Graphics


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Made shaders, vfx, tools, rigs, and provided project-wide troubleshooting


~8 months

Description of Work

  • Created shaders for characters, environments, and vfx
  • Made filters for Substance Painter to improve Character artist workflow
  • Rigged characters and props
  • Created character skill and ambient visual effects
  • Set up anim blueprints and in-engine rig solutions in Unreal Engine 4
  • Created post process materials for screen space effects
  • Profiled and improved performance
  • Developed tools for improved animation workflow
  • Provided troubleshooting support for art team and engine-specific knowledge for engineering
  • Wrote documentation for art pipelines

Shaders & VFX

I created textures, shaders, and vfx for characters and environments throughout the game. Much of the game has gone through evolution since I worked on the project. I worked on post process effects for an xray vision ability for an unreleased character. I also made things like post process effects for grappling and launching, and vfx for landing and hit effects. My favorite effect I worked on was Ziggy’s first ultimate where he turned into a huge pink storm cloud over the entire map that sent down powerful lightning strikes, but alas that didn’t make it past design iteration.


Below you can see the shader work I did for Ziggy’s head. There’s a Fresnel alpha out effect, in addition to the noise convolution in the pixel shader. In the vertex shader, I mostly used some basic math to create wispy gaseous movement.

Drifters_ZiggySelect GIF

You can also see the gas of his body visible through the window in his chest and in his gun.

Drifters_ZiggyEmote GIF

Here’s another look, with some ambient stuff I worked on as well, such as enemy target beams and environment console screens.

Drifters_ZiggyActionEmote GIF

Ziggy’s head used in-engine rigging solutions to convey a sense of the gas drifting behind him.

Drifters_ZiggyShooting GIF


Here, you can see the small details in Sumo’s eye and skin shaders that I worked on.

Drifters_SumoSelect GIF

I did the first pass of his rig and created animations for his visor and eyes.

Drifters_SumoEmote GIF

I worked on explosion, shotgun, and grapple vfx.

Drifters_SumoAction GIF

Here is a version of his Slam attack and jetpack effect that I worked on.

Drifters_SumoSlam GIF


Full Trailer

For more project details, please visit the Official Website

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Aaron Aikman is a Lead Technical Artist, Graphics with 8+ years of experience. He focuses mainly on shaders, pipeline, and problem-solving.