Enable Particles

A beginner's look at how to enable different types of particles in Sequencer.

This page provides a beginner's overview of triggering effects in Sequencer and is intended for those who are new to Cinematics and Unreal.


Adding an Effect to Sequencer

Start by adding an effect to your Level. Do this by opening the Content Browser, locate a Niagara System asset, and drag it into your Level.

add particle to level

You may want to disable the Auto Activate property in the Particle's Details Panel, to prevent interference with how you want to control it in Sequencer.

disable auto activate

Next, with your sequence open and the Niagara System selected, click Add Track (+) and select Actor to Sequencer > Add ‘Niagara System'. This adds a track referencing the effect into your sequence.

add particle to sequencer

Once the track is added, do the following:

  1. On the Niagara track, click Add Track (+) and select NiagaraComponent0.

  2. On the NiagaraComponent0 track, click Add Track (+) and select FX System Toggle Track.

add component and add FX System track

Activating the Effect

Now that your effect is added to Sequencer, there are two main ways to trigger it depending on if the effect is meant to be continuous or singularly triggered.

Continuous Effects

For effects that loop indefinitely, you need to create Activate and Deactivate keyframes.

First, select the FX System track, ensure the dropdown menu is set to Activate, then press Enter. This sets an Activate keyframe on the particle system track which enables the effect at this time.

create activate keyframe

Next, move the playhead to a later point in the sequence by dragging it. Then click the dropdown menu on the FX System track and select Deactivate. This sets a Deactivate keyframe, which disables the effect at this time.

create deactivate keyframe

Now when you play your sequence, you should see the particle activate and deactivate at their corresponding keyframes.

play effect

Trigger Effect

For effects that are meant to only play once, and not loop indefinitely, you can use the Trigger keyframe.

To start, click the dropdown menu on the FX System track and select Trigger. This changes the type of keyframe to Trigger, which has no enable/disable states.

set trigger mode

Next, select the FX System track and press Enter to place a keyframe. You should now see your effect play.

create trigger keyframe

You can set as many Trigger keyframes as you want for the particle system. They will all trigger with their corresponding keyframes when the sequence is played.

multiple trigger keyframes

Animating Parameters

If your Niagara System contains User Exposed Parameters, you can animate them in Sequencer as well.

To access a parameter, click Add Track (+) on NiagaraComponent0 and select the Parameter Track. This adds a compatible Property Track for the parameter.

add niagara parameter track

Next, select the Parameter Track and press enter to create a keyframe, then move the playhead to a different location and change the property value on the track to set a new keyframe for that value. You can now play the sequence to see the parameter animate.

animate niagara parameter