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Create a Mesh Particle Effect in Niagara

Prerequisite Topics

This page assumes you have prior knowledge of the following topics. Please read them before proceeding.

Spawning a Static Mesh instead of a camera-facing sprite can increase the realism of the effects you are creating. In the following How-To, we will show how to set up a Niagara Emitter to spawn Static Meshes instead of sprites.

Mesh_Banner_01.png

Prerequisite Step: This How-To uses the Shape_Sphere Static Mesh, which is found with the Starter Content. If you have not done so already, make sure that this Static Mesh or the Starter Content has been added to your project.

Steps

  1. First, create a Niagara Emitter by right-clicking in the Content Browser, and from the displayed menu select FX > Niagara Emitter. The Niagara Emitter wizard displays.
  2. Click the radio button next to Create a new emitter from an emitter template. Then click OK to create a new emitter in the Content Browser.
    NiagaraEmitter_FountainTemplate.png
  3. Name the newly created Niagara Emitter FX_Mesh and then double-click it to open it.
  4. With the Niagara Emitter open, go to the Selected Emitter panel and locate the Render section. Click the Trashcan icon to remove the Niagara Sprite Renderer Properties module.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step03-RemoveSpriteRender.png
  5. Click the Plus sign icon (+) and from the displayed list, select the Niagara Mesh Renderer Properties option. This inserts the Niagara Mesh Renderer Properties module.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step04-AddMeshRender.png
  6. Expand the Mesh Rendering section. Click the dropdown next to Particle Mesh, and select the Shape_Sphere static mesh. 
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step05-AddShapeSphere.png
  7. Collapse the Render section, and expand the Particle Spawn section. Locate the Add Velocity section.
  8. Set the Minimum and Maximum fields to the following values.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step08-VelocityMinMax.png
    Property Name Value
    Minimum X: 0, Y: 0, Z: 400
    Maximum X: 1, Y: 1, Z: 980
  9. In the Sphere Location module, set the Sphere Radius value to 100.
    Mesh_Step9_01.png
  10. Locate the Set Variables module. Expand Particles.Lifetime to display the Minimum and Maximum fields.
  11. Set the Minimum and Maximum fields to the following values.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step11-ParticlesLifetimeMinMax.png
    Property Name Value
    Minimum 2.0
    Maximum 5.0
  12. Next, click the white triangle across from the Particles.SpriteSize and Particles.SpriteRotation properties, and select Remove for each property.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step12-RemoveSpriteVariables.png
  13. Collapse the Particle Spawn section, and expand the Particle Update section. Locate the Acceleration Force module.
  14. Set the Acceleration Z value to -500.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step14-AccelerationForce.png
    This negative value causes the mesh particles to go up briefly, then fall down. To have the mesh particles go up without falling, use a positive Z value.
  15. Click the Compile, Apply and Save buttons to apply and save the changes, and then close the FX_Mesh emitter.
    ME_09.png
  16. Right-click in the Content Browser, and from the displayed menu select FX > Niagara System. The Niagara System wizard displays.
  17. Click the radio button next to Create an empty system with no emitters. Then click OK to create a new Niagara System in the Content Browser.
    NiagaraSystem_EmptySystem.png
  18. Name the new Niagara System Mesh.
    NiagaraSystem_Icon.png
  19. Double-click the Mesh Niagara System to open it, then drag the FX_Mesh Emitter from the Content Browser to the Timeline.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step17_EmittertoSystem.png
  20. Click the Compile and Save buttons to compile and save your work, and then close the Mesh Niagara System. In the Content Browser, drag the Mesh Niagara System into the Level Viewport.
    CreateMeshParticle_Steps_Step18_AddToLevel.png

End Result

When complete, you will have a Niagara System playing the Niagara Emitter when you place the Niagara System in a level (like in the following video).