Create a Mesh Particle Effect in Niagara

This document describes how you can create a static mesh particle effect using Niagara.

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Prerequisite Topics

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

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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 upĀ a Niagara Emitter to spawn Static Meshes instead of sprites.

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 selecting FX > Niagara Emitter. The Niagara Emitter wizard displays.

    SE_01.png

  2. Click the radio button next to Create a new emitter from an emitter template and select the Fountain Template. Click OK to create a new emitter in the Content Browser.

    Click image for full size.

  3. Name the newly created Niagara Emitter FX_Mesh and double-click to open it.

    ME_02.png

  4. With the Niagara EmitterĀ open, go to the Selected Emitter panel and locate the Render section. Click the Trashcan icon to remove the Niagara Sprite Renderer Properties module.

    Click image for full size.

  5. Click the Plus sign icon (+) and select the Niagara Mesh Renderer Properties option. This inserts the Niagara Mesh Renderer Properties module.

    Click image for full size.

  6. Expand the Mesh Rendering section. Click the dropdown next to Particle Mesh, and select the Shape_Sphere static mesh.

    Click image for full size.

  7. Scroll up to the Emitter Update section and expand it. In the Spawn Rate module, set the Spawn Rate to 100.

    Click image for full size.

  8. In the Particle Spawn section, expand the Initialize Particle module. Under Sprite Attributes, uncheck the boxes for Sprite Size and Sprite Rotation.

    Click image for full size.

  9. Under Point Attributes, set the following values for Lifetime.

    Property Name

    Value

    Minimum

    2.0

    Maximum

    5.0

  10. Under Mesh Attributes, locate the box for Mesh Scale. While not necessary for this example, you can check the box to enable Mesh scaling and adjust the settings as you like.

  11. Expand the Add Velocity module. Set the Minimum and Maximum to the following values.

    Click image for full size.

    Property Name

    Value

    Minimum

    X: 0, Y: 0, Z: 400

    Maximum

    X: 1, Y: 1, Z: 980

  12. Expand the Sphere Location module. Set the Sphere Radius to 100.

    Click image for full size.

  13. In the Particle Update section, expand the Gravity Force module. Set the Gravity to X: 0, Y: 0, and Z: 500.

    Click image for full size.

    A negative Z value will make the mesh particles go up briefly, then fall down. A positive Z value will make the mesh particles go up without falling.

  14. Click the Compile, Apply and Save buttons to apply and save the changes, then close the FX_Mesh emitter.

    Click image for full size.

  15. Right-click in the Content Browser and select FX > Niagara System. The Niagara System wizard displays.

  16. Click the radio button next to Create an empty system with no emitters. Click OK to create a new Niagara System in the Content Browser.

    Click image for full size.

  17. Name the new Niagara System Mesh.

    NiagaraSystem_Icon.png

  18. Double-click the Mesh Niagara System to open it, then drag the FX_Mesh Emitter from the Content Browser to the Timeline.

    Click image for full size.

    Instead of steps 15-18, you can also right-click on the Emitter in the Content Browser and select Create Niagara System. This creates a system based on the Emitter you selected, at which point you can name it and open it.

  19. Click the Compile and Save buttons to compile and save your work, then close the Mesh Niagara System. In the Content Browser, drag the Mesh Niagara System into the Level Viewport.

    Click image for full size.

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).

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