Book Image

Build Stunning Real-time VFX with Unreal Engine 5

By : Hrishikesh Andurlekar
5 (1)
Book Image

Build Stunning Real-time VFX with Unreal Engine 5

5 (1)
By: Hrishikesh Andurlekar

Overview of this book

While no game would be complete without visual effects, the ever-evolving VFX industry churns out stellar digital environments that can make your games stand out from the crowd. Build Stunning Real-time VFX with Unreal Engine 5 is here to help you boost your creativity using Niagara to make jaw-dropping particle systems backed by the power of Unreal Engine 5—without a line of code. This handy guide for VFX artists takes you through the principles and concepts of designing particle systems and design workflows, along with the architecture of Niagara, Unreal Engine 5’s VFX system. Throughout the book, you’ll build a series of mini projects that will put your particle system knowledge to the test. As you advance, you’ll cover topics such as creating your own custom modules, debugging workflows, and controlling particles with blueprints, and conclude by working on two projects that will bring everything together into a neat package. By the end of this VFX book, you’ll have a deeper understanding of particle systems, improving your skills, portfolio, and the chances of being employed by studios using Unreal Engine 5.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Part 1: Introduction to Niagara and Particle Systems in Unreal Engine 5
Part 2: Dive Deeper into Niagara for VFX

Getting Started with Unreal Engine Particle System Frameworks

Unreal Engine’s particle system, called Niagara, is a powerful tool for creating stunning, realistic special effects in games and other interactive applications. It allows developers to create and manipulate a wide range of particle effects, such as fire, smoke, rain, snow, and more. The particle system is highly customizable, with a wide range of settings that can be adjusted to create unique effects. It is optimized for real-time performance, making it a popular choice for game developers who want to add eye-catching visual effects to their games.

Niagara replaced Cascade as Unreal Engine’s particle system because it offered several significant improvements over its predecessor. Niagara was designed to be more flexible, scalable, and performance-friendly, making it a better fit for the demands of modern game development.

Some of the key features that set Niagara apart from Cascade include a more modern and user-friendly interface, improved particle simulation capabilities, and better performance and scalability. Niagara also allows developers to create and manage particle effects using either a visual interface or code, making it a versatile tool for a wide range of use cases.

In addition, Niagara was designed to be more flexible and extensible, making it easier for developers to create custom particle effects and incorporate them into their projects. This has helped make Niagara one of the most popular and widely used particle systems in the game development industry today.

We will begin our journey into Unreal particle systems with an overview of the particle system modules in Unreal Engine. There have been major changes in the particle system workflow in Unreal as we’ve moved from the older Cascade particle system to the Niagara particle system over the last few versions. Unreal Engine 5 continues to support the Cascade particle system, and though we do not expect to create new assets in Cascade, we will familiarize ourselves with Cascade in this chapter in case we need to support older projects made with Cascade.

We will discuss the changes Niagara brings and learn about the features expected in the future. We will also dive into the reasons behind Niagara’s development and end the chapter with some interesting use cases for Niagara.

This chapter will cover the following topics:

  • Particle systems in Unreal
  • The Cascade particle system
  • The reasons behind Niagara’s development
  • Use cases for Niagara