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Create a Mesh Particle Effect in Niagara

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Having the ability to spawn a Static Mesh instead of a camera facing sprite can help with the believability and realism of the effects you are creating. In the following How-To, we will take a look at setting 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, we will need to create a Niagara Emitter. Right-click in the Content Browser, and from the displayed menu select FX > Niagara Emitter.�
    SE_01.png

  2. Name the newly created Niagara Emitter FX_Mesh and then double-click it to open it.
    ME_02.png

  3. With the Niagara Editor now open, go to the Selected Emitter panel and locate the Render section.� To remove the Niagara�Sprite Rendering component, click the Trash** icon.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step03-RemoveSpriteRender.png

  4. Click the Plus sign icon (+) and from the displayed list, select the Niagara Mesh Renderer Properties option. This inserts the NiagaraMeshRendererProperties section.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step04-AddMeshRender.png

  5. Expand the Mesh Rendering section. Click the dropdown next to Particle Mesh, and select the Shape_Sphere static mesh.�
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step05-AddShapeSphere.png

  6. Collapse the Render section, and expand the Particle Spawn section.

  7. Locate the Add Velocity section.

  8. Set Velocity�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 section, set the Sphere Radius to 100.
    Mesh_Step9_01.png

  10. Locate the Set Variables section. 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 small white triangle to the right of the Particles.SpriteSize and �Particles.SpriteRotation properties, and select Remove.
    CreateMeshBasedEffect_Steps_Step12-RemoveSpriteVariables.png

  13. Locate the Acceleration Force section.

  14. Set the 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. Now over in the Content Browser, right-click and select FX > Niagara System. Name the new system Mesh.�
    SE_16.png

  17. 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

  18. 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).