Cigarette smoke trail VFX UE4 question

Hello guys. Im an 3d artist in the game development industry, but the VFX is the thing, that im interested the most these days. Working in UE4, watched some videos and complete several VFX courses. But the VFX is still hard for me. It is difficult for me to understand in which direction to move when implementing a certain effect, especially if there are no specific examples on the internet (well, there are, actually, but not completely what I need). I want to make the Cigarette Smoke Trail VFX, thin and gentle soft smoke effect which will be distorted due to animation, or wind real time. I found the following information on the topic: - almost the effect that i need, looking GREAT! But its for cutscene, and i want it to be realtime. Is it posible to make it realtime with Niagara maybe? - it is working realtime but i dont really like the looks - it is ok overall and simple, but not quite suitable for a cigarette. And i cant make the ribbon emitter to look somewhat thicker - looking bad.

I want the smoke to look somewhat like this:


I am completely newbie in VFX department. And I’m a little confused. Can you please tell me which direction should I go? Which direction would you go with this effect? Сould it be some specific combination of Niagara emitters and flipbook animations?

Hello jkl320!
welcome to our community forum.

The video from Simon is actual for realtime. It is more sophisticated, because they had technical challenges to overcome.

I recommend the second tutorial you posted. But instead of a thin gradient use a tileable texture, that looks more like smoke. You could even use two trails with the same noise a bit offset, so it has a more “dancy” feeling.

Creating textures is one of the many hats a vfx artist has to wear, how you go about it is up to you. Some use Substance, some manipulate picture and some draw these by hand (or all, depending on the task).

Also: learning by doing. Try it out and if you hit a barrier, come back and ask for advice again :slight_smile:

Hello raytheonly! Thanks for the answer! i’m experimenting now with ribbons and flow maps in combination with some particles. Yes, i’m quite familiar with Substance Designer and several other CG tools. I will post some results later.

Great! Looking forward to it :slight_smile: