How would you create Animated UI VFX?

So this is my very first post here so I apologize if my thoughts are a bit unorganized. I’m wondering how one would create Animated UI VFX in-game. I have a bit of experience making few effects in Unreal and more so in AE. I’m trying to figure what the best ways to create mobile game UI VFX would be. I know with Unity it seems fairly easy for sorting to have UI and Particles stick to the camera as well as have some sort of dedicated particle system in the 2D UI Canvas. For Unreal thou seems like there is less support on this and only third-party add-ons to allow some kind of dedicated particle system in UMG. The one thing Id like to avoid/solve is similar to this person post in the Unreal forum.

The second part to this is trying to figure out the best ways to animate illustrations in UI similar to the artist( Woodorl Kim ) (https://www.artstation.com/wdkim) I see he uses AE animations as a guide to animate in-game, but how would you animate the pngs? Like the crests and wings in his “Defeat” animation. Not sure if there is like some sort of skeleton for images? Again I think Unity is pretty easy when it comes to 2D configuration,but Im unware if Unreal has something similar. The other thought I figure even in “2D” mobile games flipbooks are super limited so that maybe out of the question.

I’m more looking for solutions in Unreal as Unity already seems to have alot of video tuts on its UI capabilties and VFX, but Unity answers are still helpful. Also does anyone know any UI VFX Superstars to look for reference?

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I think those wings might have been animated with Spine! That’s the “skeleton for images” you’re asking about hahahahaha

Animations made in Spine are easily implemented to Unity / Unreal. Check it out!

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Oh! This opens the door to a lot of things now Lols :tada: . Really cool thank you! Think my next step is to understand how to layer these animations with Unreal’s particle system so they activate together. Not sure if it would be easier or harder with Unreal’s Niagra system since it has that VFX sequencer in it. Also to figure how to get control layering for particles to either go over the Spine2D animation or Under.

Worried about that like the user below in the unreal forum.

Spine is insane, but unfortunately not available for everybody because of its price. Thats why unity decided a while ago about investing on their built in Skeletal Animation, im not 100% sure but i think its called Anima2D or something like that. And they were planning on adding it fully built-in on 2019.3 version if im not wrong :thinking:

Have a good dev!

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You also have the option of DragonBones Pro, a Chineese 2D animation software based on Skeletal Animation. It’s free and has a lot of the features that Spine 2D offers.
It’s a really good option if you don’t have the ammount of money for Spine 2D.

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Thank you guys on the 2D skeleton animation programs! Really good info! :partying_face: I’m trying to figure now more in line with creating UI animations in Unreal. I know in unity they have a dedicated 2D canvas for UI particles, which is really awesome, but unreal seems to be lacking in that. For what I can gather the closet thing is to have material based VFX assign to images(image planes) inside the UMG. Similar to Gabriel Sanche’s breakdown here(Simple Fire Shader Breakdown) and Nick Russell (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/xzrvo1) for material effects. The one thing thou is if I want say stars to radiate from a center with random rotation and fading would I be animating each individual star in the UMG? or is there some voodoo material magic that can replicate that animation lols :ghost: In one repsect id like to replicate Marilie Latulippe-Allard’s effect here but in unreal’s UMG (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Vdxkrb)

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