Maya Vector Fields and Vertex Animations - oh my!

Greetings, I’ve been back and forth trying to find an elegant/efficient strategy for creating two things in particular in Maya (reference title of post). These two questions are in reference to the methods used by @Luos_83 in his first “Particle A Day Video”

Is there a way to create a vector field from splines in Maya? I’ve seen a lot of free resources out there that will give me Vector Fields, and I’ve create one haphazardly using the Unreal tool for Maya, but that requires an entire volume and gases and forces and whatnot (to my original testing). Really hoping to find something as user friendly in Maya as in the source video.

I’ve had nightmares trying to create vertex animations in Maya and translating that into a particle effect inside of UE4. Well, I’m still in that nightmare because I haven’t been able to do it even to this day - In the one time I did do it, I exported my animation into Houdini and wrestled around that program and a noob to eventually get the data to feed into the Unreal to get some resemblance of what I was going after. This was many days of me banging my head on the keyboard and now I’m reaching out to the community to get any input, tips, or resources you guys can provide.

If the easiest answer is just to move to Max… or even make a full migration to Houdini… then I will… but if there are other Maya power users out there with any experience in this department. It will be wholly appreciated.


Run full speed to Houdini, Forget everything else was the best ever thing i told myself todo, I regretted it for a while until i got the hang of Houdini then it was all sunshine and stuff.

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For vector fields there is also our software VectorayGen, which allows you to create vector fields in real-time via a node graph.

We’re working to add splines by Q1 next year and other requested features, but there’s still a ton you can do with the software in its current state.

As for vertex animation, as said above, houdini is the way to go for that.

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If you do decide to use Houdini for the vector field, this is the entire setup you’ll need:

You can of course make this much more complex if you want, or wrap it up into a HDA and use it inside Unreal if you wish.


That looks infinitely less complex than what I was following last night to wrap my brain around Houdini and Vector Fields. I appreciate you showing me this @Partikel, having a simple platform to springboard off of for experimenting is just what I need. It looks like the general consensus is to become BFF’s with Houdini.