Niagara / unreal GDC

Thought I would post this talk from GDC about the new Unreal Particle System.

Super exciting stuff.


Yeah, this will be a real game changer for VFX in Unreal. 4.20 can’t come fast enough!

Edit: Unreal uploaded the Niagara video by itself.

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First attempt with Niagara…


Wait, how are you…

Is 4.20 isn’t out just yet right?

4.20 isn’t out. June 2018 is what they announce in the talk.

Someone asks this question in the QA at the end. There’s experimental stuff in earlier version that aren’t turned on by default. So Niagara is the experimental stuff.

However when this is mentioned in the QA session, they also mention that it’s incredibly out dated and that we should wait.

How do you dare?! They told us to wait :OOO

I’m happy to see the options for those that don’t want to jump into the nodes and just want to work out of the stack for us less technically minded :grin:

imo programmable widgets and viewport controls are really gona take this to that next level, as mentioned at the end. Imagine being able to manipulate splined particle motions paths, scaling, velocity, attractor points, etc. all in the game viewport.

Great work Epic!


Glad to get all the feedback. I know that folks can’t wait and we just want to put our best foot forward. Please feel free to play around in 4.19 if you just can’t wait, but expect crashes and rough edges galore. Know that we’re working on it and super excited by the reactions we are getting.

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Nice work without docs or anything. Did you find anything tricky or confusing?

@ShaunKime I found it fairly intuitive. Stack a few modules, twiddle some values, easy as pie. I had trouble flying the camera around at times. And the details panel wouldn’t refresh properly. As a workaround, I would reopen the emitter file to reset state.

The ability to add arbitrary data sources to the pipeline really piqued my interest. Currently, I pull curve data from FTimelines to update stacks of transforms in my work on Twisted Contraptions. I’m eager to see if it’ll port over to Niagara. Sadly, my GPU popped and smoked last night (igniting a dust bunny in a blaze of glory). I could be out several weeks waiting for a warranty replacement GPU :cry:

Question about Early Access. Is this something I need to sign up to? Or is it a fancy way of saying it’s a “beta” public viewing that will be available to all?

You’ll be able to download 4.20 from the Unreal engine launcher when it ships. Early Access is just a way for us to say that it isn’t quite ready for you to ship a game on yet. Think of it is a label that this feature is in pre-production and we want feedback.

Fancy Beta it is then. Thank you.

Do we know when we can expect 4.20? Or is it being released as and when it is ready?

That talk was the highlight of GDC for me. So hyped!

Anybody know how to add a particle index? Or get a particle index?

Mid-June/July is my current guess, but that is subject to change.


The ExecIndex node gives you your current particle index in the execution set. Especially useful when spawning as it tells you which spawned particle you are. You can use this to lay out in an grid using some math or look up into a mesh, etc.


Is this update going to make things like popcorn fx outdated?

@ShaunKime Thanks for the ExecIndex tip, it got me farther along…

But I’m having trouble with the rotation. In C++ I set the FTransform of the InstancedStaticMesh:

Transform->SetRotation(FQuat(FRotator(Yaw, Pitch, Roll)));

So I figured I would do something similar in the module script:


But it’s not working correctly. What should I be feeding Particles.MeshOrientation?