Opinions on UE4 VFX plugins

My team keeps running into issues with the capabilities in Cascade and are weighing the benefits of using a plugin so we don’t have to dedicate so much of our programmer resources to getting functionality we want. I’d like to know what experience others have had with using things like PopcornFX, Houdini’s UE4 plugin, and Nvidia Flex. What functionality were you able to get with the plugin that made it worth the cost? What problems did you run into because of using the plugin?

Also, does anyone know approximately when Niagara is supposed to come out?

Niagara: nobody but epic knows, I hope around end of summer… but who knows.
Three years ago they said soon, and its still soon.

I am wondering what kind of issues you/your team has with cascade, because cascade in combination with its strong material editor and blueprint gets a lot of bleeps done.

plugin/extension wise also take a look at: Particle Editor Extension in Code Plugins - UE Marketplace


Hi Kiyome,

You can find some technical article about the PopcornFX integration in UE4 here : http://www.popcornfx.com/category/tech-blog/
Thanks to Epic Games who give access to the sourcecode, PopcornFX is deeply integrated with the UE4 rendering pipeline.
So, popcorn load the effects assets and handles the particle simulation, but all the rendering stuff use the ue4 pipeline.

Note that you can use the personnal edition for tests and evaluation purpose. (It will be bound to your github account)

FleX is a particle based simulation technique for real-time visual effects
It will be suitable/usefull if you search a unified solver for your effects

Houdini can be used in different ways in UE4 :

Houdini Engine for UE4 provides a procedural content creation solution.

There are also Texture based simulations & vertex animation solution done by Luiz Kruel.

PopcornFX aslo support Houdini particle simulation (sim cache playback)

What problems did you run into because of using the plugin?

I let plugin users answer to this one.
You can also take a look here : http://answers.popcornfx.com
There is a lot of questions about the community with the UE4 plugin.

Hope this helps !


It’s very weird that they tout “translucency sort order” when that was already a feature from two different levels. The first is sort priority by system.
The second is setting the sort priority by oldest, newest, or camera.

Thank you for your response and that extension is looks to be pretty cool especially for the price.

While there’s several things that we’d like improved, we are particularly looking for a more robust solution for ribbons.