Supply for help, where can i find a good Unreal Cascade (or Future Niagara) tutorial

Dudes, i’m looking in the whole internet, THE WHOLE internet (thanks i find this monastery, where vfx guys are sheltered, maybe they can help me) to find a good tutorial, course, university WHATEVER that can teach how to create VFXs.
I’m extremaly new, and what i could noice is that, in topic of video games, creating visual effects (magic effects in special) is something extremaly hard and the worse thing is: this is the topic of game development that people care less (poor vfx artists, extremaly devalueds), every course or university or school over there of game development just teachs “program, modeling, animate - program, modeling, animate - program, modeling, animate”, the “thick” of every game development class is basically this. I don’t want to be a professional, i don’t want to be the new houndini master, i just want to learn how to create spell effects for a game (frost breaths, plasma balls, rock avanlanches etc.), what should i do? How and where can i find a good tutorial for learning? Where should i go? GUIDE ME, GRAB MY HANDS AND TAKE ME TO THE SKIES. I just want to create spell effects, nothing more.

Please, imagine you are explaining to a friend of yours, better, figure you are talking with a kid, talk informal. Everyone that talks to me uses complex terms like “Oh good morning gentleman, today we are going to use a geometrical vertex that uses node-base modular parameters vector fields to calculate the vertex of shaders and uses axis pananan panananan…” … whaaaaaaaat? i didn’t understand NOTHING. Please, thanks!

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There is that! Also, a good place to browse is the Resources tab. It’s been helpful in my learning. Still finding a good place to jump into Game Audio as well to get out of the loop of “Programming - Modelling - Animate”


Just a regular dude (or vfx guy) from this “monastery” here. I have to tell you, I can’t quite wrap my finger around how you have searched the whole internet and haven’t found any good tutorials. That’s okay. We’re here to help. Apart from the awesome link DeepSpaceBanana already provided, I also have some suggestions:
A guide to particle systems by Unreal Engine itself! I’d say this gives a pretty solid basic understanding.

This one is tricky, because you can quickly get lost in the amount of information that it provides. Looking at the title of this topic, I’d suggest using search phrases like “Unreal Engine Cascade”, “Unreal Particle System”, “UE4 Particle System”, or other variations.

I hope this helps you on your way to understanding how to use a geometrical vertex that uses node-based modular parameters vector fields to calculate the vertex of shaders.


EDIT: Programming, modeling and animation are some good skills to learn when you want to get better at VFX.


There’s plenty of assets on various marketplaces that you can use, so I definitely suggest you start there.

If you want to make your own stuff, then I’m afraid you’ll have to figure out some geometrical vertex node based modular parameter stuff. No way around it


You guys were trying to help, wich makes me feel glad because you are really trying, and in Internet is hard to find polite people. I found a guy in this site called CGhow, he did exactly what i need: he creates a variety of particles effects, an with this he shows me what i wanted, what is the main process of particle fxs creation. Not convinced? I explain.
To create a character (3D model) what is the main process: Sculpt (use polygons and a lot of things to make the body), Rig (give an skeleton for this body), texturize (give a skin for this body) and details (eyes, hair, clothes, armor etc.)
Main process of creating an animation: Rig (give the skeleton), move the bone and record the frame (move the skeleton of the hand, for example, to the air, save the frame, and then move down, you created an animation where the character move the hands up and down), Retarget (export/import to a engine/platforn), and last use blueprints for the animation.
What was the process of particles fxs? I had 0 IDEA, now i am getting it: create a texture, create a material, edit the behavior, polish the particle as you wish.
Its easier than i tought, the hardest part is to order the behavior, because you need a good knowledge of every single function of Particle editor (Unreal Cascade, for example). What i mean? The function size overlife change the size… over the life. Means that some texture may start big and during the effect time of life he may get bigger or smaller. Color, change color. Direction, the direction. Speed, the speed and etc. lot of functions.

That’s what i needed, someone to explain me step by step, what is, what does. And without being so much formal, like “rig is the technique on Computer wich the character is represented by a set of hierarchical set of interconected structures and sculpt is the surface represention of the draw mesh”… Wtf just say “Sculpt is the body, Rig is the skeleton, texture is the skin”, just that, everyone can understand this way. People must be more informal. Long text, thanks for reading and help.


Could you post some examples of those overly complex and formal tutorials? I’ve never found any and it would be interesting to see.

Oh, a headsup, use CgHow tofigure out the general idea of how to do things, but do not take it as gospel as he’s known for promoting bad and nonproduction ready practices. Good that you found something that helps you though!


This thread is an interesting read.

@Hudsoncat I’m going to throw down what I think I am understanding as where you are coming from, and then I hope to… re-aim that giga lazer ya got there. Your ambition is blatant, but your approach could use some finesse. Just so you know, I ain’t no pro (yet) , but I’m working on it. I’ve thought these thoughts, I’ve walked these shoes. Alright, so let’s parse this.

You don’t want to be a pro. You are not doing this in the hopes of a job, you just want to do it because VFX is t3h cool shit. We’ll be coming back to this in a moment.

Then you say “I just want to create spell effects, nothing more.”

Oh my. >_<

Let me translate that for ya “I just want to create [everything and anything]”. You know. Something small. You’re speaking to tech wizards man! It’s ALL magic.

The word you are looking for is “Jargon”. That said, if you don’t know what words like UV’s or Shaders are, then you MAY be mucking in deeper shit then you know. If you don’t know the generalist basics, this mountain you are climbing naked in a frenzy just got 20 degrees steeper. YES YES, I know… I have read the post where you line out processes of other professions. (I’ve done the same thing!) I want to reiterate, if you don’t already have a strong generalist understanding of Videogame Creation… MMMMMMboy. :confused:

Of all the people…

I swear I’m getting Déjà vu over here. This is why I’ve been logging this stuff down.

So hey man, you doing EXACTLY what I was doing. You want to LEARN THIS shit NOW. Get all that Noisy Jargon out of the way, and just SHOW ME how to MAKE that! Luos… isn’t where you go for that, that ain’t his thing. Those two hours is the real time man. If you want to learn it right, @Luos_83 knows his stuff. You don’t currently strike me as a person whit the current MINDSET of wanting to learn it right. And…Ya know, going through your published intent… and I’m not done yet… I can’t help but be reminded of a classic.

Take it from a guy whos brain buzzes with ambition much like yours seems to; this shit will chew your ass if you go about it without discipline. It’s HELL-A painful, I know, but - and hey correct me if I’m wrong - this isn’t exactly something you can just blast your ass with, learn and master over night. Trust me on this, I’ve tried. That big wild shit you see that brought you here isn’t just the result of “knowing how to do it”, but is time and hard work too. Hours and hours and hours of work. We only see the successes, not all the failures.

And the best part about it all… it’s CLEAN. That’s the REAL hard part (at least it has been for me among my limit of technical knowhow). You can make the BEST Realtime VFX ever but your stuff drops the frame rate to 15FPS when the Goal is 30FPS or more, which we can do REAL easy, your VFX ain’t worth shit. Which brings me to "Maybe to sell in marketplace or Asset store". Uh-uh. No man.

As I just stated, if your stuff drops the frame rate to 15FPS when the Goal is 30FPS or more, the VFX ain’t worth it. Don’t even bother.

CHOOSE ONE: “I don’t want to be a professional” or “Sell in marketplace or Asset store”.

Which is why when @Partikel (which you should know is KIND-OF-SORT-OF of VFX Badass) warns you about CGhow, you should heed it.

With ALL that said, I feel I should point you to something that may help you on your… Quest? Adventure? … RAID! On your Raid into Realtime VFX. There is no real quick and easy path; For better or for worse we don’t do Sith here…hopefully(?)… but… if you want to UNDERSTAND THE JARGON, which I think should be your FIRST GOAL, then I’ve got something to point you to. If going through the Epic Docs is too much, which I get, then here are some places where you can parse some magic.

This is @tharlevfx site. He has alot of breakdowns & pictures for each. You’ll have to read… but it’s short and sweet, and should give you the quick on some of the things we use to make magic in Unreal 4. It’s ONE of many… but it’s a start.

This is post by @Madosho. It shows how he goes about making VFX in general end to end. Plus… UGH… that example is SO beautiful. I mean… look…

Perfection. I dream of this quality someday.

And that’s it. THERE IS MORE (though never enough), but that’s where I think you should start. One step at a time. And hey, use that search function. There be gold in these here hills.

Oh, and welcome to the forum. :slight_smile:


After a long day of work my girlfriend comes home, and after dinner I tend to show her the vfx I made that day.
She doesn’t understand much about my work and often goes “Wait, you worked six hours on that effect? I dont get how an effect that only lasts a second or so takes six hours”

If you really think two hours is a lot to make an effect, you’ll have a hard time in this industry.

Generally my tutorials are for people who at least somewhat understand shaders, meshes, and cascade, and are now more interested in delving deeper. We cant all regurgitate “hold down 1 and left mouseclick to place a scalar value” over and over again just because there are people that cant be bothered to do some self study, practice, or read/watch other resources.

There are a lot of beginner tutorials about vfx out there (which wasnt a thing when I started dabbling in gamedev, heck youtube wasnt even a thing back then, we had to learn everything ourselves), but there are generally a lot less videos where you see people work on their content, their thought process, their frustration, roadblocks, or try to solve situations they did not foresee.

That is why I level with my fellow and upcoming vfx artists, I talk about (my own) problems, thoughts, and frustrations because in the long run you’ll hit walls, have software crash on you, have their updates mess up your workflow or have them introduce new frustrations, you’ll occasionally be micro-tweaking values for a long time to get something just right and in some occasions you’ll find that the initial value you tried actually works best. And for a lot of people that is a breath of fresh air since they (might finally) understand that game development in general is all but quick, problem free, and never a burden.
They get to see and learn about someones thought process which in turn hopefully improves their own.
If anything I am all but informal with my fellow vfx friends, but you cant expect me to act like I am talking/explaining to a child because if they cant find any getting started videos, or are unable to find material/shader compendiums, they are better off buying a “google for dummies” book and improve their google-fu.

Oh, Hudsoncat for example, I’m sure he is an awesome person, but his requests are awful.
they are long, entitled, and are borderline offensive. Its because he is more worried about his own time than the work he has to put in to get an actual result. He devalues other peoples work/time because he has yet to understand the basics yet wants to reach the sky. he wants short tutorials where people regurgitate every shortcut and explain every keypress because he cant be bothered to google questions, find answers, and read up on compendiums to learn what nodes and modules do. He has EXCELLENT talent for complaining but this does not justify his attitude. Being kind and patient is just too much to make his future peers respect him.

yes, that was a pun on your quote, and to be honest I personally am not too bothered with your view on my videos. They are just not for you (yet?) and I do hope that you find your own personal way to make progress.

Now, I am not saying my videos or tutorials (big difference) are perfect, faaaaaaar from.
My English could be better (fricking dutch accent), I could occasionally explain a node, module, or situation better, I could be more straight to the point, but in the end I really enjoy making them.
And I will spend as much time as needed to try and make better videos. if that takes me two hours or even ten hours I am fine with that because I understand that learning and improving upon myself can take weeks, months, and many many years.
In the end I do it for my fellow (ue4/vfx) peers, I want them to thrive, succeed, and enjoy their work.
Ive had people email me expressing their thanks because my work, or my personal time spend with them resulted in their first internship, their first job, or sparked (pun intended) their love for vfx.
Its humbling and I get more joy out of that any amount of money I could or would make if I did not spend my precious time making videos and tutorials for others.

sidenote: I’m with Glad and would love to see these overly complex tutorials, because that way we/I dont have to try and figure out everything ourselves, or find our own questions or answers during google searches, which can be frustrating as hell.


People felt this post was offensive, what the hell? Did i just offend anyone? (Wa, was not my intention)

And no Luos, no. You Just didnt get what i mean. Its okay because i may have (may, haha, i did) expressed too bad. It appeared that my critics was to you, no! It was to me, because I cant understand your tutorials, and not you who doesn’t know how to explain. Its clear that you are a bit offended, wich is something i never wanted because you are an awesome guy and what you do is helping a lot of people, just this makes you ahead a lot of “good guys” around the internet, even for making 2 hours of video, you are putting of your life to help, you really make because you want to make difference. Dont feel offended.

And yes, my requests are awful and long, because i am more worried about me than you, than everyone, and i am requiring too much from you. But, even, you guys gave me attention and are trying with the best you can, i just need to say thanks to you all for trying. But i didnt want to offend anyone. I think, because we are talking in a written chat, looks like the voice tone is other, but no, im really trying to be nice (haha you are going to say “if this is him being nice, so being rude…”). But really, no resentments. Specially because after get the basics of VFXs, when i have more knowledge, i’ll definitively watch your videos, Luos. You are an level 100 and i am in level 0.1, this is what i mean.
If anyone has anything to add, make fast because i think the post will be shutdown.
Cya all the best for you guys.

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No need to delete the thread, its all good.

What we are all trying to say is, Rome wasnt build in a day.
It started with planning, preparing mortar for the foundation, cutting down trees, and taking it from there.
Actually, Rome still is a work in progress for better or worse.

if you have troubles with the jargon, you might want to break down the thing you try to learn into even smaller pieces. even for making i.e. a mesh there are a lot of smaller aspects to it.
Model it > knowing about polygons, verts, normals, smoothing groups, etc.
many steps between this
Unwrap it > knowing about UV’s, what they mean, how to lay them out, etc.
Texture the model > more steps.
etc, etc.

if you have never made a high end model before, or are just very inexperienced in general you’ll have a hard time, and everything can feel like a chore or massive hurdle.
Generally why schools/universities focus on modeling, animating, texturing, etc is because the things you learn when you make these things will prepare you for other aspects of gamedev.
Its basically you preparing a backpack with tools for the mountain you need to climb.
Before you can climb that mountain, you need to learn about the mountain, the tools you can use to make the road as easy as possible.

Like I said, there are beginner tutorials, basic fires, muzzle flashes, spiral thingies, swirly whirlies, sparks, etc.
Not all of them are that well done, or are not focused on performance or optimization, but those are things you should worry about till a later date anyway.
These will show you how to prepare to get up a smaller (practice) mountain, and in case you dont understand a word or jargon used, try to find documentation about that.
If you have trouble finding that, we are more than happy to explain it to you, or give you the right words to use when googling.
And once you have some (practice) mountains underneath/behind you, you can start preparing for the big ones.
Which will take more time, and more preparation, but if you did prepare well… you can climb that sucker like a boss.

That said, you might want to try and work a bit on your wording too.

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@Mez yeah, Tharley is a good guy, he works in London, i think. London or Lisboa. This Madosho… Hmmm… Didnt know this guy. Thanks.

To be honest dude, i didnt understand too much what you said (i know, i am retard). But anyway, i found already what i wanted. Nah i don’t aim to be professional, 0. Just wanted to know how it was made step by step (forget that of Unreal Market place/Asset store, lets imagine i never said this). My mainstream is the animation/programming. All this Drama i made in the title and in the first post wad just a click bait (i am dramatic, i like a drama), but you guys dont need click bait because you are willing to help. I think this is the best forum i found in Internet. Bye bye and good day, sirs.

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hi. search cghow on youtube you will find lots of niagara and cascade tutorials.