Twisted Contraptions - cannabis.cod3r's sketchbook

First off, this place looks amazing! I’m hoping the community is as fantastic as the effects I’ve seen. I’m also hoping I have enough “street cred” to be a part of it. As I look around, most people are posting particle FX, so I’m not entirely confident of my work or its relevance here…but here goes nothing (it’s better than lurking). A few of my latest works, all abstract, twisted contraptions…

These animations are not synced to the music. I just happened to be listening to those tracks while I tweaked settings, so the results naturally fall inline with the music (somewhat). I’m not creating a music visualizer, it’s more of a motion graphics tool that I like to bend into weird and interesting ways (hence the name).

It’s still very alpha in its development. I’m more focused on building out animation features before I focus on materials and presentation. If you look closely at ‘abstract thingy’ you can see the orange table from the UE4 StarterContent.



magic!.. HE’S A WITCH!!!

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I was in a dancing mood tonight…


Woaw this look so much fun ! i’m curious how did you achieve that ? is this synch with the music or did you animated it ?
Great job tho :slight_smile:

It is not synced with the audio although the animation is driven by a looping perlin noise. Despite being random, the noise matches up occasionally with the beat when running at a similar play rate. The future of UE4 audio looks amazing. For now I’ll continue to fake-it-till-I-make-it. However, audio-driven animations are certainly on my TODO list.

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Is it me? Or is there an emoji at the center?

Just an array of cones using one of the metal shaders that ship with UE4.
I like the shimmering depths…


I Like that last one. It looks like i’m looking into a deep mechanical ocean. Are you making these using houdini?

Anything I create in Houdini feels trapped in an offline world. So I decided to build a procedural system in-editor based on ideas found in Maya Mash.

For the wave, I have 3 custom actor components:

  • I use a Linear Distribute component. Which is a fancy way of saying, give me a row of instanced static meshes. I probably have about 40 in this example.
  • I use a Replicator component. Which is a fancy way of saying give me a bunch of copies of the first component. So it takes that first row of 40 instances and duplicates it…say 40 times.
  • The last component is Noise. It’s used for animating the height of each instance. The noise waveform is slightly offset for each row, creating the undulating effect.

My plugin will come with a bunch of components that you can mix and match. All component properties should be adjustable in real-time, in-editor. My imgui test video demonstrates property changes on the Linear Distribute component.

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22, 500 instances…

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40,000 instances…

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This next result is because of a bug in my code…

Another perspective on the same bug. I may have to turn this into a feature.

Found some older videos of basic usage in editor. They demonstrate various distribution types available for laying out instanced static meshes. A distribution type is a starting point for an overall shape you’re tying to achieve.

Below is the spherical distribution type (the other types can be viewed from my profile page):

All my animated (abstract) videos started life using the linear distribution type. I think I’ve managed to get a lot of mileage out of this humble type, so and I’m excited to see where the more complex types take me.

If you’d like to see an actual tutorial video, let me know.

Okay, back to my sketchbook. :sweat_smile:

After a big detour into Niagara. It’s clearly the direction to move forward on. I’m dumping my previous C++ implementation like a bag of rocks.

And with that, I was trying to generate a sphere and my math is clearly bad.

But I’m going to leave it in a broken state because I like the effect. I think it makes interesting shapes.

Niagara makes fumbling around fun.

Apparently I already figured out how to set the mesh particle color. I just never used it.


This is cool, didn’t understand it first and was mindblown. However, the video stopped at a bad timing in the end, so the illusion was shown.

I grabbed some fibonacci sphere code.

Another happy accident

If I could stop playing around, I could get to work. 0.o

Looks better on the backside: