UE4 advice on how to achieve Sea of Thieves "ghost" effect

Hey guys, first time poster here, long time lurker :wave:. Nice to meet you all :slight_smile:

Hope it’s alright for my first post to be a question. If so, I thought I’d pick your brains on an effect in UE4 and how to achieve something similar to it.

So I have a fairly limited knowledge of UE4’s material and blueprint editor and the effect I’m trying to achieve is this one seen in Sea of Thieves (starts at 4:45 mark):



Off the top of my head, I’m guessing maybe it’s either some sort of post process material with fancy math or a few “invisible” transparent particles spawning on the object with a material that blurs what’s behind it. Any tips on where to start to make that ghostly blur and smudging that only affect those specific objects? Again I’m not really the most advanced at Unreal :stuck_out_tongue:.

Thanks for any help you can give :stuck_out_tongue:

That looks like Graphics Blitting to me.

There was a post on Twitter that had that same look and feel to it, it was a 3D model of a hand rotating and creating a wispy trail behind it, but I just can’t seem to find it now.

In theory, you’d have to grab some pixels and then redraw those each frame for X amount of frames, and modifying them each iteration so they move or fade out for example.

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Might be this one

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Yup it was this one, thanks for sharing @Mikeorma :ok_hand:t2:

Hey thanks for the help @Lush and @Mikeorma. I guess I’ve got a lot of technical stuff to look up now :stuck_out_tongue: , but that’s definitely hit the nail on the head I reckon.

The basic look can be done by taking either the color map and inverting it and multiplying by your chosen emissive color, or a fresnel using the object’s normal map (invert multiply by color) and then the wisps would just be UV distorted particles playing off the skull object. The soft distortion of the object itself though is probably like something Lush and Mikeorma suggested.


Thanks for the tips @Travis, Imma try this out too :slight_smile: