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VFX Fundamentals with Niagara in Unreal Engine

🟡Niagara is a versatile tool, and this class is just the start of what you can achieve in Unreal Engine. Particle systems can be complex, so we'll start with VFX fundamentals using Niagara.

🟡In this tutorial, we'll explore the Niagara particle system within Unreal Engine. Particle systems can be quite complex, but we'll start with the basics of VFX using Niagara for particle effects.

- Workflow

  • Make a new folder in the Content folder, and rename it to Niagara.

  • Niagara systems are VFX that can be placed inside any Unreal Project.

  • There are many free VFX on the Epic Games Marketplace for download.

  • In the Niagara folder, right-click and make a Niagara System.

  • Choose the Empty template from the new window, click the green button to add it, then click on the Finish button.

  • Rename it to NS_Niagara01.

  • Add a Niagara Emitter next with an Empty template as well.

  • Change the name to NE_Dust.

  • Open the Niagara System, and inside right-click the empathy graph and search up the Niagara Emitter we made.

  • The Emitter Update controls

  • Click the plus next to the Emitter Update, and add a Spawn Rate.

  • The Spawn Rate sets how many particles spawn per amount of seconds.

  • In the Initialize Particle, we can change the Lifetime value, and control how many seconds before a particle vanishes.

  • Because there is no given area for the particle to move around in, all the appearing particles are stuck in one spot.

  • We need to give the particle a place to move around in.

  • Click the plus next to the Particle Spawn, and add a Shape Locator.

  • Set the Shape Primitive to Box/Plane, and set the Box Size to 1000x1000x1000.

  • Doing this will allow the particles to spawn in a larger area than before, and we can see this through the preview.

  • We can make the particles change size and appear in different sizes.

  • In the Initialize Particle change the Uniform Sprite Size to Random Uniform.

  • Set the minimum and maximum value of the size of the sprite.

  • To change the color of the particle, we can add a color emitter by clicking the plus icon next to the Particle Spawn.

  • Click the drop-down button, and add a Color from Curve.

  • Change the color on the left side of the graph.

  • Moving the squares controls the fade of the color and opacity.

  • Instead of the sprite fading away when thor lifetime ends, we can make it shrink in size instead before vanishing.

  • Add a Scale Sprite Size in the Particle Update.

  • Change the graph template to go from big to small.

  • We can make the particles sway as they spawn in to make the effect more interesting and magical.

  • Add Velocity in the Particle Spawn, an error will show up, and click the Fix Issue button on both of the eros so that the Engine adds in whatever is missing in the Emitter.

  • Click the drop-down icon on the velocity, and add a Random Range Vector.

  • Change the minimum to -100 and the maximum to 100.

  • Now the sprites will sway around when they are spawned in.

  • We can change any of the values we’ve added to the Niagara System.

  • To make it easier to access these values, we can add some floats to the Niagara System.

  • Click the Niagara System, and in the User Parameters options, click the add button, and add a float.

  • Rename the float to SpawnRate, and in the Spawn Rate update drag and drop the float using the middle mouse button inside the Spawn Rate value.

  • Do this for the Velocity Scale, and the Minimum and Maximum Size.

  • Save the changes and when the Niagara System is placed in the world, the values can be seen in the Details options in the User Parameters.

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