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Animation using Niagara

hi all, so i’ve ran into a issue with a 3D animation im making and im looking for some help.

basically i made this thing in blender using geo nodes,
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the animation is controlled by the position values of a colour ramp node, however due to the some limitations I’m not to export the animations as a FBX with bakes animations, as it appeared like this within UE4

so after a few days of banging my head off a wall, someone suggested i tried remaking the effect using Niagara, now to the problem i have never used Niagara and no idea where to get started. all the videos i’ve come across on youtube are aimed specifically at making projectile spell effects.

so I’m wondering can i make the effect using Niagara?, if so could you provide some tutorial videos on how to achieve it or relevant videos?

thanks

I might be able to help with this.

The most obvious thing that comes to mind is ‘sphere location’. You can place the hex mesh at random locations on the sphere with that.

I’m not a big Blender guru, so I don’t really know the equivalent to a color ramp, but you can also use ‘sample texture’ to compute things like hex visibility or position.

Your animation is a little short, maybe you can describe what your goal is?

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i was playing around with Niagara lastnight and ended up with this.

then exporting a different frame from the animation

this is the full animation, its only 200 frames so around 8-10sec?,
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i was just using it to learn blender seemed more exciting than making a donut lol, then it wasn’t until i finished it i thought it would be cool inside UE as part of my scene. then because the animations weren’t working & someone suggested trying Niagara because my end goal was to bring it into unreal anyways

for the sphere location would that need the whole mesh to work or just a single hex piece that could be duplicated to make the whole sphere ?
i think the colour ramp is fairly new, but im not sure making this was my 1st time using blender lol. this is how the nodes are set up in blender

i only have basic knowledge of the texture sample node and usually just use them to plugin substance textures

With ‘sphere location’ you can put hex tiles randomly on a sphere ( and the rotate it ), which is basically what you have here.

You can make the whole sphere with particles, also, but for what you have, you can just use a mesh.

Sphere location has various placement modes. Random ( seem what you need ), uniform ( which is a Fibonacci lattice ) and could be used to make the whole sphere. In the second case, then you would use another particle emitter to makes the rotating tiles.

When I’m talking about ‘sample texture’, I mean the Niagara module. You could also ( it really depends on where you’re going with this ) use that to decide where to put the white hex tiles.

i tried playing around with the nodes you mentioned but can’t seem to figure out how to link them, i have the sphere location under particle spawn and sample texture under particle update.

the sphere location seems to let me change world position offset / orientation but wont let me rotate on the mesh. im assuming im doing something wrong but dunno what lol

To rotate the sphere location, you either need to put the emitter in local space, or use a noise texture to simulate changing the location.

Try local space first :wink:

I’ve tried local, world, simulation jacked up the the values and it either doesn’t move at all or ends up half way across the map lol. so idk what im doing wrong but ill mess around with it more and try other nodes, maybe find something similar on youtube.

I mean here:

Tell me if it won’t work, I’ll do a demo…

So I made this emitter for the ball

The settings are:

image

image

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Sphere location ( uniform ), and orient the tile with the sphere normal

image

They don’t quite line up, I think it’s because my pivot is incorrectly position in the hextile mesh. In any event, this could just be a mesh anyway. The particles spawn once, and live forever:

image

Because it’s a local space emitter, I can move the ball

hexball

I then made a very similar emitter, except this time it has a spawn rate ( like most systems ), random instead of uniform on the sphere, there is also a surface only option, and made the material emissive. Again, local space.

Now you can definitely add both these emitters to a system and use the system to rotate the external emitter. But I can’t be bothered to get it working right ( :slight_smile: ) so, I just made a system for each and dumped them in a BP. Then I can use rinterp to move the outer ball.

hexballrotation

Not as neat as yours, but I did just bang it together, I think you get the idea…

PPS: I don’t think it’s possible to use the Fibonacci lattice ( the sphere location code ), to place hex tiles correctly ( could be wrong ).

If you have a low number, and want every exact, then just doing it in blueprint with meshes would also work.

sorry for the late reply, i have covid so my motivation is kinda been non existant. i some energy today to give it a try and it turned out like this. i turned the spawn time up just to slow it down abit

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i can’t quite figure out how to get the sphere location to be the same shape as as the mesh like you have
these are my sphere location settings