Can you make particles into sprites to help performance?

Hi to all. I was wondering if there’s some way to use the particle systems created in the Unreal’s Cascade editor as a 2d sprite. I mean, having a 3d dynamic particle system being processed when playing the game in real-time is relatively performance consuming. For some cases (when they don’t need to have interactive physics) It would be very useful to have those particles as a 2D animated texture. Something like this image.

Isn’t there any way to tell the engine to simplify the particle systems as 2D animated sprites? I’m trying to do a fountain and, having thousands and thousands of particles for simulating the water drops (although being GPU processed) it’s an unnecessary waste of performance.

Advanced thanks!

If you don’t want to use a particle system you could try using a vertex shader on static meshes, animate the vertices using vertColor/masks etc. to create random movement.

Alternatively, I would argue that Cascades GPU particle systems are streamlined and the calculations for velocity etc. etc. in the GPU emitters are inexpensive.

There are no true physics particle costs here. You can do CPU based collisions, and while the CPU collisions are costly they do not make use of the physX system in UE4.

For creating a water fountain effect your best bet is going to be to use particle systems, and I would argue the highest cost would more likely be related to Overdraw/Shader Complexity on the GPU vs. particle simulation cost.

I misunderstood your question. If you want to create a particle system, and then essentially capture frames of the system from a particular angle to use as a flip book we don’t have a good way that I know of to export frames with Alpha.

One thing you could try would be to place your emitter in an empty scene with a black background, then visualize your separate buffers and capture that screen. You could invert the SeparateTranslucencyA view to get your mask.

To view the buffers set the viewMode to BufferVisualization.

Either way, I still think a GPU particle system with lots of smaller sprites could wind up being cheaper than a single camera facing quad with a subUV texture looping on it. Unless you are working on mobile, which does not support GPU particles.

I hope that helps.

ParticleSubUV is the one youre looking for .