How do I generate a static non-mesh sphere from an emitter?

So, the intent is to create a base object for a magic spell which is spherical and not use a mesh renderer, but instead make it a particle. A gradient near the outer edges of the sphere particle needs to be generated so it appears partly non-solid, so no hard lines or solid contours. It’s similar to a generic 2D circle sprite with the soft gradient edges, except full 3D as a sphere. How do I do it in Niagara? It’s also required for it to remain persistent, so it’s not fading or being killed when it’s life cycle is ending or a gradual spawning in. It’s simply there continuously. Attempts at changing some settings have not yielded the specified results yet.

Wow, the Niagara section is not very busy, eh?

Have you tried a ‘sphere location’ module?

what do I render inside the sphere location module? a bunch of particles, or can I use 1 giant particle that I expand to fill the sphere location somehow? I’m still rather new to Niagara, and Cascade, though I understand basically that fx are generated by emitters and modules, and it can be a part of a system. But I’m not fluent in things.

From your description, I’d say render a lot of sprites, which is the default.

If you want to use one giant particle, you actually just need to do it with a mesh, and make the material the same as the default particle material.

If you want to get into it, use Niagara, as Cascade is being phased out.

Ok, thanks for the answers. I really appreciate you responding even though my thread was getting so old.

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Any of these grab your fancy?


First is a particle system, second is an emissive sphere inside a glass sphere, and the third is a PS inside a glass sphere…

A bit more fiddly:


Tell me if you want to know the setup…

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Those look really nice. For what I was initially thinking to create (a fireball spell), the glass sphere is something I’m not sure of using…though it’s interesting for other purposes and I’m interested in seeing the setup of it all. Do you know how to start a blueprint for a character casting this object as a projectile? Simply the basic flow of nodes. My brother and I were trying things last night with an effect from Infinity Blade, merely to spawn it and send it in a direction, then destroy or remove it. No animation or additional effects yet, such as explosion on hit, only remove it / kill the PS on hit, and then we planned to learn how to apply a radial force or a physics impact of some kind.

We were only able to destroy it on play, lol. We tried using a Set Timer, but didn’t how to get that working.

A fireball will have two parts. The core which could be a mesh or a PS, and the flames which will definitely be a PS.

Each flame, or groups of flames, is a PS sprite which faces the camera.

I’ve never made any fireballs but, there are two approaches you can use:

  1. Wait for a VFX pack to be on the monthly free content ( or buy one )

  2. Bodge together some stuff you have that’s already in the right ballpark.

You could definitely get something working just by copying the first person projectile and using the fire in the starter pack.

As for actually getting the projectile to work, your blueprint needs to have ‘projectile’ movement component. This will make stuff much easier for you:

I will have a little play around with this and the flames, see if I can make something half decent…

Here you go,

I copied the first person projectile, and edit the first person to fire this ( my projectile ) instead. And I edited my version of the projectile to have a cascade particle system in it which is the default fire from the starter kit:


It’s not much work to get it to also explode on impact with the explosion that also comes with the starter kit :slight_smile: ( tell me if you get stuck ).

( I also made the tennis ball emissive orange ).

Here’s a decent launch sound.

Hey ClockworkOcean, thanks a million for these pointers and graphs, and the sound. My brother is a programmer, and he and I are starting to learn blueprints for a game we’re working on involving physics-based magic. He comprehends things I don’t in programming, so he’s going to be the main one working with it…however, I’ll be doing lots of it too because I think I have the ability to learn / understand it. I see the fireball you made bounces. Did you put that in the blueprint for OnHit Event? I didn’t notice the term bounce anywhere in it. I’ll copy the setups and see how we can rework them to do different things. It was troubling trying to get a start on the spawning of the fireball or PS effect and then having it be destroyed after a set time. It’s really going to be where if the fireball misses or doesn’t hit something and continues unblocked, then the blueprint can destroy it at a certain distance from the caster or perhaps if it overlaps a boundary volume at the edge of a level.

Have you worked on any games in the past? I know you have been around the forums for at least a couple years (when I started). I’ve been learning Unreal intermittently over the past couple years almost, sometimes getting too frustrated with issues I encountered or the lack of direction to go in and took breaks. My brother has extensive experience over more than 2 decades in programming, one of which was C++, but he currently codes in C# and does web programming. I’m in the realms of graphics and music / audio, so spread kinda thin, but working toward more advanced knowledge and skills eventually.

Hey, like I say, just make a copy of the first person projectile in the content browser, that’s all I did. That’s why it bounces. You know, it’s the default tennis ball thing.

I know the engine can be very frustrating, lack of docs etc, but hang in there…

BTW: My game is

Hey, can you send me a picture of the material workup for that orange emissive sphere one? I tried it and it’s not looking the same in the level as it is in the material editor preview.

This is all it is:

Thing is, you can’t drag the V slider to 90, you have to type that in.

In fact, I simplified it, this is the actual material:

and the instance looks like this ( it amounts to the same thing ):

It’s just that, this way, I have all the emissives I want, without having to set them up…

I did the one with the scalar parameter multiplied by the color, then connected to Emissive. I did it before you posted that reply. And it looks fine in the preview of material editor, but it looks flat and a different color than what I used when it’s placed inside the level I’m working in (movable directional and skylight, and “Force No Precomputed Lighting”). I used an orange color, and it looks like a medium bright yellow, without any of the glow.

I tried Unlit, Default Lit, Translucent, and Additive (Modulate and Masked too, but those didn’t work in the material editor). I set it two-sided, and had it disabled. It had a base color in one attempt that was simply the orange color connected to Emissive too. In translucent blend mode, I adjusted the translucency shadow settings without any correction of it in level. Then I changed my video card color depth from 8 to 10 bit because the project is using 10bit RGB 2bit alpha. I don’t understand what’s happening. Any ideas?

It’s a bog standard mat, nothing special.

It sounds like you possibly have been fiddling with exposure settings, or have a non-standard level?

I solved it. I had disabled the tonemapper under show flags > post process, and tone curve. So, enabling those worked. Now I’m getting weird shading on the default 3P character model. Not sure if it’s ray tracing or something else I messed with a bit. Thanks for the help.

We’re thinking of making the flames so they’re wrapping around / engulfing the sphere core of the fireball…so it would mean they’re not always facing the camera, which causes any player or camera to see the flames exactly the same no matter what perspective they’re viewing from. So, changing it to appear like it would in reality as far as which perspective it’s viewed from.


Any weirdness, try a brand new project first.

Yes, you could do that with the projectile. Just edit the fire particle, and you can add more flames in various directions.

Also pretty easy to put an explosion on impact ( hit event ).