How to detect overlap event with particle system?

Hey everybody.

I’m working on a flame projector in a project that I want to be able to detect when it overlaps another actor. I don’t know if this can be done with just the particle system or if I need some form of collision volume added; and if it requires a collision volume or some form of mesh for the overlap, is there a way to attach this to the flow of particles?

Basically, the flame jet moves like you’d expect with the end dragging behind and the shape curving when the origin point turns, rather than being a stick like in Super Mario Bros; so I don’t want to use a static capsule for the overlap as that would leave parts of the system not causing overlaps and potentially overlap areas without particles present.

I was thinking about some sort of spline that projects from the same origin point and then try to match up it’s initial velocity with the particle stream and have parts be destroyed after a specified period to limit the range; but since I haven’t played with splines at all I’d like to see if there are any other options first.

All suggestions are greatly appreciated.

You thinking too complicated, in the particle system add all the desired effects as if you making normal particle flame thrower effect then remove the initial velocity and set the particle spawn to just one particle. Now create a new actor with collision box or sphere (what you think is better for this case) and then add projectile movement for the actor remove the gravity or set the scale to low and add the particle system you created to it. Now you can just spawn few of those when you need it in BP and you have overlapping as well. Good luck.

Have you read any of the doc pages about particle modules? There’s a collision module, an event module (which, according to the doc page, can be connected to almost any node(s) in blueprints), velocity, time-based, and rotation modules…all of which would probably apply to a flame jet that rotates. Read carefully, with the exact effects you’re trying to accomplish in perspective, and try stuff.

Awesome idea! Thanks man!

I wasn’t having any luck with collision until you said this and I did some more digging. My problem was that I was trying to do things from a single emitter but to do it properly I needed to create a second emitter to handle the collision! It’s working perfectly. Thanks man. Your mention of the Event module was the piece I was missing.

Here’s a link to what I used as a reference to get things working: UE4 - Spawning Decals at Particle Collision Locations? - Real Time VFX

I’m really new to Unreal and especially Cascade particle effects and collision. But from the reading I’ve done, I’m able to remember a reference to certain things. The difficulty I’m having currently is in how to create materials that are for particle effects. Like, what do I create in the Material editor to use as the base sprite / image in Cascade for a plume of fire? Or the effect of a rapidly formed icicle, with randomness of shape/speed/size…what do I create as an image to start it? Lots of things in Unreal, and game design in general, are learnable by going back and forth from how to use the tools in the engine (not working on personal projects) to how to develop something specific in a personal project. It’s why I suggest trying stuff, so learning how to do it is not beset with the extraneous questions and problems that derive from recreating in a tutorial or based on another’s methods so much.

I agree. The entire particle system is lost on me. I can figure out almost anything else in the engine except the particle system in particular, and materials that aren’t just the basics. I can figure out most of it but there are things that I never even consider because of some weird (and probably justified) rules that boggle my mind. For instance, why can I specify all of the collision settings I want on a second emitter inside a particle system but the main emitter doesn’t have most of the same options? There’s no Event Generator option on the primary emitter and Actor Collision doesn’t appear to be a thing either. As a result, if you have a flamethrower that you want to be able to overlap enemies to also hit those behind them, that’s all fine; but if you want it to collide with worldstatic objects as well, then you’ve got a lot of hassle to work on.

Which is what I’m fighting with now but don’t understand WHY it needs to be a fight.