How to use a skeletal mesh as a particle?


I am a bit new with UE and I am still discovering things, hence my question: how can I use a skeletal mesh as a particle?

Basically what I try to achieve is a cloud of flying birds. My idea was to drive the birds as a whole with a particle system, but as far as I’ve seen it doesn’t seem possible to use animated / skeletal meshes as particles. I then tried to use a blueprint and to get the position of the particles and to reposition a set of birds at every frame with it, but I wasn’t able to understand how I can access to the individual particles information (date of birth, position, orientation…).

Which approach would you suggest? How can it be done in a blueprint?

Thank you very much


Do a search for ‘crowd behavior’ maybe?

Welcome! :slight_smile:

It is not possible to use a skeletal mesh in a particle system, but you could do it like that: :slight_smile:

-Do it with a basic AI:
-Do it with a mesh in your particle system -> therefore you will have to create a static mesh + a flipbook material to simulate the wings

You can find some examples in the landscape demo and the blueprint demo :wink:

Thank you very much to both of you.

The approach suggested by fighter5347 gives good results. I used a gradient map in the flipbook to do a position offset on the wings. With a smart grayscale texture the flapping of the wings is quite convincing.

For a more complex skeletal mesh some researches about a crowd behavior may very likely be more appropriated.