Leaf Particle Effect


Im currently building an alien landscape for my games project and have been trying to build a particle effect that could spawn from the trees and cause leaves to render and fall to the ground.

Now, I have most of the particle built apart from the actual material or mesh.

I just cant figure out how to get the particle to shift from side to side, like the leaf is picking up the wind and slowly shifting in the air until it hits the ground and dies and I cant find any examples of it being done (most leaf particles spawn and just fall).

Im also wondering whether i should spawn a mesh with a material or just spawn a material.

Anyone got any ideas on how to do this, appreciate it,


Im no cascade master, but you could do some random acceleration in the x and y direction. And for the leaves, you could use a mesh, or you could use a sprite. for performance, id go with a sprite.

Hi Jonmeldrum,

In UE3/UDK we have a setup of a leaf particle that is falling. A lot of the information from the Cascade should be able to be replicated in UE4. It may take a bit of time on your part to replicate it but it’s certainly doable. (Falling_Leaf is the name of the particle system included with the starter content in UDK)

In this there are three particles being created and used. This may be helpful for your example you’re looking to create.

Thank you!


Thanks mate, I havent got much experience with UDK but ill look into it.

I’ve set this sort of thing up before and found it easiest to use a camera facing particle with an animated texture, where the leaf flips and spins over a few frames. Of course, that depends on how good you want it to look, but even with only like 16 frames you can get a decent look that most people will find pleasing.

I got it working…but

… i was wondering how they got the twists and turns, could i animate the leaf in matinee and plug the matinee into the particle effect?

Hi jonmeldrum -

The Leaves in the Falling_Leaf Particle System from UDK are built on a two-sided material with a Int. Mesh Rotation and Int. Mesh Rotation Rate and it is those modules that cause the leaves to turn and flip. It is also important to note that this particular particle system is spawning Mesh Planes which allow for the two-sided material.

Good Luck -

I’ve got the twist effect by using the Orbit module. It’s perfect for that!
Also, for some nice auto rotations and performance, I used sprites with leaf material and direction controlled by velocity.

What i would do is make 2 panes with a little bit of bending on them etc and apply my texture / material of leaf to that, Randomize the motion like you said you did and rotation ofc.