Need advice to replicate this effect with Unreal Engine


I have a client asking me to make some animations like these:

I started migration to Unreal a year ago, still pretty rookie and this effect is quite a challenge for me, and I don’t want to step back, I’d like to do this within UE and deliver a sequence render.

It seems the easiest way to animate ground deformations is

  • Create the geometry of the final (straightened) ground and collapse it to a single static mesh.
  • Deform that mesh with a lattice, to create the initial (sunken) version as morph target.
  • Then sequencer animation of that morph as the foam is injected and grows.

Is it the best workflow? Looks simple. That way my concern is how to create that geometry in Unreal. Which method would you use? How to scatter that gravel under the foundation in some shots?

Also wondering the best approach to the resin foam effect.

  • Morph targets again? Can I create the target meshes within Unreal?
  • A Niagara effect would give much more organic look, but not sure I can herd the particles to take the final shape I need. Specially in the “cut plane” facing to camera, where the foam surface should be almost flat. Maybe it’s doable with some forces and collisions. What do you think?

Any idea or suggestion will be greatly appreciated!