Niagara fine control

I am looking to use the fluid simulation capabilities in Niagara. I’ve read through Stam’s Stable Fluids, and I understand some of the vector calculus, and advection and diffusion. That said, the fluid system in Niagara is better than anything that I could come up with myself, so I’m abandoning my OpenGL 4 renderer for Unreal Engine 5. My question is this: How do I get assistance with implementing the fluid simulation in UE5? Do I obtain a site license for UE5, at the rate of $1500/year? If I buy the license, do I get support in implementing things such as this? Basically, I want to create a fireball effect (see: Grid 3D Moving Grid Fire template), from scratch, but with using a custom mesh (a 3D fractal, for instance) as the emitter. Sounds easy, but I have nowhere to start. After that, I want multiple emitters, but sharing the same simulation grid. I’m willing to pay the licensing fee if I am promised the assistance. The project is open source, so everyone stands to benefit, not just me.

Read license:

Read Documentation

In this forum you can find free help.
On youtube you can find hundreds of tutorials too.

I advise you to install version 5.0.3 for now… 5.1.0 has some problems waiting to be fixed.

Good luck!!

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Thank you for the guidance. I will look more into free options, like YouTube.

As for paid options: I noticed through a banner ad that Udemy has their courses on for sale right now, at like 80% off of the regular price. It’s insane! So I’ve purchased a 10 or so courses on UE 5. Eventually it will all sink in. I’d never tried Udemy before, and I’m pleasantly surprised how good the courses are, so far anyway.

As for the version of UE, I have already installed 5.1.0, and yes, I’ve had it crash on me a few times when playing around with Niagara (for instance: I added a system from a template, then dragged it onto the scene view a few times to create some instances, then tried to undo it with Ctrl+Z, and it crashed). Other than that, the software is rock solid. I’m still amazed at how good-looking and peppy the GPU solver is. I tried my hand at fluid simulation and volume rendering like 15 years ago, when OpenGL 2 just came out, and my software just cannot compete with UE 5. :slight_smile:

I have seen some tutorials on Udemy, it is true that they are good.

I don’t know much about fluid simulation…
I know something about fluid dynamics… about conservation of energy, Bernoulli, Reynolds number and stuff related to physics. I am an engineer :slight_smile:

But I really don’t know anything about rendering fluids. I just know that it needs a lot of processing power.

Surely here you find people who know a lot about this topic.

If you know object-oriented programming (I know you know) and some design patterns. You will realize that Unreal integrates all of that.

Then learning unreal will be much easier for you… you don’t need to spend money. Everything is perfectly organized.

You just have to know how to use everything at the right time and in the right place.

Good luck!!

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It’s great to hear that you have such an enjoyable career.

The rendering of the volume, back when I did it anyway, was pretty straightforward actually. One emits rays from the camera centre to the image plane, which are then used to perform ray-AABB intersection. If there was an intersection, then the ray passes through the volume. You march along the ray in the volume, and accumulate colour and opacity. It ran so slow that I made the renderer into a tile renderer, so that way it calculates only a bit of the screen at a time, and so the mouse and keyboard stay responsive. Now Niagara runs smooth as silk. Amazing!

Yes, I am an intermediate-level C++ developer. I’m still learning the features in C++'s newer versions, but I’ve been at it for about 20 years now. It was C and BASIC before that.

I can imagine what you’re talking about only because I’ve seen that kind of rendering in blender…

And about the rays more or less too… I imagine it as the method that blender uses to curve the mesh of the characters using the bones…

But seriously, my knowledge on this topic is evidently nil.

I also learned C back in the year 2000 or so.
Basic, fortran, or pascal is already before my time.
So I think you have much more experience in all this than me.

I’m pretty sure you won’t be any problem learn Unreal.


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Thanks for your words of encouragement. I found a sweet tutorial on how to make a static mesh the emitter:


check this channel

And this too

All his videos are about Niagara effects

Enjoy!! :slight_smile:


Much appreciated. Thank you!

To be sure, I wrote to the enterprise sales team, and they replied that in my case (an open source project lead by a university affiliate) is $1500 USD per year. It likely has to do with the level of complexity in the algorithms that I wish to implement. That works out to like $200 Canadian dollars per month, when I believe that the answers that I’m looking for would only take a week to a month to formulate. I am deciding not to go the enterprise route. I think I should spend the cash in a more careful manner. If I eventually succeed, then no one will have to reinvent this wheel, because I will blog it to death.

Are you a teacher?

I don’t know how things work in Canada.
But if you want it for your work, the logical thing should be that your boss take care of the expenses of the tools that you need to be able to do your job.

Here in Spain the government is responsible for the expenses of the universities. If the university is private, then the expenses must be covered by means of the income obtained from the enrollment of the students.

In no case should the teacher be responsible with his own assets for the expenses of the material he needs to teach his classes.

If I were in your place, talk seriously with the rector of the university.


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No sir, I am not a teacher. I am a software developer, paying out of my own pocket. That’s why I’m hesitant to spend such a large amount. I will learn what’s necessary using other resources. Thank you again for your input. I appreciate it. :slight_smile:

P.S. The project is loosely related to schizophrenia. The target audience is schizophrenics, mostly. This doesn’t guarantee that I’d get funding for it, and in fact, I’m certain that I would not. This is why I pay out of my own pocket. I was hoping to get a student discount. :slight_smile:

If you did it with OpenGL I’m sure you won’t have any problem with Nigara.

The difference between OpenGL and Nigara is that with OpenGL you write thousands of lines of code. And with Niagra you only have to make a couple of clicks.

So I think just by watching a few tutorials on YouTube you will learn how to use Niagra very quickly. There are a ton of fluid tutorials on YouTube.

I understand that for a person who is used to writing code, he feels a certain aversion to using bluprints. But believe me that at the end of the day the difference is not that big.

Make it easy!!

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The only problem is that 99% of the tutorials out there use templates to set up their Niagara System. I found a promising video though, who says that they do it from scratch:

I’m actually going to focus on using Blueprints. I love C++, but if it’s not necessary, then I won’t use it.

Thanks for your insight, once again. :slight_smile:

The templates comes by default with Niagara.
You can choose not to use it if you don’t want to. (When you know how each module works).

Blueprints works exactly the same as C++ (blueprint is a class). Blueprint has advantages and disadvantages over C++ code.
I think the advantages make it worth using.
If you don’t like it you can always automatically convert it to C++.

By the way, I’ve been watching the first video you shared for a while and the first thing the man added was a template XD. Do not worry about it. After doing a few tutorials like this you won’t need templates.


Sorry about that. I was saving it for later today. :frowning:

I found one more that looks fantastic, animated, but not from scratch either:

Watch this:

The emitters work the same with fluids and with particles…

If you learn to use one, you also know how to use the other.

Don’t make a mountain out of a grain of sand. XD


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I’m getting the hang of it a little bit. Yes, that person uses a template gas emitter to copy attributes from, and then deletes it. Still, it is like 99% from scratch. This is the Rosetta stone of Niagara fluids. I’m so grateful for it. :slight_smile:

Thanks once again for your help and time.

Now, the only question is, how do I sample the 3D density texture to see if the player or enemies are in the way of fiery or lightning streams? No Marching Cubes required. LOL

I don’t remember well but I know that you have to use one of these volumes…

I once tried to make smoke and fog and my CPU went into overdrive. (I have dual XEON 24 cores)… Maybe my graphics card is too bad for that…

But I prefer not to use it due to the large amount of resources it consumes…

That’s why I don’t use fluids.

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I’m partially into fluids for the nostalgia value. When I did my volume renderer, I also added in random sparkles, to simulate the look of snow in the winter. My girlfriend at the time was into sparkles. LOL