out of idea

Hello UE community. I was thinking for about 6 hours and I’m still out of ideea. What I have is a sakura tree (those cherry tree from japan) and I want to make leaf fall. Ok, here is pretty simple, because I have the leaf model.
Now, my real problem is that I want leaf to fall from tree, and the number of leaves to fall from tree.
Basically I don’t want to put that concept of the tree and leaf falling as 2 separated process. I was thinking that I could just put the leaves on the tree as different models and just make them to fall from tree.
It’s kinda hard to explain, so if you didn’t understand something, I’ll try again to explain as close as I can. Basically I want the leaves to fall from tree, not from sky. That’s all.

You have a few options for leaves falling from a tree. I would recommend Particle Effects, as they are likely the cheapest option. Here are some resources that may help:

Now, if you want the actual leaves themselves to literally detach from the tree, there are even more options. Something you may want to look into is Instanced Static Mesh Components, which would allow you to efficiently have all of the different leaf meshes being rendered at once.

Cherry trees in Japan look very special at this time of year iirc :slight_smile: … Just to add to what Jamendxman3 said…


  1. In your scene, is there any wind rocking the tree?
  2. Do falling leaves create empty gaps in the tree?

Particles often look better at a distance but can be easier to spawn and automate, whereas meshes offer greater control overall.
With meshes you can toggle physics and control how many, how often and when the leaves fall more precisely than particles.
You can get similar effects with particles, but its more of an art-form, (does wind even impact on mesh-based particles in UE4???)
If this is going to be a cinematic piece, meshes will probably hold up better visually for close-ups and zoomed-in scenes overall…

Thanks for answer, I’ll look over the instanced static mesh.

Yeah, cherry trees looks amazing.
Usually, I will use particles, but 1 time a year, there will be an event, where basically all trees will have their leaves fall, that’s why I was looking at something “more realisting” then infinite leaves falling on the ground and dissapearing.

  1. Yes, I’ll add wind, but it will appear randomly, and last for about 1 minute
  2. I don’t know exactly what you want to say with empty gaps, but I’m still researching about the instanced mesh. Basically, I have the tree, without leaves and I have leaf model, so basically what I have to do is to “stick” the leaves to tree and as soon as the event starts, they would fall, with defined interval. Combined with some directional wind, it would do the trick :D.

Personally I would go with instanced static mesh to have all of the leaves on the tree. Then when the wind starts and you want to make them fall convert it over to a static mesh and just use physics on it to get them to float around. You could place a few random force actors around to make them float around a bit and move those around the tree to create some randomization.

Once they then hit the ground convert them back into the instanced static mesh to keep performance up