Post Processing sandstorm effect (similar to fog)

I hope that it’s alright that I ask for some help here, since I could not find much on the internet that explained what I needed.

Basically, I need to create a post-processing sandstorm effect. I was planning on using a fog post processing effect as a base/inspiration and then build off of that.
The ideal effect I am looking for will be like the fog slowly creeping in from outside of a square that can be manually set, so the fog will slowly envelop the entire level.
The effect has to look 3d and it has to be used on a top-down camera, since I am making a twin-stick shooter.

I started with UE5 a couple weeks back and have some experience with C++, though not enough to understand what is going on with the guide I linked below, or how to make the post processing thing work using it.

I did find a helpful guide: Fog for Top-Down Games | rasie1's blog
However, I do not understand how to use any of it and the post is quite old and I am afraid I will not get a response in time.

Any kind of help would be really appreciated :smiley:


What about

Does it have to be PP?


Yes it has to be post processing. I did see some videos about sandstorms that aren’t post processing, but it really does have to be post processing, which is why I ended up asking for help rather than use a video like the one you suggested. Still appreciate the attempt though :smiley:

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There’s a volumetric fog PP tutorial, if you’re feeling brave, which could probably be converted to look like sand?


I could give it a shot, I just hope it would also work from a top-down perspective.
If this ends up solving the issue, I will mark this post as answered, if not, I will update this post.
Thank you very much :smiley:

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Maybe start with the first version he makes, then work your way up :smiley:

( Actually I have an idea in mind, will come back shortly if it pans out )

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Can I just check why PP is a must?

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My first feeble attempt :slight_smile:


Main points are

  1. Is doesn’t follow the camera

  2. It doesn’t hit vertical surfaces

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Well it is for a project for school. Basically, we had to choose a research topic, and due to my team’s desert theme, I thought I’d choose the Post Processing Fog and turn it into a sandstorm (this was before I understood what post processing actually does) and the lecturer thought it would be a challenging yet good idea.
After doing some research on it, I found that it was much more difficult to do than I expected.
I have spent quite a lot of hours researching on how to do it, but hadn’t found anything and due to time constraints since I have lots more to work on for the game itself, I thought I’d ask in these forums.

I am really glad that you were able to help this much though, I will implement your recommendation as soon as I can! :smiley:

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Ok, I messed around with the UVs here

It’s based on this method

It looks like it’s rolling a bit more


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That’s amazing, thank you so much.
I will just set the post you made as the answer to my question, since I do think it is plenty for me to work with to turn it into a sandstorm.
I will try my hardest to get this to work the way I want it to, and once it does work I will upload the result here.

Once again, thank you for all your help! :smiley:

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No worries :sunglasses:

This is as far as I got


It needs careful management so that you can’t see it’s just a flat texture, but for top down it might be pretty good.

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Stuck at work but I might try this myself.

Only thought is if distance-fields are available to sample in a PP effect? One might be able to make the effect ‘object-sensitive’?

You definitely can make it wrap around stuff, see the link I posted up there :slight_smile:

The question is, how far are your prepared to go? Why not just use a volume texture? Because we have constraints…

After watching the videos you sent and trying some stuff myself, I ended up with the effect shown in the little Gif I sent.
I got this through the UV stuff from the video you sent combined with an effect from a video I found:

However, for the purpose of the game, this just wasn’t really 3D enough, since it is supposed to obscure the enemies like a storm would.
I will just try to study and use the site I sent in the original post since it has the best effect possible I could find while still being a post processing effect: Fog for Top-Down Games | rasie1's blog
I will try to understand it and recreate it while modifying it to be more of a sandstorm.
If I manage to make anything with this, I will be sure to update this post :smiley:

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Interested to see the end product :slight_smile:

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