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Question about smoke, fire and glass

(Posting here because it fits here better than the ) I’m a motion designer and I’ve been moving from rendering in cinema4d into unreal engine and it’s been amazing so far.

The only issues I have are these 2 subjects that keep me from being able to render some short film ideas completely in unreal engine.

Starting with smoke/fire, so one of the big issues is that OpenVDB isn’t supported, but I assume you can do a lot with Niagara/rendering out flipbooks from embergen.

One example is a flamethrower fire like this: Imgur: The magic of the Internet normally the idea would be for example making something in Embergen and then just using the .vdb files to get it into C4D, but is there an (easy) way to get something similar inside unreal engine? (it also moves around, so I assume that makes it quite a bit more difficult)

Second is glass. So I haven’t played around much with glass in unreal, but I tried out raytracing translucency and it was very janky and didn’t work how I would want it to work.

How would I go about doing something like this?: Imgur: The magic of the Internet

The workflow I would understand is making the object and doing the animating in C4D, but if i make the materials in Unreal, can you get close to the same effect? I only played around a little bit with glass. I want to render everything with ray-tracing on, so same for translucency, but as I said before it was really finicky. Or am I just doing something wrong?

For glass forget raytrace. Its got issues since raytrace started and they never addressed any of them. Use forward rendering by forcing it in the material, and things will look a lot better. The refraction works a lot better too. Even if it isn’t 100% realistic.
your image isn’t glass anyway, its more like a glossy/reflectivr ball. You can achieve the same effect easily by 0 roughness and 1 specular. Refraction is probably the same as for glass.
fernel node output, 1.34 as the exponent - check out the official docs on it.

For the flames and smoke. Its kinda hard if you need the ability to rewind it, but the basic methods should work nonetheless.
In essence, all of those materials use a custom function (which you build yourself) that distort the UV of a given image. When you overlay sprites on one another with different values of the function you achieve a seemingly randomized effect that appears to swirl like smoke or fire do.

There’s a billion tutorials showing you different ways to twist the UVs to achieve the effect. I would say, pick one with the final effect that you like the most and follow it.
Using it in niagara or cascade makes little difference - you just branch out between tutorials if the one you are following is for cascade only use the material from it. Apply it in another tutorial covering niagara.
an alternative ofc would be marketplace assets. There’s tons out there…