"Smoke Man" rendered in Unreal 4


we’re working on a horror game as a project group at our university.
We had the idea of creating a shady horror character that haunts you etc. (not going into further detail with story)
and I immediately thought of this guy:

I am aware that the effect is rendered in 3dsMax with plugins simulating millions of particles, however we’re trying
to create that sort of character anyway.

Our approach was to emit smoke particles from multiple bones of a model we had lying around.
We are under the impression that it could theoretically look quite alright, but we didn’t play around
with the UE4 Particle System at all, we just used a template.

Before we continue with this part of our project, I’d like to ask:
How would you try to achieve this kind of effect? Maybe create it in 3dsMax, render certain parts out to use in the UE4 Particle System?
Or is emitting particles from the bones of our character the best way to go about this?

We’re thankful for any input you could give us!


If it were me, I’d render a bunch of ‘tendrils’ using particles or fluids from Maya/Max and use those as sprites on your particle system in Unreal.

You’d also want to generate a vector field in Maya and use that to drive GPU particles in Unreal. I can’t remember if you can emit GPU particles from bones off the top of my head, unfortunately.

You can do that with particles without trying to do a fluid type simulation. Realtime particles just won’t have enough density. UE4 can do a lot more particles than before, but still not enough. But doing a lower number of textured particles can still look good.

It can be done with a bunch of sheets from tendril (cig like smoke). You just need to render 3-4 sheets i believe just for variation.

You could also do a material for the Skeletal Mesh with Translucency and a cloud particle using the Skel Vert/Surface Location Module. Setting a series of flow maps in the material so over the particle’s life you can move from one to another and simulate the tendril effect that DieByZer0 mentions as well.

GPU particles with one or more subUV sheets might get you pretty close…