Vortex/Tornado Effect?

I’ll cut to the chase: I’ve been trying to make a spinning blizzard/snowstorm vortex effect, but I’m having trouble. It being 2D sprites is giving me a hard time, especially alignment.

This is the WIP:

Looks kinda fine from above, however from the side:

You can now see the problem. Due to being velocity aligned, it’s very visible that they are 2D sprites, especially on the sides of the effect (also visible where it touches the ground, but that can be fixed with some ground decals, fog volume, and material tweaks).

The problem is, players need to be able to walk inside this while not looking terrible. Changing alignment from velocity to anything else will result in it looking much better when inside (the 2D sprites stop being obvious), but looks terrible when outside.

I’m new to VFX so I don’t really know how stuff like this is usually done. I’ve seen it done as a mesh, but that’s not really feasible since players will be really close (and inside) and it will be very obvious. As far as I know UE4 doesn’t have true volumetric smoke yet, and pseudo-volumetric (like in the example) wouldn’t really solve my alignment issue I think.

Anyone with experience with this kinda stuff that could give me some hints? Kind of at wits end here.

I not a pro in Particle system, but Epic has released a series of video tutorials that would help you. For exemple this video : Starting at 10:24 he explain how to fix youre ground problem. Plus you can look at the started content Particles that is inclued with the engine (especialy the P_Steam_Lit).

Hope that helped :).

Thanks, I am going to fix the ground issue, but the bigger issue right now is the velocity alignment, which I have no idea how to fix. I wanted to try with a mesh but again, players go through it, so a mesh would stand out as flat.

You can use Depth Fade node in Opacity slot in your material to soften effect of blending particles with meshes

It should rotate faster in the center

Hey ACDS -

This effect may benefit from creating some LODs in which one Emitter system is running for distance viewing and another is running when the player’s camera is actual in side the effect. Also, from what I am seeing, and assuming you add the depth fade to your material, it may also be worth playing with your Sort Mode.