Tutorial #7: IL Niagara Volume Effects
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create IL Niagara Volume Effects that leverage Niagara, the most powerful real-time VFX solution in Unreal Engine by creating advanced effects and rendering them to your light controllers. They allow you to perform effects that weren't possible before from simple lighting effects to the most advanced light show you've ever seen.
BETA FEATURE: This tutorial as well as the features are not final and may change. If you have any feedback, let us know and we'd love to hear your thoughts!
#1: Create a new Niagara Particle System
You can add this new asset to your VolumeEffects folder from the previous tutorial or by creating a new folder in your Content Browser called Niagara under your IL folder if you've already haven't created it as an example. Right-click in the new folder and add a Niagara System called NS_Shockwave and base it on the Omnidirection Burst template. Open the effect so we can edit it.
Feel free to modify the particle system and when you're finished, create a new User Parameter called ImmersiveLightingCallback and add the module Export Particle Data to Blueprint under Particle Update. Setup the module like so while not forgetting to assign the callback we made previously.
That's all you need configured in your Niagara particle systems to hook them up to IL Niagara Effect Volumes.
#2: Create an Immersive Lighting Niagara Volume Effect Blueprint
You can add this new asset to the folder you created for the Niagara System. Right-click in the new folder and add a new blueprint based off of the parent class Immersive Lighting Niagara Volume and name the effect NiagaraVolume_Shockwave. The first thing you want to assign is the primary Niagara System (which you want to set it to NS_Shockwave.
Below, you can find the settings for the volume that are the most important. These settings will determine how lighting is calculated for all light controllers being affected by this effect.
Render Mode: (Color or Light) Color is a simple linear color filter while light emulates light using the IL System
Lighting Influence Method: The default lighting influence method used for particle sampling
Intensity: The Intensity of the particle calculation
Sample Radius: The sample radius around each particle in which to sample the lighting information.
Falloff Distance: The distance at which the light has fallen off completely
Max Particle Count: The maximum number of particles that can be processed at any given time
Custom Falloff Distance: Whether or not to use a custom falloff distance for the light calculation
Enable Falloff: Whether or not to enable falloff calculations for the particles. If this is disabled, the lights will flash and not have any form of transition which might be desired in some cases
Match Fixed Bounds: Matches the fixed bounds of the Niagara System if they are set
Override Light Color: Whether or not to completely override the color of the light and ignoring what was previously set
MT Data Processing: Whether or not multi-threading is enabled
Show Particle Count: Whether or not to show the current particle count
Debug Visualization: Whether or not to show a debug visualization of the particles
#3: Create An Immersive Lighting Effect Asset That Links To The Volume
Create an Immersive Lighting Effect that references the newly-created Immersive Lighting Niagara Volume Effect. In the example below, we have Effect Volume enabled and the Effect Volume Class set to in our case IL_NiagaraVolume_Shockwave.
#4: Wire Up The Effect Or Add The Volume To Your Level
After finishing setting up your Niagara Volume and the IL Effect, either use an AImmersiveLightingRig to set it up or add a volume directly to your level. Add an IL Rig to your level and enable Simulate Immersive Lighting. Setup the rig.
Here are the settings we used for our example for the Immersive Lighting Rig.
That's it, you're now ready to rock! There are many ways to set these effects up. Stay tuned for more updates.