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Report article RSS Feed UDK – Unreal Cascade: Particle Creation System (Post 48)

Posted by CarlK3D on Jul 29th, 2013

Unreal Cascade is the Particle Creation System for UDK. In Cascade you can create a number of Special Effects such as Fire, Explosions, Gas, Rain and anything else you can think of.

Cascade UI

Unreal Cascade has a rather basic UI. The Main points of Interest are
- Navigation: Left Mouse to Rotate,  Right Mouse to Zoom In & Out, Middle to Pan Around.
- Save Thumbnail Image: Save an Image for you to see in the Content Browser. You can also Use a Real-time Thumbnail to see the Particle in action when you hover over it.
- LOD’s: You can Create LOD’s for your Particles to Increase performance by reducing the number of particles and effects on screen. You can Create LOD’s and change there Values for anything within the Emitter such as the Spawn. (Annotated in Image Bellow)

Material Setup for Cascade

- Diffuse: These Particles generally use Images like Flipbook Textures. For Information of Flipbook Texture Setup please refer here – Link
Most Particles don’t receive Lighting or Shadow Information so make sure you Material is set to MLM_Unlit Under the Main Material Properties. As well as a Blend Mode of BLEND_Additive
You also need to make sure to Tick “Use with Particle Sprites” & “Use with Particle Sub UV (This is found under Material/ Usage) so the Material Can be used as a Particle Material in Cascade. 

Particle System Setup
To create a new Particle System navigate to the Content Browser/ Right Click/ New Particle System/ Name & Group it accordingly. Double Click to open it.
Select your Material In the Content Browser/ Open Cascade/ Right Click in the Emitter List (Large Black area) & Click “New  ParticleSpriteEmitter”
This adds your Material to Cascade

At this Point you can add all the Materials you want for your Particle and begin to adjust there Emitter Values for Required. Some Important Values are
- Screen Alignment: Tell the Particles to be Square, Rectangular
- SubUV: This can tell the Particle to randomly or subsequently select the Images
If you have Multiple Images (Flipbook) You need to set Sub Images (Horizontal & Vertical) to the Number of Rows and Columns

Most of the Other Tabs are self explanatory and just require you to play around and see what you like.
Cascade also has a Graph Editor that you can change the way your Particles act such as Color Over Life, Lifetime or even Opacity of Life
*Note: to set a Color in “Color over Life” X,Y,Z are = to R,G,B
I Highly Recommend Watching this Series on Cascade - Link  
*I did not Create this Particle, Its an Example of what can be done with Cascade*


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