It was targeted toward an audience primarily made up of professionals in the film industry who use Houdini for a living. This is not a step-by-step tutorial on how to generate beautiful Craft Game Effects but rather a broad transition guide aiming to give insight into what kind of optimizations are necessary when working in a real-time environment.
Learn How to Craft Game Effects using Houdini & UE4 – Stephen
Sprites are a particularly common way to render particles. It’s a display method that allows the user to play back a movie or image sequence in-game. To conserve memory it makes sense to place images onto a single texture called a “sprite sheet”. We typically will try to “pack” as much information into a given texture as possible to avoid have to load multiple images into memory.
Sprite Sheet in Houdini
With new textures generated in Houdini, we are able to now go about setting up Unreal Engine in order that a mesh will deform over time. This is accomplished by using panning our UV coordinates over the years to read animation that has been saved in a texture map
A Basic “Power-Up” Particle in Unreal Engine
Trimming is a common feature used with particles which helps to reduce overdraw (when transparent images render atop other transparent images). It’s a great way to reduce the complexity of your particles when rendering transparent images such as smoke. When possible, it’s also a good idea to let the GPU handle things such as transformations.
Creating Geometry and Animating in Houdini
Here we investigate a little bit of the workflow in Houdini for turning 2D Images into 3D geometry. COPs is a powerful part of Houdini that is useful when working on game vfx and motion graphics. Remember to “texture pack” whenever it makes sense. Images are great ways to pass information to UE4.