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Learn How to Create an Afterimage Effect in Unreal Engine 5's Niagara

Amit Mehar shared a concise breakdown explaining how to add extra speed to your 3D animations. 

Ever since the early days of animation, the afterimage technique, the creation of images of oneself while moving, has been one of the most recognized methods for depicting characters as incredibly fast. Recently, 3D Artist and Unreal Engine enthusiast Amit Mehar shared an insightful tutorial explaining how this effect can be achieved in 3D using Niagara in Unreal Engine 5.

For those unfamiliar, Niagara is Unreal Engine's next-generation VFX system that lets one create and preview particle effects in real-time.

With it, digital artists gain the ability to develop additional functionalities independently, without relying on a programmer. Versatile and flexible, the system allows aspiring creators to start by modifying templates or behavior examples, while advanced users can create their own custom modules.

In his breakdown, Amit demonstrated how to prepare a character mesh and showcased the Niagara and particle setups required to achieve the appealing afterimage effect seen in the demos. According to the author, the effect currently only functions with rigid skinning, making it primarily suitable for robots. "We can bake a section (arms) of skeletal mesh to perform custom skinning too, but that would get too complicated," noted the artist. You can check out the breakdown attached below or by clicking this link:

Earlier, Amit also showcased a similar-looking character trail effect, achieved through the use of Niagara static mesh particles:

Previously, the artist also detailed a neat way of dissolving static and pre-fractured meshes using the dynamic fracture setup and showcased a cool experiment with a snow setup and a dynamic system. You can find all these experiments and more by visiting Amit's Twitter page.

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