Trigger visual effects via Kismet in UDK

You will probably need special effects for your weapons, vehicles … We’ll see how to add ParticleSystems and trigger effects in Kismet.

Visual effects with particles: ParticleSystem actor

All advanced visual effects that you know in the video game (Fire, explosions, smoke, sparks, streaks balls) are created with  particle systems  in UDK.

The classic example is the spark: the heart of the spark transmitter (invisible), and you need to understand what these famous particles: these are pieces of material thrown, fired, out of the spark.
These particles, still in the same example, have these properties:

  • A yellow / orange very bright;

  • A 360 ° projection;

  • A high-speed movement;

  • Short duration.

We will see an example. Open your Content Browser and select the filter  Particle Systems !
Then, delve into the UDKGame/Content/UT3/Effects packages and choose a system of particles, eg  Corruption_Falling_Leaf_01 . Welcome to  Unreal Cascade, the publisher of particle systems!

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Unreal Cascade

Each sheet of this system is a particle. It has a downward movement, a rotation and it goes down. You see, it’s very simple!
We will not detail this tool, nor the editing tool Static Meshes in the first part. For now, this is not the goal, you’ll just  use  a  ParticleSystem .

Close  Cascade , select  P_FX_VehicleDeathExplosion  and close the Content Browser. In the 3D view, it is now very easy to add a  ParticleSystem with: right click – Add Emitter: P_FX_VehicleDeathExplosion .
For now, if you start the game you will see one small explosion which stops … It is normal, the system of particles is disposable!

Making a mine

Its behavior is very simple: it takes the form of a 3D model, and when you approach it, it explodes producing sound, explosion  effect, and damages.

The Actors to use, and some useful content

You’ll have to implement several  Actors  to make a mine:

  • A  StaticMesh  which physically represent the mine: you can choose what you want for this;

  • Sound: UDKGame/Content/UT3/Sounds/Weapon/A_Weapon_

Rocketlauncher / Cue / A_Weapon_RL_Impact_Cue,  that you will not displace for now  : It’s an opportunity to discover another way of playing sound;

  • A  ParticleEmitter  representing an explosion.

If you rebuild and run the map now, you will normally have a picture of explosion once, no sound, no damage: do not panic, this is normal! We will fix it quickly with  Kismet .

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A working basis for explosive mine!


Trigger effects via Kismet

TriggerVolume is the tool to use here to trigger your action. Remember the process:

  • Create a form to the right size with the  Builder Brush  ;

  • Make a  TriggerVolume via the tool Volumes of the main window;

  • In Kismet, create an event with  New Event using TriggerVolume_0 - Touch .

And now let’s play with Kismet! You will use two actions:

  • Toggle connected to ParticleSystem (remember: right click on the entity,  New Object Var using ... in Kismet!)

  • PlaySound , a new action: its properties, you will have a property Play Sound to which you assign the selected sound.

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The properties menu in Kismet for the action  PlaySound

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An early sequence Kismet for your mine


At this point, when you approach the mine it should blow up and start the explosion effect and sound!

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The final Kismet sequence


Your mine is fatal now. : Pirate:


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