Cascade 2 Niagara

If you been following this blog for quite sometime, you are probably familiar with the type of things that I like to do in my free time. Mostly challenging or out of the box stuff weird things the probably no one around 5000 miles is thinking about. One of those things that i consider as out of the box activity, is the “Magical Tools” or at least this is how i like to call them!

Several years ago when Unity3d announced the new amazing UI system they have, at that time almost everyone was using an editor extension called NGUI, and with that in mind, and while it seemed at that time that the future will be for that new teased UI system (4.6) and NGUI will decay, I started thinking not only about learning the new system, but also in a way to migrate all my projects (and anyone’s project) to that UI system, and the result was a nice converting plugin that been around for quite sometime until the UI system became pretty much the default standard for any U3d project.

Today I wanted to talk about something similar, but more recent. Couple of years ago Epic announced that a new FX system is in the way, and not too long, it became an experimental thing, and now it is officially within the engine as a plugin (well, 4 or 5 months ago). During that past few months, specially after it came out of experimental folder, I started to testing it, trying it, learning it, and try to make some of that new system emitters within my projects. Have to say it give a TON of control, and it is amazing system, the smart way it was built (imagine, particle modules ain’t header files o.O) not to mention that you can add your own modules, and expand and extend the Niagara workflow to the infinity and beyond, only with data! And while is sounds perfect, but this means all the FX that I made in the past is dead now, and must start making new ones, while Cascade will still not dead, but it is very clear, that a new system will replace and old one at some point, same as Sequencer and Matinee. So I decided to work more in digesting that system and do my favorite thing, which is a “magical tool”!

Few days Ago I’ve announced on twitter about the tool I’ve been working on since Niagara release, that will ease the conversion of old particle FX systems (AKA cascade) to new Niagara systems. And while the differences between the two systems are almost the day and night difference, but finally I managed to have ways and road to make something working as expected, fast & kinda considering all the possibilities.

There isn’t much to show right now, yet the converted asset will look like 70%-80% the old one, and this is why i prefer to keep working and pushing it further. Right now, it’s all code, console messages & broken *.uasset files, but I see potential with near 80% similarities!!!!
For now, it is a side road that i took to experiment something new within couple of days, and ended up being a plugin that lasted for 3 months or may be more.
While this project been in the work for quite sometime, I decided to finalize it as soon as possible, and and put it out, so instead of migrating alone to Niagara system, let’s all get prepared to make it a group seasonal migration to the new system!!!!

-m

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