Simulating Large Crowds In Niagara | Unreal Engine

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Unreal Engine

Πριν μήνα

Displaying thousands of characters on-screen in real-time has always been a challenge - until now. Unreal Engine's Niagara visual effects system opens up doors to go far beyond what was previously thought possible and this presentation by Epic's Joseph Azzam showcases how you can utilize the power and versatility of Niagara to create massive crowds in real-time, and simulate a million units!
Plus, learn how to make the most out of Niagara's new features to create "smart mesh particles" that can replace basic AIs, allowing you to display an enormous amount of characters on-screen all at once.
Learn more about Niagara VFX and Unreal Engine at
00:00 Intro
00:59 Credits
1:16 Traditional techniques
4:58 Understanding Bottlenecks
07:13 AI Classification
08:28 Particle Effects
08:50 Vertex Animation
12:29 Animation Player Module
13:25 Finish Current Animation First Module
18:17 Examples
23:34 Large Scenes
31:04 Multiplayer
31:54 Note About Performance
32:25 Future Work

Bios Πριν 6 ημέρες
I don’t understand half the terms he is using but it sounds very interesting.
armondtanz Πριν 7 ημέρες
The 1 million crowd scene??? The ultimate challenge.. Sum1 actually do a tutorial on achieving this with an FBX Mixamo chatacter???? Literally nothing about making this huge army!!
Vetom&Cie Πριν 8 ημέρες
Pls someone help me, how does he turn an animation composite into an animation sequence to export it in fbx as one animation with all the animations in it ?
Studio Nost
Studio Nost Πριν 6 ημέρες
I just come into comment to see how. I really don't know :)
Alexandr M
Alexandr M Πριν 15 ημέρες
Best tutorial ever. But please, please, share the project!
jbn675478 Πριν 16 ημέρες
didn't ubisoft do this in ac unity?
Kh0rn Πριν 17 ημέρες
Share pls
BasementMinions Πριν 18 ημέρες
So incredible!
spoodtouch Πριν 18 ημέρες
Any chance of a sample project coming out? I would love to poke through it and it's incredibly frustrating to understand from the brief snippets shown in this video.
Wheee Wuuu
Wheee Wuuu Πριν 19 ημέρες
Simply impressive!
FreD Πριν 23 ημέρες
@32:10 small correction 1 million times 32 bits = 32MegaBits, = 4 Mega Bytes.
Mehmet Arda Gündüz
Mehmet Arda Gündüz Πριν 23 ημέρες
Great presentation! Thanks for the effort!
Ryu Hayabusa
Ryu Hayabusa Πριν 23 ημέρες
Please Epic Games, make the next big moba. We miss Paragon
The Clumsy Carper
The Clumsy Carper Πριν 24 ημέρες
Oh man I dream of what Bend Studio could do with this for Days Gone 2
Ma liberté financière
Ma liberté financière Πριν 24 ημέρες
Am I the only one who realized that he is making a tutorial using a function that is not in the engine...? How about showing how he made that function... Or most people here are just watching g and not doing
Kuruma Drive
Kuruma Drive Πριν 24 ημέρες
matrix path of them agent smiths covered!
Havok 969
Havok 969 Πριν 24 ημέρες
Hello I am trying to follow what you did in the video and I am stuck at how to export the animation composite
Younis Kojok
Younis Kojok Πριν 25 ημέρες
ya khayiii lei b7essak lebnene ?:D love the presentation
wavewonder1 Πριν μήνα
Dude I can’t even figure out how to get to 100 AI without framerate. How is he saying “a few hundred” so casually?
Games Tests
Games Tests Πριν μήνα
Gytis321 S
Gytis321 S Πριν μήνα
Remaster Warhammer 40k Down Of War Soulstorm IN UE4/5 !!!
I Play Kh
I Play Kh Πριν μήνα
I don't need that much, i only wish to have 100 vs 100 ai in Star War Battlefront or Battlefield games.
Anthony Vieira
Anthony Vieira Πριν μήνα
You'd think Creative Assembly would be the one pioneering this tech.
Thronos Records
Thronos Records Πριν μήνα
Wait, WHAT?!
LiLo Games
LiLo Games Πριν μήνα
Takes Too Long, Just, Get To The Point, Thanks
LiLo Games
LiLo Games Πριν μήνα
Srry, Took 2 Minutes Of Waiting
Dave H
Dave H Πριν μήνα
It seems like a better way to handle enemy ais. Instead of normal bps. With respect to increased performance
Valstorm Warsong
Valstorm Warsong Πριν μήνα
very cool
Ferzival 7
Ferzival 7 Πριν μήνα
This will do on ps4?
Jeff Crt
Jeff Crt Πριν μήνα
Someone remake nuts.wad
Captain Game Engine
Captain Game Engine Πριν μήνα
Fantastic video and so well explained!
Ylly Πριν μήνα
@Joseph Azzam is it possible to avoid texture backing and pass bones bind matrices into shader directly? If yes i will glad to see any tips because i did anim system like this with unity avoid beaking into texture and trying to find way do it in unreal
Artificer Cascadia
Artificer Cascadia Πριν μήνα
Wow, that was the best Unreal tutorial I've ever seen. Hats off, kid.
Cesar Joel Ramos Cuetlach
Cesar Joel Ramos Cuetlach Πριν μήνα
How many Nasa computers do i need to process this on development?
Omega Sky
Omega Sky Πριν μήνα
where are we supposed to make these functions? I can not find a way to make a function anywhere inside niagara.
Ma liberté financière
Ma liberté financière Πριν 24 ημέρες
My though exactly, then by reading the comments, I realize that pretty much every one who watch this video just do just that, they just watch, they do not do, just watch, when you try to do, you see all the issues with this tutorial
Jonathan Reichel
Jonathan Reichel Πριν μήνα
Yep, this had me flashing back to War of the Ring then BTS of the LotR movies with Weta Workshop showing their MASSIVE tech!
ZoKKeRFreAK Πριν μήνα
Very interesting topic. The limitations on actor count per scene have always been one of my main problems with unreal. Especially gamethread related bottlenecks. I'm not really that familiar with niagara tho, so for me it's kinda hard to now understand what's possible with this strategy and what isn't (l mean with still good performance). Obviously the complexity of each individual unit here is rather low compared to strapping a whole AI tree on a character, but I suppose you could just do alot with additional code. But when you run that code you would probably lose a lot of the performance gain again. Still it looks like you were able to add a lot of functionality for what seems like almost no gamethread performance loss. So why exactly (on a technical level) is this niagara strategy better for large crowds, how does it scale so good? The instructions for each unit (like the position depending on the unit in front of it) should still be per unit (=> linear scaling) no? And there is still collision running, as we could see when u shot them. Why are actors performing so incredibly bad and this so incredibly good on the engine level? I fail to see where all the overhead on actors went, since they still scale so bad even if you deactivate a ton of their features like movement components, etc.
Darkwing Dumpling
Darkwing Dumpling Πριν μήνα
"The player wont even notice" Cyberpunk: 👁👄👁
VR & AR dev.Studio
VR & AR dev.Studio Πριν μήνα
why can't you leave a sample project link? Why?
Fafhrd42 Πριν μήνα
So... Blender has built in baking, but it doesn't have built in Vector Displacement baking. And DEFINITELY doesn't have displacement baking from skeletal animation.
Olliver Aira
Olliver Aira Πριν μήνα
I wonder how this will work with Nanite once its here
Olliver Aira
Olliver Aira Πριν μήνα
omg yes :D As I have been waiting for this day
Serene Eclipse
Serene Eclipse Πριν μήνα
Total War: Unreal Edition
Claude LALYRE Πριν μήνα
You are a pixels wizard !
Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie Πριν μήνα
Paragon minions lol epic games 😣😤
johnh 182
johnh 182 Πριν μήνα
one million troops wow one million troops 😀 where you at tak
guandong tao
guandong tao Πριν μήνα
What a amazing Niagara can do so much ! thank you for this video. also Could you share this example project download for study?
cedrix57 Πριν μήνα
Thanks, very good ivdeo
D. Sylvain
D. Sylvain Πριν μήνα
i want a game with UE5 !
Pepe Le Frog
Pepe Le Frog Πριν μήνα
My niagara....
Victor Ponce
Victor Ponce Πριν μήνα
I hope CDPR is watching this.
omprog Πριν μήνα
Your compressor on the mic is to much. Just lift the threshold a bit and turn down the volume instead.
Andrew Dembek
Andrew Dembek Πριν μήνα
Is this genius or what?
James Nicholas
James Nicholas Πριν μήνα
A download would be great because I know how creative the community can be! Download please :) Epic as usual is ahead of the game
Ixcelsius Πριν μήνα
This is the most epic thing ive seen in Unreal...Now im off to quickly go make my own Total War game :p
Leandro de Oliveira
Leandro de Oliveira Πριν μήνα
Points of authority
Johannes Wetzler
Johannes Wetzler Πριν μήνα
Real warhammer game on the way, by the emperor.
Nicolas Galipeau
Nicolas Galipeau Πριν μήνα
All of this was pretty mind boggling to be honest...
Zeon3D Πριν μήνα
Are there ways to replace the particles with real AI when they are within the player's given radius?
Joseph Azzam
Joseph Azzam Πριν μήνα
Yes, just keep track of player position in blueprint and send it to Niagara, then the particles will check if they are in range and request an AI to spawned in their place.
Tristun Alekzander
Tristun Alekzander Πριν μήνα
Can this handle more objects than Unity's DOTS system? DOTS can handle about 150,000 objects at once above 30 fps.
Jen Kem
Jen Kem Πριν μήνα
That's great, keep it up!
Rare Raven Games
Rare Raven Games Πριν μήνα
Very nice. Showcase the end result at the end of the video for a clearer picture.
Richard G
Richard G Πριν μήνα
Is your sample project available to download anywhere? Would be really awesome to pull it apart and play around with it
Urban Twilight
Urban Twilight Πριν μήνα
^ This
P B Πριν μήνα
4:30 its not acceptable, 20 fps pffff
Dendra Πριν μήνα
videos like that: 60 fps wieh 100000 characters on screen real games: 10 fps when 10 characters on screen
Havok 969
Havok 969 Πριν μήνα
Is this available for download?
Havok 969
Havok 969 Πριν μήνα
I wonder if this is using Instanced static meshes or Instanced Skeleton meshes?
Havok 969
Havok 969 Πριν μήνα
​@Joseph Azzam What are they referred as? Id like to make my own models if possible Edit: sorry just went through your video and saw you refer to it as an animation composite Again thank you so much for this!
Joseph Azzam
Joseph Azzam Πριν μήνα
Niagara's take on Instanced Static Meshes
CereDev Πριν μήνα
One of the best presentations seen from Unreal Engine tbh
Jaime Alan Mendez Castro
Jaime Alan Mendez Castro Πριν μήνα
awesome! where can i give a closer look to all those bird examples? :)
OnigoroshiZero Πριν μήνα
This is amazing.
Lime Πριν μήνα
Where did you get the name from?
A. N.
A. N. Πριν μήνα
This is crazy good :)
Bloke 28
Bloke 28 Πριν μήνα
I can't seem to export an animation composite? Its greyed out, only anims seem exportable.. Does the birds flying to tree and back come in an packs mentioned?
Joseph Azzam
Joseph Azzam Πριν μήνα
I'm not sure what is causing your issue, but a workaround is to hit the record button at the bottom. Then delete the extra recorded frames inside unreal by right-clicking on the animation's timeline and removing frames before/after
Eriks Hoodie!
Eriks Hoodie! Πριν μήνα
project alicization here we come
Ted K
Ted K Πριν μήνα
yeah why do i have to turn cc on to understand this guy?
Joseph Azzam
Joseph Azzam Πριν μήνα
Good thing there's CC, thank you caption team :)
JuGGerNauTT32 Πριν μήνα
If there was ever a good time to make a new Lord of the Rings RTS... ;)
JuGGerNauTT32 Πριν 14 ημέρες
@Sauron Oh, I wasn't aware of that, many thanks! That's awesome news... they seem to make good progress too... if I find the time I will help them with development.
Sauron Πριν 18 ημέρες
Not a new game but an absolutely awesome remaster is in the making. Check out BFME Reforged on GRpost to view their progress.
Jonathan Reichel
Jonathan Reichel Πριν μήνα
Yep, this had me flashing back to War of the Ring then BTS of the LotR movies with Weta Workshop showing their MASSIVE tech!
JuGGerNauTT32 Πριν μήνα
​@Dindu Oh I see, didn't realize it was a different game mode :D.. Well I'm not sure if it's something to do with the game's source code or bad optimization, but historically you needed a lot of RAM to run this game with many units. About the other thing you asked, I just meant that those are the biggest battles in LOTR, where you would see the most player & enemy units at the same time... :D
Dindu Πριν μήνα
​@JuGGerNauTT32 TWWH2 doesn't do 50k though, this is the laboratory mode which has some special optimizations to it. In campaign battles, performance is much much worse. I'm not sure why they can't bring those optimizations to the campagin though. What you mean by excluding Helm's Deep and Pelennor Fields :D
Aidan Ko
Aidan Ko Πριν μήνα
Saruman would like to speak with you
Edward Salaj
Edward Salaj Πριν μήνα
RIP Paragon
Jason Abi Saad
Jason Abi Saad Πριν μήνα
Lebanese people are genius
Deliveredmean42 Πριν μήνα
Yeah, this pretty much outdid Serious Sam 4 intro scene pretty easily lol
Ameen Altajer
Ameen Altajer Πριν μήνα
Joseph is awesome, thanks for an awesome session!
Joseph Azzam
Joseph Azzam Πριν μήνα
thanks man!
Martyn Leeper
Martyn Leeper Πριν μήνα
With all the hype around data oriented design, will this philosophy begin to make it's way into UE4 more?
ExaByte Πριν μήνα
Calloban Πριν μήνα
0:15 if only total war had this many
Harry Bug
Harry Bug Πριν μήνα
very useful
KomradKyle Πριν μήνα
Rome: Infinity War
George Erfesoglou
George Erfesoglou Πριν μήνα
Can we get the project or a small sample project for study?
Ummer Farooq
Ummer Farooq Πριν 18 ημέρες
He said sprites in a scene.
Manuel Camelo
Manuel Camelo Πριν μήνα
DELICIOUS™ (͡ ͡° ͜ つ ͡͡°)
AngeIV Πριν μήνα
I guess that's how world war Z zombies were made? : )
Joseph Azzam
Joseph Azzam Πριν μήνα
I don't know, I know Niagara is relatively newer, therefore they probably used another system. I would look for articles on the subject, as I sure they want to do a postmortem covering that. However, a guess is that they used a lot of concepts demonstrated in this presentation.
The Girth Smurf
The Girth Smurf Πριν μήνα
I don't think so...
rupanshu raman
rupanshu raman Πριν μήνα
Just like Quixel, if Unreal can buy Character Creator 3 and make it free, it will be tremendously helpful!
Ummer Farooq
Ummer Farooq Πριν 18 ημέρες
Or you could pay people what they are owed
Da Cat
Da Cat Πριν μήνα
8:13 i noticed that in games a long time ago, the guy close to me was legit but the ones in the back where like ...t posing or something just floating around, like a 2d painted character lol. And if he got a bit closer i could see him snap into the 3d model :))
Deep Elements
Deep Elements Πριν μήνα
Nice thank you
Omega Mouse
Omega Mouse Πριν μήνα
Would it be possible to have these particles switch to an AI blueprint, do what it needs to do, then switch back to being a particle? To have it programmed to automatically switch between AI BP and particle when needed?
Williams Li
Williams Li Πριν μήνα
Remember that time Weta set up out door tents for computers to increase render power to render massive battle scenes for Lord of the Ring?
Martin Strothers
Martin Strothers Πριν μήνα
Thank you for taking the time to create and share!!
ThePCxbox Πριν μήνα
Me (a person who hasnt touched particles outside of simple bullets and flames) *sees this video*: Interesting...
Ivan Perez
Ivan Perez Πριν 14 ημέρες
me who's only had a pc for 6 months and only games
armondtanz Πριν μήνα
in 10 or 20 years, it maybe a 'spawn crowd' button. This looks amazing but really super advanced. The use of billboards was a great idea,
nise san
nise san Πριν μήνα
This was epic I'll probably just use it for scattering insects
Fred Unreal Zone
Fred Unreal Zone Πριν μήνα
Wow this stuff would have been amazing on a previous project... it was on unreal 4.15. Seems so easy to get good result and good performance. Awesome tutorial.
PH Πριν μήνα
Nice video
Jake S
Jake S Πριν μήνα
this could make for an amazing star ship troopers game
Ok Great
Ok Great Πριν μήνα
Türkiye mi? :) Güzel bir eğitim teşekkürler.
tuatec Πριν μήνα
Does somebody know if we can download the project somewhere?
Joseph Azzam
Joseph Azzam Πριν μήνα
The base paragon assets I used are on the unreal engine marketplace, if you follow the video you should be able to recreate most of it. I might be able to release a sample soon on my twitter, but still looking into that.
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