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Arcing Lightning and Smoke effect

Hey all, I want to create an effect that works like this.

  1. Launch a projectile which smoke trails behind

  2. Anyone who touches the smoke is "marked for arcing" from that position in the smoke trail

  3. If the source of the projectile is moved, the "starting point" of the smoke is dragged along with it

  4. If triggered, an arcing lightning effect follows the path of the smoke, launching out from the source until it reaches the projectile

  5. If marked targets exist/are still within arcing range, lightning arcs from the appropriate position in the lightning trail to them

  6. The same happens to anyone within a specific range of the projectile, and to anyone within range of marked targets.

Theoretically, I think I can actually handle the programming side of things (I'm a programmer), but I don't even know where to begin on visual effects. I've found various tutorials that show how to "create lightning effects" in blender and in UE4, like this one here: https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/12203/lightning-arc-effect-with-moving-sourcetarget-poss.html

I just don't think anything really defines what I want very well. Even if I created the effects in blender, I don't understand how I would make them dynamic to use them for what I need here. I admit I'm brand new to UE4 so I don't fully understand how to use it, and I'm brand new to effects and animation, so maybe it's obvious - but if anyone knows how to approach this and can guide me or direct me to some tutorials that would work together well in accomplishing this, I'd really appreciate it! :)

Product Version: UE 4.16
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asked Nov 21 '17 at 02:10 AM in Using UE4

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avatar image Rethal Nov 22 '17 at 02:33 AM

Bump - this is my first effect/animation so I know I may asking a lot but I think it's the next major step in my project! :)

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