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What is the best way to approach a gravitational lensing effect in Paper2D?

I am an artist working on a 2D space shooter game that takes place within the wake of an Alcubierre drive, a sort of spacetime highway. This will be an upward scrolling type game where the player moves only side to side, and the enemies and props of each level will move downward toward them and eventually exit through the bottom..

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The particle system on the left and right demonstrates the bounds of the play area which can be safely travelled by the player.

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And here is a mockup I made using a sprite of where the effect needs to be, and more or less how I think it should look. I would like the effect to sort of follow the player/camera and move dynamically with them. What would be the best method to achieve that? Some ideas I've come up with so far:

1) Mapping the distorted background texture to a 3D object and having it rotate left or right depending on the player's X location.

2) An animated flipbook that displays a frame based on the player's X location.

3) A panner and UV distortion material function that pans a texture based on movement.

Are there any better ways to achieve what I'm trying to do? I'm looking for any advice, general or specific-- I have some familiarity with blueprints and materials but I am by no means advanced, and this seems like a pretty advanced goal, but I'd like to try and tackle it for the sake of learning.

Product Version: UE 4.21
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asked Nov 27 '18 at 07:47 PM in Everything Else

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