This tutorial is about using Vertex Animation Textures (VAT) in particle effects in Unreal Engine. I will be explaining how to generate VAT’s in Houdini, how to import these in Unreal Engine, how to create a material for them, and how to edit this material so you have all the possibilities you need for a particle effect that uses multiple meshes with VAT’s.

This tutorial is meant for people interested in or working in/with realtime visual effects. I expect you to know the basics of how Unreal Engine Houdini work. I’m not going into details, but I’ll explain in broad lines how to achieve the end result. The method I use isn’t the only way to do it and get to the end result. It’s just the way I do it and I want to give some insight into that. At the end of this tutorial you know how to export a model and animation from Unreal Engine, create an alembic in Maya and import this in Houdini, how to create a vertex animation texture in Houdini, how to create a material that can translate this texture to vertex animation in Unreal Engine and how to create a particle effect using this mesh with “animation”.

In this tutorial we’re not modeling mesh and animation itself, but we’re going to use an asset from the Unreal Engine Market Place.


  1. Preface & Content
  2. Who am I and what do I do?
  3. What is a VAT?
  4. Preparations
  5. Creating the VAT’s in Houdini
  6. Importing in Unreal Engine
  7. Creating the material
  8. Editing the VAT and material
  9. Using the Animation’s in a Particle Effect
  10. Next steps

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