PopcornFX v2.17

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Plugin settings


The PopcornFX plugin provides Editor and Runtime settings. Settings can be changed by selecting the PopcornFX menu in the top toolbar of UE Editor.


Note: settings might change between PopcornFX UE plugin versions

Editor settings

Editor settings are only used within UE Editor, they are ignored in cooked builds.

UE4 Plugin editor settings

Source pack

UE4 Plugin editor settings - Pack

Source PopcornFX Project path: Path to the folder containing PopcornProject.pkproj. This path can be absolute or relative (to the UE project’s root folder). It is best practice to keep the path relative, so everyone in a team can benefit from auto-reimport features when editing source effects, properly reimport effects, …

In this example, a PopcornFX project is contained at the root of the UE project, in an Assets/UE4ContentExamples directory. It is possible to use shortcuts if the source project is contained elsewhere.

Other properties like IsValid are read-only, and only help determine if the path is correct (the checkbox is left unchecked if the project wasn’t found).



UE4 Plugin editor settings - Import

Add Source Pack to Monitored Directories: If enabled, enables auto-reimport (hot reload) of effects when they are saved in outside UE (i.e. PopcornFX Editor). It is required to have a valid Source PopcornFX Project path. Auto-reimport behavior can be tweaked in UE Editor Preferences > Loading & Saving > Auto Reimport.

Asset Dependencies Auto Import: enum describing how effect dependencies (Textures, Meshes, ..) should be imported when an effect is imported. By default, importing an effect will automatically import all associated resources, following the same folder hierarchy as in the source PopcornFX project.



UE4 Plugin editor settings - Cook

Debug Baked Effects: Advanced, helps debugging baked effects during cook.



UE4 Plugin editor settings - Editor

Auto Insert Scene Actor: if true, whenever an effect is drag & dropped from UE content browser into a level, if there is no PopcornFXSceneActor present in the level, a new one will be created. This can be disabled in some configurations where the PopcornFXSceneActor is contained in a master level, while effects are currently being imported in a sub-level, and not having a scene actor is expected.



UE4 Plugin editor settings - Debug

Always Render Attribute Sampler Shapes: when enabled, will always draw PopcornFX attribute sampler shape components in UE viewport.


Runtime settings

Runtime settings are both used within UE Editor and in cooked builds.

UE4 Plugin runtime settings


UE4 Plugin runtime settings - Pack

Pack Mount Point: root of all PopcornFX assets within the UE project (the default is /Game/, UE’s Content/ folder). If all PopcornFX assets should be nested in a sub folder of Content/, Pack Mount Point needs to be changed accordingly. It is not allowed for an effect to load external resources (i.e. Meshes, Textures used for sampling) outside of this mount point.

Global Scale: legacy from PopcornFX v1 and should not be used, it represents how PopcornFX unit-related properties should be scaled (PopcornFX has units in meters).



UE4 Plugin runtime settings - General

PopcornFX C++ SDK and UE plugin extensively use asserts in Debug configurations (although some asserts can appear in release) to report coding errors, unexpected behaviors, which are displayed using a window. If Enable Asserts is disabled, all asserts will be ignored and just printed out in the Output Log window.


Simulation Settings

UE4 Plugin runtime settings - Simulation

Those are the default values for the plugin’s simulation settings, and can be overridden per PopcornFXSceneActor.


Enable Physical Materials: legacy from PopcornFX v1 and hasn’t been ported to v2 yet. This options controlled whether or not to fetch UE’s Physical Material properties (ie. Friction) affecting PopcornFX particle collisions behavior.

Localized Pages Mode: advanced, controls the pages localization behavior in PopcornFX runtime.

Scene Update Tick Group: advanced, controls when in the frame PopcornFXSceneActor should be ticked. Modifying this can heavily affect performance as it modifies CPU frames layout.


Rendering Settings

UE4 Plugin runtime settings - Render

Those are the default values for the plugin’s rendering settings, and can be overridden per PopcornFXSceneActor.


Draw Call Sort Method: advanced, controls how PopcornFX draw calls are emitted.

Billboarding Location: advanced, controls how PopcornFX draw calls are built.

Enable Early Frame Release: advanced, controls the policy for PopcornFX collected frames.

Disable Stateless Collecting: advanced, controls how PopcornFX render batches are held.

Force Lights Lit Translucent: if true, all PopcornFX light particles will light translucent geometry.


Default Materials

UE4 Plugin runtime settings - Materials

List of default base UE materials used for imported effects. When an effect is imported, all renderers will be assigned a material instance, created from those default materials. Materials are selected based on the rendering features activated on the renderer in the source effect. This list can be modified if the production needs different default materials, materials can also be overridden per effect.



UE4 Plugin runtime settings - Budget

These budgets are for now only used by the viewport profiler, and helps color effect stats based on predefined budgets. If an effect stat is out of budget, its color will tend towards red.



UE4 Plugin runtime settings - Debug

Debug Bounds Lines Thickness: Lines thickness for drawn bboxes when a PopcornFXSceneActor’s HeavyDebugMode is Page or Medium BBox.

Debug Particle Point Size: Point size for drawn points when a PopcornFXSceneActor’s HeavyDebugMode is “Particle Points”.



UE4 Plugin runtime settings - HUD

Effects Profiler Sort Mode: Sort method for profiler display (sort by sim cost, particle count, ..).

HUD Display Screen Ratio: Screen ratio for profiler display.

HUD Hide Nodes Below Percent: All effects with “CPU%” below this value will not be displayed. This helps identifying out of budget effects easily.

HUD Update Time Frame Count: Number of frames used for averaging timings.


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