In this tutorial I’ll go over the basics of vertex color gradient based animation for Unreal Engine 4. Vertex color gradient animation is the practice of creating animation using vertex shader offsets with various math functions modulated by the vertex colors.
We’ll start by creating a basic butterfly wing flapping animation, then we’ll expand on it by using VEX and wrangles to preview our animation in Houdini making it fast and easy to develop a lot more complex animations. We’ll start with an empty scene, and finish with an almost clothlike flight animation along with a really solid base setup for expanding your Vertex color based animation workflows.
Creating the most basic gradients: 00:00
Setting up a basic vertex animation shader: 03:58
Fixing the rotation issues: 05:51
Adding secondary gradients: 08:13
Implementing the second axis of movement: 11:09
Building the vertex animation preview in Houdini: 14:26
Making a radial gradient: 20:30
Finishing touches: 23:15
Download project scene files here: sidefx.com/tutorials/vertex-color-based-animation-basics