Basic architectural glazing material in UE4

Software:
Unreal Engine 4.18

  1. Create a new material, and double click it to edit it.
  2. In the Details panel, under Material, set Blend Mode to Translucent.
  3. In the Details panel, under Translucency, set Lighting Mode to Surface Translucency Volume.
  4. Set Base Color to White.
  5. Set Metallic to 1.
  6. Set Roughness to 0.
  7. Create a Fresnel node and connect it to the Opacity input.
  8. In the Fresnel node, set Base Reflect Fraction to control reflection amount in perpendicular surface viewing angle (front).
    * Note that its connected to Opacity, but since the material is basically a flat mirror, when it’s not purely transparent it will be reflective.
  9. In the Fresnel node, set Exponent to control the reflection amount falloff curve from perpendicular surface viewing angle (front) to parallel surface viewing angle (sides).
    * Higher values will create a steep falloff curve, resulting in less reflection in most viewing angles.

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Material Parameters and Instances in UE4

Software:
Unreal Engine 4.18

Material Parameters and Material instances allow you to create a customizable material template that can be easily reused with variations across the project.
In the Parent Material, you define the parameters that will be exposed for tweaking in the Material Instances.
Changing the Parent Material will affect all its instances.

Defining customizable parameters in the Parent Material:

  1. Create 3Vector Constant. (press 3 and left click the blueprint background)
    * Parameters can also be created with other types of data like a Constant or a Texture Sample and more.
  2. Right click the 3Vector node you created and choose Convert to Parameter.
  3. In the Details Panel, name the parameter.

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Creating the Material Instance:

  1. Right click the Parent Material and choose Create Material Instance.
  2. Name the Material Instance.
  3. Double click the Material Instance to edit it.
  4. In the Details panel, under Parameter Groups you will be able to edit the exposed parameters and create a variation of the material.

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Vector Parameters in the UE4 Material Blueprint

Software:
Unreal Engine 4.18

UE4 Material Blueprint Numerical Vector Parameters / Constants and Colors are one and the same, which makes perfects sense, since in computer graphics colors are in fact 3D vectors, RGB quantities being equivalent to XYZ spatial dimensions (4D with an Alpha channel)

But take note that when setting the Vector values in the color picker you can’t set negative values, and when doing so through the Details window in Default Value you can.

* You can create 3D Vector Constants by clicking the background while pressing 3

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