UE4 – Bump Map

Software:
Unreal Engine 4.21

To use a ‘Bump Texture’ in UE4, or in more geeky terms, derive Normal data from a supplied height map, use the NormalFromHeightMap Node.

Notes:

  1. The height map textured is supplied via Texture Object node and not Texture Sample, and is connected to the NormalFromHeightMap‘s Height Map input.
  2. A numeric vale is connected to the NormalFromHeightMap‘s Normal Map Intensity input to control the intensity of the resulting Normals/Bump.
  3. UV coordinates for the bump map should be connected to the Coordinates input of the NormalFromHeightMap node.

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VRayMtl’s new metallic goodness

Software:
3ds max 2019 | V-Ray Next | V-Ray next GPU

In V-Ray Next (4) for 3ds max, a new Metalness parameter has been added to the Reflect parameters of the VRayMtl material.
This allows for easy creation of realistic metal materials and also effectively enables a PBR workflow with V-Ray.

When the Metalness parameter is set to 1.0, the material becomes completely reflective, the Diffuse color controls the general reflection color, and the Reflect color (which should generally be set to white) controls the reflection color at grazing incidence angle.

The IOR parameter still controls how fast will the main reflection color (set by the Diffuse color) blend into the Reflection color, and I don’t know whether some form of complex Fresnel has been implemented or if it’s just a dielectric simple Fresnel blended over a reflective surface.

An excellent article on the new Feature from the Chaos Group blog:
https://www.chaosgroup.com/blog/understanding-metalness

VRay_Next_Metalness

Related:

  1. Fresnel Reflections
  2. Complex Fresnel for Blender & Cycles
  3. Metal material in UE4

 

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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Blender – quickly clearing multi-materials

Software:
Blender 2.79

Select one or more objects with multiple materials and another object with just one material as the active object, that will be the Active Object.
In the material list open the v menu and choose ‘Copy Material to Others’
This will copy the material settings to all selected objects.

* Link materials command will not achieve the result, it will still keep unneeded materials on selected objects

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Enable the built in addon:¬†‘Material Utils Specials’

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This addon will add three extra material operations to the material V menu:

Clean Material Slots:
Deletes unused material from the object

Remove Active Slot:
Same as deleting a material by pressing –

Remove all Slots:
Delete all materials assigned to the object

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