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Video: layered materials in Unreal Engine 4

Friday, September 27th, 2013 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Originally posted on 13 August 2013. Scroll down for updates.

Epic Games has posted a video showing details of the new materials workflow in Unreal

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Engine 4.

As far as we’re aware, the footage is the first public glimpse beneath the hood of the game engine, previously seen mainly in more carefully stage-managed presentations, such as the recent Infiltrator demo.

The video is fairly brief, but the Unreal Engine website goes into more details about potential benefits of a layered material workflow, including the power to paint maps at a per-pixel level and change mapping at run-time, or animate layer masks.

Epic tells us that the video will be the first in a series focusing on other new features from the engine, and how they integrate into games pipelines – including a look at how parts of the Infiltrator demo itself were created.

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Updated 27 September: Epic Games has posted a new video about materials workflow in Unreal 4 (above), explaining how layered materials were used in its recent Infiltrator demo.

Read more about the materials workflow in UE4 on the Unreal Engine website

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  • Rob

    Most of this is stuff you can do in Unreal 3. While it looks like there’s less work involved, I’m confused as to why Epic didn’t just allow you to not just select the color channel, but also the channel ID for materials themselves. You can do this in Unreal 3, but the UI is a pain and doesn’t look that much different in Unreal 4.

    Short of less processing power and, perhaps, less nodes to plug, there’s not apparent much benefit. I would rather have seen procedural materials get some love, much in the way they did the metallic and roughness. Why not add gloss, HDR, light emittence (vs glow), nodes, as well. Even adding presets would be useful. In Unreal 3, you have to either copy from the default projects or create your own. A procedural engine would be super helpful.

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