UE4 Gradient Array Mask Material
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UE4 Gradient Array Mask Material
7 March, 2018

Check out a nice post from an Environment Artist Eric Zimmer on setting up materials for urban and other kinds of scenes in UE4 and Substance Painter.  

The best situation for this UE4 shader is when you have a lot of buildings/rocks/trees/concrete/etc. These are not the necessary materials. Could use different levels of brick, concrete, or whatever variation is useful for the production.

Materials separated based on their values in the Red channel in the Array mask. Drips grunge masking in Green channel. Dirt grunge masking in the Blue channel

Substance Painter portion. Utilizing a custom Designer generator and anchors attached masks to offset painting between materials. In a production environment, you would have an Open GL coder guy to make special Painter shader. This was my workaround.

Why not paint your whole environment inside UE4? We need more brush options though. Hopefully, a nice UE4 update will come soon. If we can skip the whole painter portion of this workflow, production would be even faster.

Comparison between painting in Substance Painter and the result in UE4. I basically had to copy the math created in UE4 somehow and make it paint the exact same way inside of Substance Painter. I think it worked out successfully.

Save some texture memory

Scene graph. Attempting organization and simplicity, spider webs can get confusing for iterations. Materials were organized into Material Functions. Made it super easy to replace with new materials.

Utilizing and understanding ValueStep node. Using customized material lerps that is more optimized for this shader

Designer material blending. Height could have been replaced with something else depending on if the project uses displacement.
Source: ArtStation

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NeoMikePeter Leban Recent comment authors

@Mike, photogrammetry is something you do when you want real-life textures, but the whole idea about Substance Designer is that you can synthesize all kinds of textures and patterns, which is the opposite of what you try to achieve with photogrammetry. Well still, they could use Substance Automation Kit to create textures for multi-part 3D models. Microsoft uses Substance Automation Kit to automatically add wears, tears and dirts to their textures. It’s good for packing multiple textures into one too. For models with parts made in metal, leather, plastic and else, they just select which part is what material and… Read more »


@Peter Leban

I remember in the photogrammetry video they released after Battlefront 1 someone asked about Dice’s thoughts on Substance Designer. They responded saying they thought it was a cool program but didn’t see a practical use for it.

I’m pretty certain it wasn’t for Battlefront 2, either (if used at all)

Peter Leban
Peter Leban

This is something similar to what DICE did in Battlefront. Thanks!