Alternative approach for Translucent/alternate surface shading models

Hi everyone,

as the roadmap shows, the initially for last summer/fall announced approach for new/better translucent shading has been postponed to “whenever”(maybe never…), which is somewhat understandable, as a separate forward shading pass is quite costly and doesn’t really add to your fully deferred rendering approach.
As of late, i stumbled across a powerpoint from the guys of creative assembly, where they explained their approach to give their fully deferred rendering better surface/translucency shading:

They use a G-Buffer masking approach to identify the objects, that actually have to be rendered and are able to render them in separate passes with different shading models. That gives them the opportunity to create a wide range of materials. They also explain their approach for translucent object with actual surface shading (oh how i miss those in UE4)

Are there any plans to give our beloved UE4 some better shading models and - for our work here even more important - some actual translucent shading model? As of now, the translucent shading looks somewhat like 1999-ish…
Sorry…i don’t want to rant. It’s just that there is such a huge contrast between the otherwise stunning visual quality of the engine and the lack of good translucency. When i look over to unity, cryengine or many other examples and see, what they offer as water shaders for example…my heart actually bleeds a little. We are very satisfied with the state of UE4 in general, it has a very good performance when handling large amounts of data and the visuals it can create a very satisfying in general. But whenever you have to work in things like colored glass…it becomes awkward.

By spring of last year, you announced, that there are people at your place actually working on that issue…but since then it has become VERY quiet. Yes…i have seen that there will be SSR on translucent objects in 4.8…but that doesn’t really address the underlying issue. It just puts some glitter over it.
Again…no hard feelings…it would just help, if someone on your end could comment on the current state of those features, maybe put them into perspective to the approaches, that the CA-guys used (even if it just comes down to explanation, why they won’t work in UE4 ever…)

Thanks in advance. Keep up the otherwise stunning work. UE4 is a great tool in our daily work-pipeline and we like to see it progress :slight_smile:

I completely agree and understand how you feel.

I would truly appreciate it if Epic gave us the current status/plans.
Is translucency a lost cause at this point? I was hoping the SSR in 4.8 is going to solve a lot of the problems with translucency but… it’s disappointing to say the least (sorry… no offense, just my honest opinion).

Thanks for supporting that request. I’m actually surprised, that this doesn’t get more public attention. Especially when it comes to water, the current UE4 rendering is really worse then what UE3 was able to deliver. Thus i think it should really be on a higher priority…

I’m actually curious on how Lionhead deals with that problem, as i can’t really imagine the water in the upcoming fable right now.

Even Epic seems to be aware of the current drawbacks, although they are pretty good at hiding them (the kite demo video doesn’t do that cut when the boy falls into the water without purpose, come on ;))