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Improved Material Editor Functionality

I’ve been doing a lot of fiddling with the editor recently and noticing a lot of walls that I’m hitting with a few limitations of the Material Editor. Some things I’d love to see considered or introduced are:

  • Loops (for, while, etc).
    I’m not fully sure how this would be implemented, but my guess is that combining these with some kind of Summing equation would be extremely useful. Being able to call chunks of nodes as ‘Functions’ from inside the node would also be extremely useful, especially if you can send parameters to them. Of course, this is possible with the custom node, but I’m not sure that this always compiles for all platforms does it?

  • Type Identifiers
    It would also be extremely useful if we could hover over the outputs of a node, and the engine tells us what kind of output it is in a ‘tooltip’ of some kind, e.g; Float 1, Float 2, Texture, etc. It might also help for debugging purposes when the user sees arithmetic errors.

  • Better ‘Custom’ node functionality.
    I would particularly like to see better functionality for the ‘Custom’ node. in UE3, the custom node first gave you a big multi-line text editor window that was much easier to type into than the tiny one we have now. I tend to open notepad at the moment and type my code in there, but it’s not the best workflow. I think this has been talked about for a while, but it’s still not surfaced a few builds later.

Additionally, allowing the custom node to switch between different languages (for example, CG for PS4) and translate automatically if possible, would be stunning!

Hi -

Thanks Jamsh as always good feedback. Entered those requests today.

As i heard PS4 using new shader language made by Sony called PSSL, Cg was NVidia invention thats why RSX in PS3 used it. I think bet approach would be trying to transcript HLSL in custom node depending on platform.

A lot of people feel the same way… https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?68134-Material-Editor-2-0&highlight=material+editor+2.0

@Eric Ketchum:
Did you guys picked up some of those as well?