Metaballs-esque Goopy Material

Hi, I’m looking to create an effect that’s slightly hard to describe, but after a lot of searching and researching the closest thing I can find visually speaking is the visual behavior of metaballs, and how when they are close to one another or intersecting, they “stretch” towards each other until they are touching, and they visibly merge so that there is a smooth connection between them.

I’m not however actually trying to create metaballs, I’m trying to create a material that when it’s on an object or a surface that is close to it with a matching material, the materials slightly “reach” to one another, but more importantly connect to one another smoothly as if both are covered in a sort of goopy / blobby substance, think like a particularly thick and gooey layer of paint.

Ideally for my purposes, I would need multiple versions of this kind of material, with each one only performing this goopy / blobby behavior of “connecting” to one another with itself, and not doing so with other materials even if they have the same behavior. As an example, if each material were a different color, I would want red to only ever “connect” visually with red, never with any other color. I also would need it to work for both static and dynamic objects (physics objects), and combinations of the two. I.E. if the material is applied to an outward corner of a wall, the “goopy” bit would connect at the corner and sort of smoothly blend around it so it preferably doesn’t have a sharp edge; and if you touch a physics enabled ball to a floor with the same material applied, the edges of the ball sort of smoothly blend into the floor at a certain distance, as if the goop on the ball is sticking to or mingling with the goop on the floor.

If it wouldn’t mess with the possibility of this effect, I’m also experimenting with something like using world displacement to make it so that a surface with one of these materials applied is visibly raised compared to surfaces that are physically level with the actual surface but have a regular material applied to them.

I have very little experience with materials and rendering overall, so I don’t even know where to start with this (assuming it’s even possible) so here I am. I’ve done a lot of searching for something like this, but as I don’t know the right terminology for this sort of thing, I don’t have a clue if I’m looking in the right way or in the right places. If anyone can help me in some way or otherwise point me in the right direction it’d be much appreciated.

If needed I can try to provide diagrams of the effect I’m looking for if that would help clarify anything?

Thank you for your time.

You want something like that ?link text

That kind of effect yeah, assuming the blobs are something like shot out actors with a material as described on em, but one that acts like that (at least the connections when close together) on surfaces too if that’s at all possible

What your are asking for is extremely complex you can try the shader approach Custom Material Node: How to use and create Metaballs | Live Training | Unreal Engine - YouTube
or try this plugin for a full mesh approach :
Metaballs Proof of Concept - Work in Progress - Unreal Engine Forums

I see, thank you for giving me somewhere to look. I’ll keep looking into it and if I can’t figure anything out I guess I’ll just have to try something else entirely.