I spent a few days putting together a detailed tutorial on 4 different ways to apply multiple textures to a mesh:
Several of these approaches were new to me when I started using UE4 a few months ago so it was a good exercise to try them all out from scratch.
Mapping multiple textures within the mesh (2 failures and 1 success)
Layering multiple textures within a material
Combining multiple textures into 1 texture that is then used in a material (substance designer approach)
There are a few blender tips when applicable.
Why would you not just use materiel function calls and the material layer system?
I covered that as one option. I don’t think it is always the best approach. It can drag down performance. Each material function in a material layer is rendered regardless of whether it is shown. See caveats on this page:
If a mesh can drive multi-materials through vertexes I think that is superior to using material functions. It all depends on the situation.
The effects cave uses several materials that you can vertex paint. I found that to be very powerful for a level designer.
I also wanted to show that substance designer does not take advantage of any of UE4 advanced material capabilities. It has UV to SVG baking but I was very disappointed with its end result in how it was used in UE4.
I’m going to move this to the tutorials section of the forums since that would be more fitting.
Thanks for posting this, it seems clearer to understand.