Question on creating a texture mask

Hi everyone,
I am creating this post for the purpose of asking a question about texture masks. As an experiment, I created a model and a UV map to work along with it.
The UV map for the model looks like this:

Now once I added color to it within my paint program, imported the model and texture into Unreal, and created a material, I realized that I would not be able to use pre-made textures in the UV texture. To compare, I opened up the material for the starter content chair asset. I became aware that the base texture was strikingly different from what I had. If you have not seen the base texture for the chair, this is it:

I learned that the texture for the chair is a texture mask. However, I still have yet to find documentation or a tutorial that explains how to make a texture mask. Which brings me to my question. Is it possible to create a texture mask from a pre-made UV map texture? If so, I would greatly appreciate an explanation on how it is done.
Thank you for your time.

I think you’re getting a bit mixed up on the difference between a texture and a mask, at least within the context of Unreal.

The chair in the default scene uses a layered material workflow - there’s a fair bit of info on this in the unreal docs, and online.

The multicoloured texture you posted is just a series of masks, all combined into one image to save space. Each mask is a map to show where a particular material (shiny metal, for example) should appear on the model.

In a PBR workflow, it’s possible to create an identical looking chair using just a single set of texture maps (albedo, normal, roughness, metallic), and with no material layers or masks. Using layered materials defers the ‘material compositing’ part of the workflow (assigning different materials to parts of a model) until the very end.

Layered materials are more expensive, and can get quite complicated (you might have 4+ materials, each with a mask, and each material with it’s own texture set). The advantage is that you can re-use base materials throughout your scene, so editing them at a very late stage not only possible, but relatively easy.

A texture mask has no magic to it. It might be possible to key some of the masks you need from an existing colour texture - but it might be quite messy. Some textures will work better than others - dark earth with white stones might work quite well, while stone blocks with cement mortar probably wouldn’t.

Hope that helps


So, the problem I see is you dont know what a mask is! :stuck_out_tongue: I dont mean that to be offensive, but from what I can tell you want to change something about the texture based off of a mask texture? If so, why not show us that instead of some random item you pulled from UE4!

As Scribbler said, the chair is 3 or 4 masks combines to make one image (hence the odd colors) each channel of an image has been used to make a new mask. R G and B (maybe A), these channels are used to save space since you only want to load a texture once instead of 10 times.

Anyway, try and give us a bit more details on what you want to do accomplish, give an example as in what the end product should look like, and maybe I can walk you through the process! And to be more to the point to your last question

YES you can make a texture mask to edit the colors after the game. Super simple to do, you can do some more complex stuff as well!!!

Thank you both for the insight (even though I was extremely vague). I did understand that it was made up of three different masks, and over the time I had this posted, I did a little more research and I have figured my issue out! Regardless, thank you both.