Resources to learn about Vector/Coordinate Expressions in Unreal/Material Editor

Hello guys,

the titles may sound a little bit weird but i try my best to explain what i mean. Also consider that i am fairly new to Unreal. I have spend the past few weeks really getting into it and its really great
and i have started doing a lot of FX related stuff ever since i watched the Advanced FX Masterclass from EAT 3D!

To learn i just followed along with the DVD achieving some good results and then went in back to really figure out what is going on. While this is pretty easy for the general math and how the instructor combines things - i run into a lot of issues and cannot really understand why the instructor does something as soon as the mentioned coordinate/vector expressions are used (like World Position, Object Position, Camera Position, View Size, etc.)

This are some of the expressions(nodes) that are used through out the DVD. While i get their function as a single node, it is extremely hard to find out what the author is doing when he does stuff like subtracting the World Position by the Object Position for example.
Or transforming the world position into local space and then performing some math on it.

I know that he is of couse doing these things to get a desired effect.

So my goal is not to find out about these specific scenarios. Since i am sure these are just a few out of many - id rather wish some one would know a good resource to learn about this stuff. I already bought the 3D Math Primer and i am also doing a lot of trigonometry and similar subjects on Khan Academy but honestly i think. The topics discussed in those course are more advanced or spedific, that they dont really apply to what is going on in that DVD. (great resources nonetheless!)

So, especially if someone has seen the DVD, if you could guide me to some good website,books,dvds, that go into these topics it would be awesome!

I tried my best to explain what i mean - if there is something that does not make sense please feel free to let me know and ill clarify!

All the best, guys!:cool:

Not trying to sound discouraging, but there is a reason why people go to college for math related fields like this. Most of the major concepts you’re describing aren’t things you just pick up over night. Much like not being able to learn how to multiply/divide, without first knowing how to add/subtract, vectorial math requires a lot of understanding in trigonometry. Math builds on itself. That being said, you’re doing the right thing! Keep on learning, soaking it all in and practicing it.

In game engines, you tend to always have two sets of coordinates: world and local. World is relative to the actual world, as in 0,0,0 or the center of your map. Local is relative to the object’s center position(root), which becomes 0,0,0 for local space. An easy analogy for local space is the right/left hand rule; that you find in physics and engineering:

Regardless of which way you turn your hand, your pointer finger always points in the forward X direction, your thumb always points in the Z direction and your middle finger always points in the Y direction. Anything you do, in local space, is relative to that XYZ origin now. When you perform a transforms and inverse transforms, you’re converting from local to world space or vice versa.

I would suggest you this book:
Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics
By Eric Lengye

But the the bottom line is that you do not really need any math knowledge to effectively use and achieve good results in UE4 material editor.
With time invested in actually trying to do something, you will eventually be able to apply required material node in each case without knowing any math behind it.

The math hall in the content examples project has some good examples of vector math.

Hey guys,

tahnks for all the quick replies!
@IronicParadox - no its discouraging, but i also hope i didnt come across like i was expecting to learn any of this stuff fast. I am already on track and learning a lot from Khan Academy. But at the moment i am still in trigonometry. So the linear algebra stuff comes a little later.
@Deathrey - thanks for the suggestion! I have three books in mind and i want to get one out of them. 3D Math Primer, Mathematics for 3d Game Programming (the one you mentioned) and Foundations of game engine development, volume 1: mathematics (by the same author!). I think the last one is newer. Have you read that as well, because it looks like an introduction and it is not too long (which might be good for starting out)
But i also agree. I avoid Unreal Engine way too long because “engine” sounded so technical and i actually came from an 2d background to 3d. How i wished i had gotten into it sooner. I am already making stuff in within the Material editor that makes me a little proud and is also fun to create (just doing crazy stuff with panners and sines etc). So i agree - the only the where trying out is a little hard is when you suddenly divide the world position by the object position. And when you think of the other mathematical operation you can do with just these to nodes i think it is hard to find out what is going - even though you could still achieve cool results of course.
@cyaoeu Thank for the hint. That great to hear. Thats also i thing i would like to do while learning. Just redoing so mathmatic function with the nodes. Even though it might sound a little ridiculous it might help with understanding!

Thanks a lot to all you guys!!:o