Simple Cascade/Material Editor changes could greatly speed up our workflow


for a while I’ve been thinking of suggesting a few things related to Cascade and the Material Editor which could greatly speed up our work and make it a lot easier. There were some things in UE3 that were not transferred to UE4 and I think the thinking behind it was to make it easier for us but I think it kind of backfired. Of course one could say that as an artist I could adapt to those changes but that doesn’t make the changes good.

Regarding Cascade, I find extremely annoying that I have to click a tiny teeny arrow to open up the properties. For example if I want to edit the Lifetime I have to click two tiny teeny arrows instead of being able to simply click on the word Lifetime and then click on the word Distribution (as it was in UE3). Also related to this is how those properties are always closed when I open up the editor or make a new particle system, in my opinion important properties which will 99.9999999% be changed, every single time, we make an effect need to by default be open. Properties such as Lifetime, Size, Velocity, Spawn, Colour, Initial Location etc. It’s a bit pointless to have them closed by default and requiring us to click those tiny arrows to open them up so we can edit them. Also in UE3 we used to be able to use the Middle Mouse Button to scroll left and right in the Emitters window, this is no longer available. Instead we have to click on the scroll bar at the bottom of the tab, which is alright but I personally find it fast to just use the middle mouse as it used to be.

Regarding the Material Editor, in my opinion you should bring back as an option the old way we were working in it. With the CTRL key. We used to be able to only move the nodes by pressing CTRL. I appreciate that there are many people out there who might enjoy the current navigation system, but for the rest of us who find it worse maybe you could consider adding an option in the settings called “Use Legacy Material Editor Navigation” or whatever. It’s extremely easy now to accidentally move nodes when all you were trying to do was link a node to another but because you clicked 2 pixels away from the output port you ended up moving the node itself. However I need to mention that I’m loving the right click option which brings up all the available functions/expressions. Lastly I think I should bring up (in case this is not a bug) that mousing over a link doesn’t highlight the link to show you what it connects, making it extremely hard to work with complicated and large materials (in UE3 they used to turn yellow).

That’s all, as you can see these are small changes, but they could make a big impact to our every day use.

Clicking on the word and expanding would be a great fix indeed, In some cases especially when working it interrupts us as we have to lose focus and aim for that little thingy.