translucent material with volumetric rendering

So I have been looking into ways to recreate this in unreal 4 and from the research I have done, it doesn’t look promising but i hope my speculations are incorrect as a lot of the topics I found on this were very old. Considering this is the #1 most important feature I need to create practically the entire style of the game’s environment; this may be a deal breaker for me whether or not I use Unreal 4 or Unity 5 for my next game. I REALLY want to stick with Unreal if possible…


I’m sure you can already guess what my problem here is. The “fuzzy” material in this tutorial is composed of 4 layers, the bottom layer being completely opaque and the top 3 being stacked translucent textures. I can get the translucency to stack properly and because they are all separate meshes, the render-que on them are correct, however the problem here is none of the models this is applied to are effected by dynamic lighting in the scene, so normal maps, specular and metalness maps don’t seem to work. Cutout transparency has volumetric rendering however, the translucency does not, is there any way I can get volumetric rendering to work on a translucent material. I was going to look into material layering, could this perhaps give me a solution?

Thank you for any insight into this problem. :slight_smile:

Welp. I tried it out anyway with cutout and tbh, it isn’t looking half bad. At a distance you can barely tell that I’m using cutout transparency instead of Translucency. They still look like cotton-ball wads but at least we are getting somewhere… i think. It is still unfortunate that translucent materials cant support volumetric rendering. Maybe I can kinda fake it by adding small planes around the mesh and write a script that samples the color of the verts they are closest to and assigns their color to that vert. It’s the only way I can think of getting dynamic lightning on a translucent material…