Transparent materials don't look that good.

Do you guys think that you can add a dither transparency option for a blend mode? Marmoset has this in their viewport and it seems like a relatively good solution for things like hair as it really is using and alpha test blend mode but with slightly softer feathering on the edges.

Here is an example of that

The effect seems like its fairly performant and it self sorts well enough with desirable results.

A second question would be can someone on the dev team tell us where the sorting settings on the rendering is as it does not seem to be in docs or at least I can’t seem to find them.

  • Nghia

I was wondering if any of the devs have considered using Marmoset’s solution for alpha dithering as a possible solution to soften the alpha test effect. It gives the benefit of auto sorting but has just enough of a feathering effect for high res enough textures that would help greatly with hair solutions. Here is a great example of that…

Also can someone on the dev team point us to the sorting assignment options for alpha drawing for skinned objects? Is it the same area as the example here…

  • Nghia

Theres actually already a couple of examples of dithering alpha in the content examples package you can download from the Launcher

I’ve already suggested some extensions of alpha dithering using temporal upsampling, and since I saw it show up in a talk later (I think it was the temporal AA talk given at Siggraph last year) I know they saw them.

But I don’t know of course what any Devs decided to do with it, or what else is being worked on for transparency. A lot of people on here seem to want forward rendering, but the problem with that is you don’t get to write to Z, and so it ends up looking bad when transparencies overlap (no convenient way to tell what order the transparencies overlap anymore) or when you’re using depth of field/any other Z based effect. So hopefully there’s still work being done on something more clever.

Thanks GalaxyMan2015. Would you happen to know which file its in?

Edit: NM. I found it under Material_Experimental.

Sorry to bring this up again… but I really want the best of both worlds. It would be nice to get correct shading on translucency, and the ability to author custom shaders (that was a big thing in UDK for me!) while having the different benefits of deferred shading (as of yet, no true derivative normal maps)…

still waiting on all of this stuff!

Sure, and it would be nice to raytrace everything and have self evolving neural networks for AI and etc. But there’s just not a way to do everything all at once in anything close to a practical manner. Better translucency shading is doable, UE4 would benefit overall if it switched from spherical harmonics to spherical guassians, which could improve everything from lightmap quality to the transparency probe angular resolution.

Right now the next version of UE4 will be concentrating on performance. Probably because UE4 isn’t the fastest for a lot of things and that a lot of big titles on the unfortunately a bit slow Xbox One are using it. Maybe after the next release though there’ll be work on all those other requests.

I’m also interested in the current progress on transparent materials. Through lots of trial and error, I was able to get something that looks pretty close to a smoky glass for these crystal things. Good transparency, no z-order problems, and even some nice screen-space reflections are showing up.

The only problem I currently have is that the transparent material ignores DOF blur. Maybe hard to tell in this image, but the crystals through that hole on the left should be heavily DOF blurred like everything else down there:

Edit: Forgot to mention that this is 4.8, I haven’t gotten around to trying it in 4.9 yet, but didn’t see anything in the release notes regarding transparency.

Hiya, which examples might you be referring to? Would love to check them out.


you mean that hacky one that relies on temporal AA? because temporal AA is just horrible when coupled with any sort of moving objects, aka. any game

This was an issue back in 2014 and is it still an issue now that it is 2016? I am trying to create a material similar to this:


But just as people mentioned in this topic, the opacity input doesn’t support dynamic lighting and shading that you get with cutout. I can’t use cutout with this material because of the “fuzziness” look I’m trying to achieve. Am I missing something, Is there a way to get opacity transparencies to render with the lighting at all?

Nope, absolutely no way of doing this with the current built in set of shaders.

It’s an inherent limitation with the UE renderer. They say they’re working on it but I wouldn’t hold out on it. From the sounds of it it would drastically reduce the performance of your whole game just having this feature built in.

You’re actually much better modifying your content so it is suitable for the UE renderer. I know this is a lot of work but your game will perform better in the end as a result.

Sorry I couldn’t provide a more promising solution.

this technique is the same one applied here