What is the "constant parameter"?

In the tutorial for materials, in the example is says to search the material palette for “constant parameter” and when found, to drag and drop in on the graph. There is no such thing as a “constant parameter” showing up when using the search window. Without this I cannot proceed in the tutorial. Now what?

Okay, after a few minutes I saw that it is simply “constant” and not “constant parameter”. There are numerous spelling errors and lexical errors in the tutorial but whatever. It makes this more difficult and could turn off a lot of potential users. Somebody should have done a simple spelling check and then let a novice walk through the tutorial.

Anything that is a parameter is basically just a value that can be changed on an instance.

So in this case, say you plug in a constant (which goes from 0 to 1, which is black to white) into the base color of a material with it’s value at 0. The material will be black. If you right click the Constant and choose “Convert to Parameter” and give it a name, it will now be a constant paramter.

If you were to right click the material in the browser and choose “Create Material Instance” and open that, you now have access to that parameter in that material. You could change the paramter from 0 to 1 and the material instance constant will then become white. You can apply the material instance constant to a mesh like a regular material and now control the value through the instance which is much faster (and can be changed in game as well, while a regular material cannot)

Basically the main use for it is to make a master material once, and then that way you can make material instances from it and change the paramters (such as constants, textures, etc.) without having to rebuild the material every time.

Don’t know if you were looking for such a long winded explanation but I figured I’d offer it just in case. :smiley:

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This is extremely important actually. Not only will inconsistencies in terminology turn off a lot of potential users, it kills productivity. I just spent 5 minutes to find thorargent’s help (thank you thorargent) and I’ve lost the train of thought I was in. I’m really impressed by the tutorials and learning content available with the Unreal Engine, but this type of error needs to be fixed. The original post was made in March and it is now October and I just suffered the same confusion. Hopefully this board is monitored and Epic can make the easy fix to the tutorial. Thanks!