Why doesn't material editor live update work?

Can anyone tell me how to get live update working in the material editor? Simply plugging time into a frac into my emissive should show me a lovely strobing texture, but the material editor’s time value only updates when I wiggle the camera in the preview. Toggling the “Live Preview” or “Live Update” Options makes no difference at all - they’ll never update over time.

I don’t think I need to explain how annoying that is…

Am I missing something?

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Reference the following: In this example, activating Live Nodes would cause the rocket texture to pan in realtime in the node’s preview thumbnail. If Live Nodes was deactivated, the texture would remain stationary even though the Panner was telling it to move. You may, however, notice small updates as you move your mouse around the Graph area.

I agree the preview is not the best way to see a realtime representation of your shaders. If you want a faster and/or more efficient way to modify materials I would definitely look into instances: Instanced Materials in Unreal Engine | Unreal Engine Documentation This should allow you to change and preview your mats without having to recompile and rely on live nodes.

Hi Mauro,

Thanks for the response - sorry for the confusion. None of the live update features are actually working for me, whether active, or not, so my only option is to compile every time I want to preview the output of my material. Instances are very useful if I’m tuning parameters, but as I’m exploring building the shader tree itself, they’re sadly not an option :frowning:

I’ve noticed this over the past many months - in fact a majority of the time i’m working on materials in Unreal, they do not live update. It works just barely often enough to remind me of how painfully slow the compile time is when I can’t live update.

Does your live preview not work at all? I’ve gotten used to it not being updated consistently. But you might simply have to get used to the fact that shaders and lighting require lots of time and power to compute. You kinda have to come up with a workflow that takes those things into consideration. It was confusing to me at first as well, but it’s just part of the game and once you have a bunch of complex mats you’ll often have to recompute thousands of shaders, so you just work on something else in the meanwhile.

No, the live preview isn’t working at all (or at least the “live” part), and no it’s not from an expensive shader. As I said in the initial post, with just a simple time plugged into a frac, or using a panner on a texture, etc, I should be able to see motion. Evaluating time is not a complex operation, and certainly not too complex too for a live update.

I do a lot of dynamic shader writing, with live update functioning on about half of my projects and computers. On this particular computer, it was working within the last few updates of Unreal (I wish I recalled which), but now is not.

Found it! There’s a neat little stopwatch icon in the viewport which toggles on/off real time rendering! I knew I was missing something.


HI every one sorry if I am late, but I was having the same issue here and solved it by clicking ---- CTRL + R ---- which is Realtime button hotkey. Hope it gonna be helpful for others


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