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    Some basic UDK questions

    Hey, I had a few questions I've never been able to figure out and was wondering if anyone could help. They're pretty simple.

    1) What's the difference between a material and a material instance constant? When would you want to use one rather than the other? Seems I can apply an MIC anywhere I can apply a regular material.

    2) What's the difference between a normal light and a dominant version of that light? (i.e. dominant point light, dominant directional light?)

    3) Why does my pivot point frequently snap to a location nowhere near the selected actor when I select an actor? This happens very frequently, and I can correct it, but the pivot point will always snap back to the displaced location very quickly. How can I prevent this?

    4) Some meshes can't be selected in the viewport (such as those with a transparent material). What's an easy way to select them, short of using the Scene tab?

    #2
    Material Instance Constant requires a material in the first place, then you use it to modify some part of the material so that you can reuse the material more than once if there's only a small change you want. It also allows you to do specific material changes according to gameplay.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Zoomacroom View Post
      4) Some meshes can't be selected in the viewport (such as those with a transparent material). What's an easy way to select them, short of using the Scene tab?
      Up at the top of the editor is an button, it looks like a wavy light blue cube. Click it. This enables/disables translucent selection.

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        #4
        Originally posted by darthviper107 View Post
        Material Instance Constant requires a material in the first place, then you use it to modify some part of the material so that you can reuse the material more than once if there's only a small change you want. It also allows you to do specific material changes according to gameplay.
        I'm still not quite clear. Could you give an example of a case where you would need to use a material instance constant, and not a material?

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          #5
          1) What's the difference between a material and a material instance constant? When would you want to use one rather than the other? Seems I can apply an MIC anywhere I can apply a regular material.
          Material Instance Constants ( or MIC's) are cheap in memory, and are a great way to have multiple versions of materials that share the same material set up, but have differences in things such as SampleTextures or color. You will need to set up a Parent Material, that has parameters in for the MIC to alter, which can be found by right clickick on the back ground of the material editor and scroll down to Parameters.

          An example could be a simple pot. You could have a couple meshes that share the same generic texture, but want different colors. You could make 10 textures, each one a different color and then create 10 materials, or you could create a one gray scale texture and 1 Parent material that has a color parameter, and then make what ever color pot you want, for no memory cost to your package.

          This is just a simple example of what you can use it for.




          Here is the Parent Material set up.


          2) What's the difference between a normal light and a dominant version of that light? (i.e. dominant point light, dominant directional light?)
          The biggest thing is you can only have 1 Dominant Light in your map. Other than that, can't think of any other difference but here is the UDN Link.
          http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/DominantLights.html


          3) Why does my pivot point frequently snap to a location nowhere near the selected actor when I select an actor? This happens very frequently, and I can correct it, but the pivot point will always snap back to the displaced location very quickly. How can I prevent this?
          Are they your own custom Meshes? If they are, then it's from when you exported it out of Max/Maya. When exporting your mesh, the Grids origin in Maya/Max becomes the Meshes origin in UDK. So if you have a barrel that is 200 units to the left of the Grid origin, that's where the meshes pivot point will be in UDK.

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