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Complex material problem... (For me, at least!)

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    Complex material problem... (For me, at least!)

    I'm working on an animated material and I've hit a bit of a snag. I am trying to create a light-board material, 32 by 32 lights. It will act as a kind of a monitor for the main room of my next map. I am running a panning texture (32x32) along the material, only I'm hitting a problem. Each light in the 32^2 block needs to render as either ON or OFF, but the panning material is moving too smoothly. It seems to be halfway between individual lights on the grid texture. I want the texture to pan at a staggered rate, as if the texture is portrayed by lights on a 32x32 light-board.



    This is a picture of my material. 20 of the lights are shown in this image (the lights are the larger, brighter squares outlined by the bold black lines). The Pink color is the off color of the lights, and the blue is the on color. The blue color is panning left-right.

    This picture shows a snapshot of my problem: The vertical strip of blue light is partially filling the pink lights during animation. I'm trying to get the Blue column to pan over the Pink surface at a staggered rate, but the blue strip animates too smoothly from light to light. I've tried running the various nodes of my material (tex-coords, panners, time nodes, etc.) through a Multiply(x32)->ceil->Divide(/32) to try to stagger the movement, but it seems to have no/undesired effects.

    I'm lost. Help!

    #2
    I have no idea how to make desired effect in material editor only, but i have idea how to make same effect via kismet (this will work only if you use material on static mesh).

    Make your material with paramvector (that one you can enter values from outside of material) for panning value. Then either change that value trough kismet or make instanced materials for each panning value then toggle them on mesh.

    Imo kissmet way is more flexible as you can have multiple materials with different speeds, colors etc.

    Some concrete stripe material in HU_buildings have such parameter to pan red/blue stripe. You may look there how such things are done. (stripe is invisible in browser as it has same color as concrete).

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      #3
      Awww man, I think I know what you're trying for...

      I know that if you make 2 seperate texture samples, you can make one fade to the other and back again and you can even control how fast it fades from one to the other in the Material Editor. I saw this sort of thing in Hourences tutorials.

      You'd have to do that, just making it fade really fast (just about instantaneous I assume), but I am not completely sure you can slow the process down for a moment to make the texture stay at the two extreme ends of the spectrum....

      On the other hand, you could always have it fade from the texture to a copy of itself as well without adding more texture samples....

      EX- Fade Texture1 to Texture1 over the course of say .5 seconds
      Fade Texture 1 to Texture 2 over the course of .0001 seconds
      Fade Texture 2 to Texture 2 over the course of .5 seconds

      That would make either texture stay for 1 second, then quickly fade almost instantly to the other, because you'd just reverse the process...

      I have to look into it anyway...

      I know it has to do with Panner, Time, and Sine (about 98% sure) if I am remembering correctly... I'll get back to you once I messed with it if someone else doesn't first

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        #4
        Without spoiling TOO much about my next map, if I were to hand-animate each effect I wanted for the material in Kimset... well let's just say that Unreal Engine 4 might be a more reasonable platform.

        In all honesty, the material needs to animate 32 columns of lights: each 32 lights tall. This animation needs to be random as well. I'm not saying it can't be done through Kimset... but I would like to know the quickest way to get tis effect done.

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          #5
          It's actually not too complicated if I'm understanding you correctly. This setup should be what you need:

          Flooring the time will cause the panner to snap instead of moving smoothly. Then you just have to get the speed of the panner correct.

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            #6
            WOW. I can't believe what I was trying to accomplish with dozens of nodes and endless time on a calculator is solved by something so simple and easy. Thank you SO much!

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