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Fade out static mesh (skinned with non-translucent materials, using blueprint)


I've got a static mesh (in a blueprint) with several materials on it. I would like to fade the whole object based on distance, i.e. the closer you get, the more translucent it becomes, until it deletes itself when it is invisible.

Options I've seen so far (that don't fit my needs) :

1) Make all the materials Translucent. But... Materials that are in 'Blend mode: Translucent' don't allow inputs such as Normals or Metallic to be set, so I can't recreate Translucent versions of the textures that are on there at the moment - they simply won't look the same and the pop would be noticeable if I switched to translucent versions of them.

2) Have two versions of each model, one with Translucent materials on it, and swap between them. But... This will have the same popping problem.

Lots of the old answers are based on earlier versions of the engine, so surely there's got to be an overall alpha for a whole static mesh (or blueprint with static meshes inside it)? This seems like such a common thing in games that it would be odd if it's not in the engine. I'm not a C++ person, so I'm looking for a blueprint option to solve this.


Product Version: UE 4.17
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asked Aug 11 '17 at 04:12 PM in Rendering

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avatar image CopperStoneSea Aug 19 '17 at 04:08 PM

Does anyone have any suggestions please?

avatar image CopperStoneSea Aug 24 '17 at 11:09 PM

I'm getting the feeling that this isn't really possible... Which seems weird. Do people really never need to simply fade out an object in an easy way, without creating a ton of new materials just for fading?

avatar image CopperStoneSea Aug 25 '17 at 08:32 AM

Thanks for replying :)

I'm pretty new at this, and not yet found a really good jumping in point for materials. I did have a look online before posting here, but please feel free to point me at resources that might help - a 'fade master material' sounds interesting!

The kind of cases I'm thinking of is for a first-person game with ghosts, where the player sees a ghost at the end of a corridor but it fades away as the player gets closer (i.e. as they walk along the corridor) and is gone by the time the player gets there. The ghost model might have multiple materials on it (skin, metal, cloth). Basically it's a fade of a whole, fully textured object, where the alpha is linked to the distance from the player pawn.

avatar image Ninjin Aug 25 '17 at 09:04 AM

If you reply to someone who gave an answer, make sure to comment under that reply. What you did now is opening a new answer which is confusing for other people, so please make sure to edit, so I can investigate further and things don't get messy! <3

avatar image CopperStoneSea Aug 25 '17 at 05:24 PM

Sorry - it's a new forum arrangement and the 'answer' versus 'comment' thing is a bit confusing. I think I've done this right now. Apologies for the confusion, and thanks for your patience.

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A fade out material can be found here, but I assume you already got one for yourself.

I think the video also recommend using a master material that has the basic fading code, and then you just make instances of that material like you normally do to change textures/normal/rough/met maps (in case you don't know what I'm talking about, click me).

And like I mentioned, don't forget that you can change the lighting mode under translucency to get your normal map access or create a masked material with Dither which also has normal map access, to solve the pop up problem.

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answered Aug 25 '17 at 12:02 AM

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avatar image CopperStoneSea Aug 28 '17 at 02:12 PM

It doesn't look like there's quite as simple an option as I was hoping for. I've got day-job stuff to dig into for a few weeks, but will be returning to this project and will see if I can get this working. I may come back if I get utterly stuck, but I'd not found that video before, so I'll watch that before asking anything else :)

Thank you so much for taking to time to point me the right way, I really appreciate it!

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