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[Feature Request] Shader Compilation Pause&Resume

Shaders can take a very long time to compile, especially with complex materials on a low spec machine. Each time you change and save a material or function, all shaders of dependent meshes, materials and functions start recompiling. On a low or even mid spec machine, this pretty much takes over your PC and you're unable to do anything (inside UE).

What would be nice is to be able to pause and resume shaders compilations. This way, until all changes are applied, shaders don't compile and don't hog the computer (which is devastating on low and mid spec machines as stated earlier). Now, one can do all the work and then let all the shaders compile when going AFK.

Example: You are using a mat function (f1) inside another mat function (f2) inside multiple materials (m1, m2). You want to expose color vector inside f1 to modifications by materials. So you expose it as function input. Now you have to save it to use exposed inputs in f2 - 150 shaders start compiling. Painfully through lag, you create input in f2 and connect to f1. 10 shaders have compiled so far, but we have to recompile them - 140 + 150 = 290 shaders in queue (i believe UE4 duplicates shaders in compile queue because of a bug, will check this later). You're finally inside your material and you somehow managed to use your param and fine tune it (note: node preview may take up to 5 minutes to display when shaders are compiling). But wait, now you have to save your material... And (re)add another 150 shaders to the compile queue!
Note: as stated, it looks like re-adding existing shaders to the queue is a bug. But even if fixed, it wouldn't fix the pain of trying to tune nodes once you have params set up.

Current "solution": I have an empty level in every single project. Whenever i'm about to deal with materials, i have to open it, restart unreal, do all the material changes, return to the level where the material is used and restart unreal again (if i don't, it crashes way too often).

Product Version: UE 4.17
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asked Oct 23 '17 at 05:21 PM in Everything Else

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