UE4 - Quick tips & shader tricks (and other videos)

Hey all!

I decided to try and make short and rather to-the-point mini tip/tutorials related to anything ue4 shaders, mainly focused on vfx.
The first two videos are just some “getting started” videos which should/could help your workflow.

I’ll try to add at least one video on a daily basis, unless I am too busy or mrs girlfriend isnt killing bandits while (loudly) riding horses in her new fav. game.


Thanks, @Luos_83 great idea about those quick tips. definately something I will keep watching!

this is a really great initiative! I had no idea you could make the icons smaller in unreal. that should really be the default!! :slight_smile:

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Good tips! I immediately switched to the smaller icons in the toolbar! <3

One little wish for videos in the future: Maybe you can talk about a workflow for saving time for shader-compile (if there are any tricks to make it faster).

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I’ll do some more research on that, but I do tend to copy a material with lots of instances and usage in the game so I can tweak it without having to compile all the instances etc until its done.

I’m also wondering if Material Functions can help (or make it worse).
Actually I’m confused: I remember working on a project using a Material Parameter Collection and when I added a value for some reason ALL materials which used this collection suddenly re-cooked. Yesterday I tried in 4.21 and this behavior was not re-producible…weird. :smiley:

Quick tips and shader tricks 3: Setting up a texture tips, and how to fade in/out a shader with and without using a texture for the opacity.

Bit more lengthy, I should probably have separated them but… well… time.

@simonschreibt yea material param. collections where quite wonky in older ue4 versions, sometimes creating or tweaking one would cause crashes.
Material functions dont really add/reduce compile times.

Asked around a bit, and it can help to disable (ctrl+r) realtime preview, and disable live update during compiling. I think there is also a github pull where it sets the shader compiler to a higher importance which can also help a little, but cant remember where it is. (you can also do this manually in task manager, but it resets it each time if im correct)


Thanks for the tips!

Not a quick Tip, but something else that I wanted to do:

I am going to overhaul an already awesome vfx effect, in this case one made by @celiue which she made for the realtimevfx Sketch#19
In part one I’ll be addressing the spikes :slight_smile:


Wow, these are great! I’m a sucker for keyshortcuts and workflow optimization, this is really helpful! Keep it up!

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Thanks Jcob!


Here is the second part of the overhaul project thingy.

finalizing the floor cracks by updating the mesh and shader, and tweaking the spikes a little.

part 4, adding some fluff to the initial impact

smore overhaul videos :slight_smile:

I totally get your interest in the iterations of the effect directly above this post. With that said though, are there any more “Quick Tips” to be had or were the three videos posted this far to be it?

And on a side note, is this stuff the sort of things -in general- I should be considering once I get my hands on “In-House” Engines? I mean, I’m often thinking about how to make a whole effect cheaper in its self with the things I make, but I had not considered the options that exist in the editor alone. I’ve found this to be very enlightening.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

I will be making more tips/tricks soon, but I want the overhaul thing out of the way so I can focus more on other things, including the tips and tricks videos.
(also recovering from a throat infection atm which will slow things a bit down)

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In my experience it can sometimes be harmful to come into a new job with lots of assumptions about how things work under the hood. A lot of what I learnt about optimization in Frostbite is not applicable in Unreal, and a lot of what I know about Unreal optimization is not applicable in Apex. The safest thing is to assume that each engine has its own best practices, and carefully study exactly what’s best for your current project and engine!


That’s why the best things to teach are process, fundamentals, and general best practice performance stuff of vfx. Every engine will have particles and meshes and flipbooks. The in house stuff is the “you’ll learn that on the job” stuff, and I know it’s frustrating to hear that, but it really is. In one game, doors opening were animations, in another the mesh component was just rotated in blueprint.


just for you @Mez :stuck_out_tongue:

some additional content browser tips, and one material editor tip which I just had to get out of my system as I keep forgetting mentioning it.


Adding some smoke in this overhaul video

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