This Unreal project by Nicolas Pirot focusses on material deterioration, although it has a lot of other interesting things going on as well. The unique aspect of this tech showcase is giving the user the possibility to completely transform the environment during runtime. Right now it’s based on a set of open parameters, but the gameplay possibilities using this type of workflow are endless.
One of the challenges Nicolas faced early on was finding a way for materials to be editable in runtime, and to control them without having a hardcoded sequence of material changes over time. Normally regular materials or material instances can not be edited once the game starts running.
The solution came in the form of Unreal’s Dynamic Material Instances. Even though they can only be created and assigned during runtime, they have the major advantage of being editable on the go. Once Nicolas got them integrated in the system, he could create material instance and use the UI input as parameters.
You can read more about it on Polycount where it has been featured !
Update: The work of Nicolas has been featured in the Official Unreal Engine Student trailer, together with 2 other DAE students (Bram Nicaise and Thomas Van Nuffel)