HLSL Material for Unreal Engine

Related tags

Game HLSLMaterial
Overview

HLSL Material for Unreal Engine

Ever wanted to write complex material functions directly in HLSL? Now you can!

Unreal Engine 4.26, 4.27 and 5.0 are supported. 4.25 cannot be supported as custom nodes have a single output in that version.

Demo: https://twitter.com/phyronnaz/status/1452553917204733953

Features

  • HLSL support: write all your functions in a single hlsl file and use any of them in regular materials
  • Team-friendly: regular material functions are generated, so your team members don't need the plugin to use them!
  • Live updates: material functions & opened material editors are refreshed when saving the hlsl file (Windows only)
  • Comment support: comments are parsed & pin tooltips are set accordingly

Installing from source

Download the repo as a zip or download a release with prebuilt binaries, and extract it under your project Plugins folder so you have YourProject/Plugins/HLSLMaterial/HLSLMaterial.uplugin

Visual Studio will be required if you don't download a prebuilt release.

How to

  • Create a new HLSL Material Function Library (right click Content Browser -> Material & Textures). This asset will be the link between your hlsl file and all the generated material functions.
  • Set the File on it to point to your HLSL file
  • Add functions to the file
  • Material functions will be created when you save the HLSL file
  • You can also disable the automatic updates and manually right click the asset -> Update from HLSL

Syntax

  • All return types must be void to ensure the pins are all properly named
  • To mark a parameter as an output, use out: eg, out float3 MyOutput
  • Comments must use the // syntax, /* is not supported
  • @param in comments will be parsed & put into the pin tooltips
// Ray-sphere intersection
// @param   RayOrigin       The origin of the ray
// @param   RayDirection    The direction of the ray
// @param   SphereCenter    The center of the sphere
// @param   SphereRadius    The radius of the sphere
// @param   Distance        The distance from the ray origin to the hit on the sphere
void RaySphereIntersect(float3 RayOrigin, float3 RayDirection, float3 SphereCenter, float SphereRadius, out float Distance) 
{
    float a = dot(RayDirection, RayDirection);
    float3 SphereCenterToRayOrigin = RayOrigin - SphereCenter;
    float b = 2.0 * dot(RayDirection, SphereCenterToRayOrigin);
    float c = dot(SphereCenterToRayOrigin, SphereCenterToRayOrigin) - (SphereRadius * SphereRadius);
    float Discriminant = b * b - 4.0 * a* c;

    if (Discriminant < 0.0) 
    {
        Distance = -1.0;
    }
    else
    {
      Distance = (-b - sqrt(Discriminant)) / 2 * a;
    }
}

How it works

The plugin manually parses the functions in the HLSL file. From there, it creates new material functions with a Custom node holding the function body.

The logic is pretty simple & straightforward, so it should be relatively robust.

Project management

Moving functions

Material functions are generated next to your library asset, under YourFunctionLibraryAsset_Generated/. Once they are generated, you should be able to move them anywhere - the library keeps a ref to them.

Renaming functions

If you rename a function in your HLSL file, you need to manually rename the corresponding material function in Unreal, ideally before saving the HLSL. Otherwise, a new one will be created with the new name.

Deleting functions

The plugin will never delete any asset. If you remove a function from the HLSL, it is up to you to remove it from Unreal.

Source Control

You don't need to check in the HLSL file or the library - simply checking in the generated functions should be enough. However, if your teammates are also using the plugin it might be best to check in everything.

Issues
  • Add IncludeFilePaths and AdditionalDefines properties for custom node

    Add IncludeFilePaths and AdditionalDefines properties for custom node

    Unreal custom node in which our HLSL code is placed has useful properties for defines and include paths.

    This allows for more possibilities when creating hlsl material functions including usage of .ush files.

    This pull request adds ability to set those properties for all functions in library as well as update function on changes to included files.

    As just adding those properties was very easy most of the code changes are related to watching for changes in includes and supporting that properly.

    opened by adam-wolski 8
  • Fix compilation on UE5.0 release branch

    Fix compilation on UE5.0 release branch

    Those changes fix compilation on UE5.0 release branch.

    Pretty minor but had to fully disable permutation window feature and do a little hack in 8b86ea6335547965f558ebe9064ca59b8da88fc5 to keep support for UE5 Early Access.

    opened by adam-wolski 2
  • Fix relative paths not working

    Fix relative paths not working

    When UHLSLMaterialFunctionLibrary::OnDirectoryChanged is called array of FFileChangeData has paths that are always full, not relative.

    Filepath in HLSLMaterialFunctionLibrary is stored as relative filepath when possible. Which is good as this allowes for having shared hlsl directory in the project for all project users.

    But when OnDirectoryChanged is called with those full paths it fails to find matching files.

    With this change GetFilePath always returns full, not relative path

    opened by adam-wolski 1
  • How can I use #include to add external file into the current .hlsl file?

    How can I use #include to add external file into the current .hlsl file?

    I met these matters:

    • when using include, UE5 only supports .usf or .ush
    • simply using #include "basic.usf" does not work, how to write the correct path so UE can find it?
    opened by ChaelKenway 0
  • Added support for structs.

    Added support for structs.

    At the current state adding structs to the code breaks parsing, especially structs with functions which is the only easy way of adding non-material function "libraries" to the code node in UE4, i.e:

    struct Functions 
    {
        float4 SomeLocalFunction(float4 A, float4 B)
        {
            return lerp(A, B, 0.25);
        } 
    };
    
    
    void MaterialFunc(
        float4 A,
        float4 B
        out float4 Color)
    {
        Functions fun;
    
        Color = fun.SomeLocalFunction(A, B);
    }
    

    If file contains multiple material functions, structs will be added to all of the code nodes.

    opened by qwe321 0
  • Includes are added even if they are guarded by #ifdef-s

    Includes are added even if they are guarded by #ifdef-s

    When parsing includes in hlsl file all of them are added even if they are guarded by failed #ifdef

    #include "header_a.ush"
    
    #ifndef SOMEDEF
    #include "header_b.ush"
    #endif
    

    Right now both header_a and header_b are included and this leads to compilation errors.

    opened by adam-wolski 4
  • Resolve local includes

    Resolve local includes

    Hey, me again 😄

    I propose small improvement to includes parsing that allows working with paths that IDEs have less problems with.

    When using IDEs like Rider for developing shaders they often have problems with finding includes when included as virtual paths.

    See for example https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/RIDER-69615

    This can be often worked around when working with global shaders by using relative paths to virtual shader location.

    This cannot be done same way for code generated with HLSLMaterial.

    This change adds fallback mechanism when we find that include path isn't real virtual path. We try to check if this path is relative path to our hlsl file and if it is we try to find it in virtual mappings.

    opened by adam-wolski 1
  • Including Operations Only Possible in Custom Nodes Causes the Entire Function To Be Inside A Custom Node

    Including Operations Only Possible in Custom Nodes Causes the Entire Function To Be Inside A Custom Node

    Ideally this plugin would be able to differentiate between content that needs to definitely be part of a Custom node and everything else in order to take advantage of constant folding.

    Function code:

    void testFunc(float3 color, float intensity, out float3 diffuse, out float x) {
    
    	float val = 0.1;
    	int i = 0;
    	while ( i <= 10 ) {
    		diffuse.x = (val * (float)i);
    		i += 1;
    	}
    
    	x = intensity * 0.5;
    }
    
    • Generated graph: image

    • Expected format: Intensity parameter and X output are not used within the while loop, and therefore could be broken out from the custom node: image

    opened by Bartalon 4
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