How do Shaders in Environment Systems enhance a player's experience?

A Shader Study into Snow Systems in Unreal Engine 4.23


Individual Research Project Developer (Unreal)

Following my written thesis on weather in games, I looked into snow shaders and the material creation process within Unreal Engine 4. Using a pipeline of Substance Designer, Marmoset Toolbag and Unreal Engine 4, I created a shader which works with tessellation, channel packing and masks to create dynamic snow trails. Additionally, I created a system which allows users to place their own assets and textures, allowing them to be affected by the snow and imported into the scene using my shader.

This node graph has parameters allowing a user to customise which materials are used for masking within the shader. These can be instanced and used for multiple materials and assets within the scene.

This material function calculates the snow trails by using the location, footprint render target and a persistent texture to retain the texture which masks tessellation of the main material.