New material - ForceField (v2.0)

Summary

New material called ForceField in now live. Its enabled on all platforms for everybody to use. The material supports parts, CSGs, MeshParts and etc.

What’s new?

Enum.Material.ForceField enables force field behavior for objects it’s applied to. It has four main features:

  1. Fresnel (and optionally depth where its supported) driven transparency which makes the force field visible near edges.
  2. Vertex alpha driven outlines that allow having a visible border even on flat parts of force fields. This persistent opacity is controlled with alpha channel of vertex color, where 1 is no forced color and 0 is fully forced color.
  3. Vertex color tinting can be used just as with any other material.
  4. Animation for mesh based (for now) parts with custom textures. The ‘r’ channel of texture is used to calculate visibility of force field parts over time (there’s a sliding window of currently ‘visible’ range of values). The alpha channel controls how visible the texture pattern is.

The material has been in production for a while now even though we didn’t make any public announcements because we wanted to gather more information on use cases and possible enhancements internally. After careful examination of all the feedback it was clear that we need to make some adjustments to bring the best experience and cover most of the use cases. There’s two main differences with what was initially released and some of you might have played with. The first one is about persistent opacity - it used to be controlled by the red channel of vertex color and value of 0 meant no persistent opacity and 1 meant fully opaque vertex. This is now controlled by vertex alpha and value of 1 means no persistent opacity and 0 means fully opaque vertex. This allows to use existing meshes as is without the need to draw custom vertex color. The other big change - ‘rgb’ channels of vertex color are now used to tint the forcefield just as in other base materials. This would mean that existing mesh based forcefields might look broken but we strongly believe that those changes were necessary to bring the best experience.

332 Likes

Oh god this is amazing. Thank you so much for this :heart:

23 Likes

I’ve been seeing a few bits about those texture ‘hacks’, nice to know it’s official. This is lowkey amazing and I’m already coming up with tons of weird and fun effects I could do with it. Thanks for the update regarding those features :slight_smile:

16 Likes

Sweet!
This looks amazing, great work!! :tada:

7 Likes

This is exactly what I wanted when it was put in studio originally, and I’m glad you guys have done it. Thank you so much!

7 Likes

Will we get the ability to change the animation speed or the way it tweens between values? (i.e. 0-1 and then wrap around to 0 and go 0-1 again, instead of ping-ponging between 0 and 1)

26 Likes

So many opportunities with this material

8 Likes

These are looking amazing, can’t wait to use them!!!

5 Likes

Really cool addition, I played with it a bit before it was fully out and really like it, although I didn’t do too much with it just a hologram thing.

This opens up some more possible things. Thanks

6 Likes

Why not add the animation for textures on parts by themselves rather than meshes? It isn’t really possible to get exact touch/hits with meshes as the dimension isn’t the same.

4 Likes

it doesn’t work exactly like this. there’s some pseudorandom smooth change of values with pretty big period and since currently there’s no good way to customize material we figured this is the best way. we’re thinking how we can enhance this, stay tuned!

9 Likes

So meshes and CSG parts with the ForceField material aren’t a solid opaque color anymore?

4 Likes

Can’t wait to begin using this in my projects. It’ll provide a much nicer aesthetic to places requiring the Sci-Fi theme.

5 Likes

Oh yes I am looking forward to messing around with this.

3 Likes

This material is so cool, I’ve been messing around with this material for the past few days and I can’t wait to finally put it into use. Thank you!!

3 Likes

is it just me or is everything now significantly more pixelated?

32 Likes

Can’t wait to mess around with this…

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For a bit more guidance into how to design textures of your own, I wrote up a bit of a guide a while back.

Glad to see we now have official confirmation, we can start implementing this into our projects.

11 Likes

it is more pixelated indeed due to performance reasons but we’re looking into improving it for HQ

10 Likes

Glad to see this is finally released! The ability to make cool animations with this material is amazing. However, changing the speed of the tween and way it wraps back around would be nice.

4 Likes