2. Applying Materials to Actors

Using the Details panel to apply Materials to an Actor.

On this page

Once you have an Actor in your level to work with, you can quickly alter the appearance of the Actor by changing its Material through the Details panel. In this step we will assign a Material through the Material property in the Details panel as well assign a Material from the Content Browser.


  1. Scroll down in the Details panel to the Materials section and click the Select Material dropdown box.


  2. In the menu that appears, the currently selected Material will be highlighted. Select any new Material.


    When you select a Material, the dropdown box will be updated with your selection and the sphere in the level will be updated.

  3. Click the magnifying glass icon next to the Select Material dropdown box.


    Clicking this icon will automatically find and select the Material inside the Content Browser.


    This is useful for finding assets in the Content Browser when you do not know where they are located.

  4. In the Details panel, click the yellow arrow icon.


    Whenever you click this icon, it will reset the option back to its default value.


  5. In the Content Browser, select another Material.


  6. In the Details panel, click the arrow icon next to the Select Material dropdown box.


    Clicking this icon will automatically assign the asset selected in the Content Browser to the option's setting.


    When you see this icon next to a property, you can select something in the Content Browser then click it to assign it to the property.

End Result

We learned how to assign a Material to an Actor through the Actor's Material property value in the Details panel as well as a way to locate items in the Content Browser that are assigned to a property. We also saw how to assign items from the Content Browser directly to a property by clicking the assign short-cut.

In the next step we will take a look at the Physics Simulation & Collision properties of an Actor to enable physics simulation on our sphere so when we launch the game, the ball will drop and roll down the stairs and collide with our playable character killing them in the process.

Select Skin

Welcome to the new Unreal Engine 4 Documentation site!

We're working on lots of new features including a feedback system so you can tell us how we are doing. It's not quite ready for use in the wild yet, so head over to the Documentation Feedback forum to tell us about this page or call out any issues you are encountering in the meantime.

We'll be sure to let you know when the new system is up and running.

Post Feedback