Search public documentation:


Interested in the Unreal Engine?
Visit the Unreal Technology site.

Looking for jobs and company info?
Check out the Epic games site.

Questions about support via UDN?
Contact the UDN Staff

UE3 Home > Rendering > Scripted Texture
UE3 Home > UnrealScript > Scripted Texture

Scripted Texture


Scripted textures allow arbitrary drawing to a texture during runtime from UnrealScript. This drawing is done through the use of a Canvas and the functionality it contains. This means text, materials, other textures, etc. can all be drawn to the scripted texture.

This functionality could be used for anything you can imagine. Some examples might be drawing the players names on their uniforms in a sports game, leaderboards displayed on surfaces in the world, displaying a live feed of text from an external source obtained through a TCPLink or DLLBind source, or even something as complex as allowing the player to paint directly on a surface inside of the game.

ScriptedTexture Class

The ScriptedTexture class is extended from the TextureRenderTarget2D class. It has the following important members:


  • Size[X/Y] - The dimensions of the texture in the horizontal and vertical directions, respectively. Inherited from TextureRenderTarget2D.
  • Format - The EPixelFormat format of the texture data. Inherited from TextureRenderTarget2D.
  • ClearColor - The LinearColor used to clear the texture to. Inherited from TextureRenderTarget2D.
  • bNeedsUpdate - If true, the Render() delegate will be called at the end of the tick, just before all other rendering.
  • bSkipNextClear - If true, the texture will not be cleared before the next call of the Render() delegate. This is useful if you want to draw to the texture over multiple frames.


  • Create [InSizeX] [InSizeY] [InFormat] [InClearColor] [bOnlyRenderOnce] - Static. Creates a new TextureRenderTarget2D using the specified parameters. Inherited from TextureRenderTarget2D.
    • InSizeX - Sets the size of the new texture in the horizontal direction.
    • InSizeY - Sets the size of the new texture in the vertical direction.
    • InFormat - Optional. Sets the EPixelFormat used by the texture.
    • InClearColor - Optional. Sets the LinearColor to clear texture to.
    • bOnlyRenderOnce - Optional. If true, the texture will only update a single time, the first frame it is created.
  • Render [C] - The delegate called to draw to the texture.
    • C - The Canvas object used to draw to the texture for the current frame.

ScriptedTexture Setup

In order to create and use a ScriptedTexture, there are some steps to perform that may not be immediately obvious. The main points will be detailed here to get you on your way to using ScriptedTextures in your game.

ScriptedTexture Creation

First, a new ScriptedTexture must be created in your class. The Create() function is used for this, though it may not be obvious how to use it since it returns a TextureRenderTarget2D.

var ScriptedTexture CanvasTexture;


CanvasTexture = ScriptedTexture(class'ScriptedTexture'.static.Create(1024, 1024,, ClearColor));

The Create() static function is called from the ScriptedTexture class and then cast to a Scriptedtexture. This can then be assigned to a ScriptedTexture variable to reference the new ScriptedTexture.

Assigning ScriptedTexture

Once the ScriptedTexture is created, it needs to be assigned to a Material in order to be used. This requires a little setup in UnrealEd as we need a Material with a TextureSampleParameter2D expression we can assign the ScriptedTexture to.


var StaticMeshCompeonent Mesh; //Mesh used to display the material in-game
var MaterialInstanceConstant CanvasMaterial; //new material instance to assign ScriptedTexture to
var MaterialInterface CanvasMaterialTemplate; //Material created in UnrealEd with TextureSampleParameter2D
var Int CanvasMaterialIndex; //Index of material on mesh to assign new Material to
var Name CanvasMaterialParameterName; //Name of TextureSampleParameter2D in CanvasMaterialTemplate


CanvasMaterial = Mesh.CreateAndSetMaterialInstanceConstant(CanvasMaterialIndex);
if(CanvasMaterial != none)

   if(CanvasMaterialParameterName != '')
      CanvasMaterial.SetTextureParameterValue(CanvasMaterialParameterName, CanvasTexture);

A new MaterialInsatnceConstant is created and assigned to the static mesh. Then the parent of that material instance is set to the CanvasMaterialTemplate, which should reference the template material that has the texture parameter set up to receive the ScriptedTexture. Finally, the ScriptedTexture is assigned to the texture parameter.

Render Delegate

With the ScriptedTexture all set up and being displayed, the last step is to draw to the texture. This requires assigning a function to the Render() delegate of the ScriptedTexture. Then, inside the drawing function, standard Canvas drawing commands can be used to draw to the ScriptedTexture.

CanvasTexture.Render = OnRender;


function OnRender(Canvas C)
   ...Drawing Commands...

ScriptedTexture Example

This example shows a complete implementation of a ScriptedTexture which will display a horizontally scrolling piece of text on a mesh in-game. Of course, the example only displays one string over and over, but it has the ability to take in a new string. This could be extended to take in a new string of text and add it to a buffer array in order to display an ongoing stream of text, such as that of an IRC chat room.

The main points of interest are the PostBeginPlay() and ConsoleRender() as those handle the setup and rendering of the ScriptedTexture, respectively.



class TextConsole extends Actor placeable;

var() int ConsoleMaterialIndex;
var() MaterialInterface ConsoleMaterialTemplate;
var() name CanvasTextureParamName;

var MaterialInstanceConstant ConsoleMaterial;
var ScriptedTexture CanvasTexture;
var() float ScrollAmount;
var() float TextScale;
var() LinearColor ClearColor;
var() Color TextColor;

var string ConsoleText;
var Vector2D Pos;

var() editinline const StaticMeshComponent Mesh;

function PostBeginPlay()

   CanvasTexture = ScriptedTexture(class'ScriptedTexture'.static.Create(1024, 1024,, ClearColor));
   CanvasTexture.Render = OnRender;

   if(ConsoleMaterialTemplate != none)
      ConsoleMaterial = Mesh.CreateAndSetMaterialInstanceConstant(ConsoleMaterialIndex);
      if(ConsoleMaterial != none)

         if(CanvasTextureParamName != '')
            ConsoleMaterial.SetTextureParameterValue(CanvasTextureParamName, CanvasTexture);

   SetConsoleText("Console Display Text");
   Pos.X = CanvasTexture.SizeX;

function SetConsoleText(string text)
   ConsoleText = text;

function OnRender(Canvas C)
   local Vector2D TextSize;

   C.TextSize(ConsoleText, TextSize.X, TextSize.Y);
   TextSize *= TextScale;
   Pos.Y = (CanvasTexture.SizeY / 2) - (TextSize.Y / 2);
   Pos.X -= WorldInfo.DeltaSeconds * ScrollAmount;
   if(Pos.X < -TextSize.X)
      Pos.X = CanvasTexture.SizeX;

   C.SetClip(CanvasTexture.SizeX + TextSize.X, CanvasTexture.SizeY + TextSize.Y);
   C.SetPos(Pos.X, Pos.Y);


   C.DrawText(ConsoleText,, TextScale, TextScale);

   CanvasTexture.bNeedsUpdate = true;


   Begin Object class=StaticMeshComponent Name=StaticMeshComp1
   End Object

   Mesh = StaticMeshComp1