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In this youtube tutorial the instructor is using the step node as opposed to the power node to make the contrast of the image higher. I'm looking for documentation on what the 'step' node does to understand it better but couldn't find it on the official unreal docs website. Could someone explain the 'step' node to me and point me in the right direction?

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Here is what the Unreal documentation has to say:

The Step Material Expression returns 0 or 1 for every value of X, depending on whether it is greater than or less than the reference value in Y.

Below, a linear gradient (0 to 1) is plugged into the X input. The value in Y (0.25) acts as the reference value. Every value on the gradient below 0.25 on the returns a 0 (black), every value greater than or equal to 0.25 returns a 1 (white).

Animated gif showing effect of changing Step parameter value

Note that the threshold between black and white moves when you increase the value in Y.

The Step expression is useful when an abrupt on/off effect is needed. For example, you could also use a Step expression to simplify a grayscale texture into a black and white mask.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review \$\endgroup\$
    – liggiorgio
    Commented Jul 17, 2022 at 11:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ updated answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon Suh
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 5:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Be sure to mark sections that are direct quotations of someone else's explanation, and not your own words — this eliminates any possible confusion about plagiarism. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 9:07

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