This is a tutorial for Unity 5: Unity 4 used
MaterialEditor (legacy documentation here) to customise a material’s inspector. That is now deprecated; you should use the new
ShaderGUI (documentation here) instead.
This post shows how to use arrays and shaders in Unity 5.4. Back in January I already covered this topic in an article called Arrays & shaders: Heatmaps in Unity. My original approach exposed an undocumented feature that allowed to pass arrays to shaders. Since then, Unity 5.4 has introduced proper support in its API. This tutorial replaces the previous article. If you have read the previous tutorial, you do not need any changes to your shader code and you can skip to Step 2.
This tutorial will recreate the 3D printer effect seen in games such as Astroneer and Planetary Annihilation. It’s an interesting effect that shows an object in the process of being created. Despite looking simple, there are many challenges that are far from being trivial.