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Different phenomenon when SetPropertyBlock is called with and without a materialIndex parameter
How to reproduce:
1. Open the attached "MaterialPropertyBlockAnimation" project
2. Open the Sample Scene and Enter the Play mode
3. Inspect the Game view
Actual: Animation cannot change the property of material when SetPropertyBlock with index parameter is called
Reproducible with: 2019.4.4f1, 2020.2.0a18
Could not test 2018.4 because the project breaks when downgraded
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After looking into this and getting confirmation from the graphics team, this is actually expected behaviour.
The documentation ( https://docs.unity3d.com/ScriptReference/Renderer.SetPropertyBlock.html ) does mention that in the case of per-renderer and per-material overrides being used, per-material will be used over per-renderer, which is triggered by using SetPropertyBlock with the materialIndex, suggesting that different behaviours should be expected. Looking further into the animation side of things, when it sets the float of the material property being animated, it'll set it to the per-renderer ShaderPropertySheet, however in the renderer, the per-renderer property sheet is then overridden by the per-material property sheet if it's being used - which in the case of using SetPropertyBlock with materialIndex, they are, and which is why it would appear that animation does not work.