Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Advanced manipulation techniques, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- The ability to place and manipulate actors within Unreal Engine 4, exists in two primary areas here, and this is from this modes kind of browser view or by right clicking within the View Port and going down into our Place Actor where we can actually select from a menu set here and be able to place in our actors. Now as we know within Unreal Engine 4, actors are anything that I can interact with or is visible as well within the View Port. So in this case here, we have this default player start. I'm just going to turn that off, and just a note here, right now I have the Sky Sphere selected, if I have something selected that I don't want to have selected and I want to just quickly have everything deselected.
Hit the ESC hotkey and that will just deselect everything rapidly for you so that you're free from anything that may be selected. Now we want to be able to look at some advanced techniques for how we can quickly manipulate or populate a scene with some actors. So in this case, I'm going to use some basic little primitives. I'm going to left click and drag into my View Port this Cube. I'm going to press w, access my translational icon here and be able to just navigate that around, and let's grab a couple other objects in here.
Actually maybe let's scale this one out. We'll make this a little bit shorter and we're just going to leave that one hovering there in space for a moment because we're going to look at something here in a moment as to what we can do with that. Now if I grab this Sphere, and I drag this into the View Port here. We'll put that up in space as well. Now a couple things, if I want to be able to place things with accuracy, that is have things touch together, but not intersect and not be hovering in space, which can be problematic obviously for a game you can see we have these shadow's here but this object is not on the floor plane.
That isn't any good, we want to have it actually snapped to the floor plane. Well there's a couple ways I could do that, I could come in here I could hit my f key to frame it in, and I can use my w key to use the transnational tool, and I could just get in there and try to line that up by eye, and that may be good enough, but a quicker more accurate way with any object here at any time within Unreal while we're placing and manipulating actors is that I can use the End hotkey, so if I just press End right now, it's gonna snap that and drop that right down to the floor.
Same thing with this Sphere, so I can drop it right down. The cool thing about this is it's not just stuck to a floor, let's bring that Sphere right back up, and let's bring it over here to our object, or right above our Cube object. So if I bring this Cube, or this Sphere, right above the Cube here you can see that if I hit End right now, it's going to drop it right down to that object. So everything is collidable, everything can interact with each other, and if I hit End it's going to drop it down on the nearest object.
That's actually a really handy hotkey if you think about it for placing and manipulating objects in a scene. I know my shadows are going to be good, I know I'm not going to get any intersection of objects, and I'm going to have a clean placement of those objects as well. Now let's look at some other ways that we can manipulate these actors to work with them in this scene. Well I have my simple Sphere, I have a simple Cube, let's grab a little Cone and bring it into the View Port here as well. We'll drag that up, and I'll just hit the End hotkey, just to snap it down to the floor. Now a couple of things, if I'm working in here and at any time I want to be able to move this in a specific area or group of increments, I can do that by utilizing snapping.
Now here we'll see on the top right that we have the ability to access the different snapping options here. I'm going to use the Snapping to Grid, so if I just click this on, I can see that I've turned this on by it highlighting to orange. Just the same way that Translate is the act of Modular Active Format for manipulating my actor right now. What's happening here is it's snapping in an increment of 10 units, based on the grid, if I want that to be a little bit more maybe I could turn that up to something like 100, and you'll see that my grid has updated for me, and when I pull that we're now snapping at a much greater space.
So this is where you're getting really good accurate incremental translation of an object. Similarly the same thing exists for rotation, if I come into my Rotation here and I click this on I can snap this into incremental rotational values. So at any time I could change it to something like maybe 30° for example, hit my e hotkey to get into my rotational value and I'm now locking this to incrementations of 30°, and the widget is going to update live in the View Port there by 30° increments to tell me how far I've actually rotated that one around.
So let's leave it there at 90°. At any time I can of course go in and just quickly tun that off or turn them on if I want to do that. Now with our Scale exact same thing, I can turn on my Scaling, and I can turn on how I want that to snap. Now it's looking at grid value when I do that, so here I'm getting a nice uniform scale by grabbing the center of that icon and I'm Scaling this up in increments of .25 based on the grid snap value. Now let's just hit end and snap that back down, and then we can just look at another couple of things here.
If we're working with a scene that is a big environment, it's of real value to have a quick moving camera and that is something that you can zoom right in very quickly, I can zoom out, I can manipulate or transform around really easily, but what if I'm working with something where I'm up close and that's too sensitive? You know, if I want to track or pan around, it might be too quick that the camera's working. Nice thing within the View Port here within Unreal Engine 4 is this way to place actors and manipulate actors with your camera speed in mind here.
So that's important when you're working with the placing of objects and manipulating them, the Camera Speed may be too sensitive. So we have this Camera Speed and this really is the sensitivity to how you're navigating around in the View Port with your objects. So I can maybe turn that down, so that now I'm actually moving at something maybe a little bit more calm and something that might be a little bit more under control, and I can change this to be really quick things here. Especially for large scenes you'd want to crank it up like that, but for smaller scenes like this something like 2 is going to be just fine.
So we've looked at how we can place actors and an actor is anything that we can interact with or is visible within our View Port, and we looked at how we can manipulate them with some advanced techniques here in how we can access our snapping abilities here in Translate, Rotate, and Scale.
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