Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) project, part of Unreal: Architectural & Industrial Visualization.
- [Instructor] Unreal Engine 4 is a directory-structured, project-based game engine. Setting up a project for visualization is not unlike setting up a project to create a game. Unreal makes it really easy by including a series of handy templates. There are, however, some basic project components that we'll need for our visualization project and some that we will not need. So, let's fire up the Epic Games Launcher and take a look at our project template options. So, first of all, firing up the Epic Games Launcher, if you're not familiar with this, it's going to give you some news up top here.
It's also going to give you links to handy things like forums, perhaps the marketplace or library, where you can grab assets or other things to utilize within your projects. But most importantly here, we're concerned with our Launch button on the top left. I'm just going to go ahead and click the version of Unreal that I'm running. I should just note here the version of Unreal that you may be running at the time that this course is out is most likely going to be different. Unreal is being developed openly, meaning that it's also being developed in a way that new versions are always coming out. They're always opening up and being available to people so that the version you're using is probably going to be different than mine, but all the content will work just fine and just the same.
So, I'm going to hit Launch to launch our Unreal Engine 4.14, is the version I'm running and what's happening now behind the scenes is that Unreal Editor's going to open up and give us our project starter options. It's going to give us an option to create projects but also to look at any projects I may be working with. So, here you can see the Unreal Project Browser. So, we have two tabs, Projects, which is the My Projects area, and New Project. So, the My Projects area underneath Projects shows the version I'm working with here, which is UE4_Viz.
Now, if you have access to the exercise files, you'll have access to that project. If you have access to the exercise files and you have access to the project but you haven't yet associated it with Unreal, I'm going to show you how you can do that really quickly right now. So, at the bottom right hand corner of the Projects window, let's click Browse, and this is where you want to find the exercise files. Now, in my case, I have them on the desktop. I'm going to click on Exercise Files, I'm going to click on UE4_Viz, and you can see what it's looking for here is an Unreal Project File, which is a .uproject.
I'll just click my UE4_Viz.uproject, and we just click Open. I'm not going to click Open here because I already have this project associated here within my Unreal Engine environment. If you do not have that there and you click this, it will associate that with you. I'm just going to hit Cancel here because I already have it in My Projects. But what I'm going to do here is actually start from scratch for you to show you how to build a project using existing templates for visualization. So, if we go to the New Project window, we have two categories.
We have a blueprint based structure or we have a code based structure. We want to start with a blueprint based project template. You can see there are many options, and this library is growing. And these are designed to make life easier for you to jump in and start your projects very quickly. What we want to use is not the blank structure. I want to actually use the first person structure so that we can walk around our visualization and actually interact with the environment somewhat. For the most part, we're going to tour around and be able to look and experience it in that sense.
So, we're going to start with a first person setup, and what you can see here is it's going to give us a preview of what that setup is. There are a couple of meshes in there, for example, the weapon, the hands, the environment there, that we don't need. And we'll address that later. But right now, we want to set up the basics for this project. So first, what we want to do is to find the components here. We're going to leave this all at default, which is that we want to develop for a desktop or console. We're developing for desktops, so we'll leave at that.
We want to leave it to maximum quality, and for this course, we do want access to the starter content. Now just as a note for your own projects down the line, you can select no starter content, and that actually saves some space within your project directory. But we do want access to the starter content for this course. Now, most importantly here is where you can select your location, where you want to define where the project will be. If you have access to the exercise files, that's where I built my project, which in my case is on the desktop.
You can certainly feel free to build your projects wherever you would like. I should point out that Unreal builds an Unreal project directory for you when you install and run Unreal Engine, and I'm going to show you where that is. It's actually found in your Documents section, so if we go to Documents, you'll see Unreal Projects. I'm going to click that, I'm going to hit OK, and this is where I'm going to build this project here. I'm going to rename my project to Viz_Proj, and I'm going to hit Create Project.
Now what's happening here is that Unreal is this project directory, this structured directory based game engine, and it's very important for how everything operates in creating your environment. It's building that directory for me right now, so we can see that the editor has Viz Project and now it's opened up the environment here with the starter template. And we can even see within the View Port, we have a label here, First Person Template. So, very quickly, here we are in Unreal Engine, and we have our View Port and we have our World Outliner where we can access everything in there as well as the View Port, we can actually click on things.
And of course, most importantly is the Content Browser, and this is where we can access all of the content for that project that's been created for us. A couple notes on that. Right now, you can see that I'm viewing these little folders as icons. You may be viewing it differently or maybe you prefer to view it differently. If you go to the bottom right hand corner, you can click View Options and actually view this as a list or perhaps as columns. It's up to you. I prefer to use the tiles, but most importantly, what I prefer to see is the source of the content browser.
So, by clicking this little icon in the top left corner, it will show me the sources panel here. And this is our project directory as it exists right now, or our project structure as it exists right now in Unreal Engine. We have our most important starter beginning here, Content, which is referred to as /Game. And this is where all of our project structures live. And you can see that we have things called first person, and we have the starter content in there as well, as well as a Geometry folder.
And these are the basics for this project. We're going to leave this alone for right now. Let's take a quick look at what's happening in this project. So, if you just go into the View Port, just hit Play at the top right corner and just start to click. And you can see that we're actually firing a weapon and we're able to move around the environment with the hot keys, w for forward, s for backwards, a to the left, d to the right, and anywhere that I move my mouse or game controller, you can certainly use a game controller with this, anywhere I point that crosshair there, it is where I'm going to move.
Now, we're going to change this because there are some objects here, of course, that we don't need, but for right now, that's an overview of how to create a basic first person project template that we will utilize for our visualization project in Unreal Engine 4.
- Defining project goals
- Creating an Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) project
- Adjusting first-person project settings
- Creating effective assets
- Exporting assets for UE4
- Importing assets into UE4
- Placing assets in a scene
- Adding and editing collisions
- Working with textures
- Creating a basic material
- Adding a post-process volume