Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the UI, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- A very convenient and helpful way to organize your workflow is to work with a customizable user interface. Unreal Engine 4 allows users to adjust and create UI environments that fit their comfort and their needs. So, for example, in this case, where we're working with our scene, if I want to customize my user interface so that it fits an environment that I'm maybe a little more comfortable with, or maybe that I want to make a little more efficient in my project production, I can simply do that.
You'll notice that, typically, every major component is tab-based. Now you'll see all these different browsers, all these different little interfaces have tabs on them. For example, our content browser down here. And, at any time, I can tear that off just by grabbing that tab and pulling it right out. And if I just let it go in this space, for example, it's now a floating window. But I can simply take that tab, and I can put it wherever I want to have that. So, for example, if we put this right back down here at the bottom where it was, and I'm just going to adjust this down, you'll see now that I have pretty much the default layout with the content browser down here.
But you'll see now that I have a content browser with models, I have my view-port here, but I might want more than just a model content browser, I might want to have another content browser that actually shows something different. So, let's see how we can work with that. So, if I go underneath window, and I go to content browser, I'm going to create another content browser. We'll bring up Content Browser 2. Now, in this case, I might want to work specfically with materials that I have for my scene.
Maybe specifically, I want to work with the materials that have to do with the effects. Now, with the content browser here, I can certainly dial in to how I want to see that, so maybe we want to see it as tiles, but I want it specifically to always be on the effects material folder here. Now, I'll grab that content browser tab, Content Browser 2 tab, and I'll drag it right in, right beside Content Browser 1. Now you'll see that we have two different content browsers, doing the same thing, but to two specific needs.
So, here I can access my models quickly, and over here, I might be coming and working specifically with material effects, or effects materials, so that I can just quickly go back and forth between those two settings. And, I can keep going and keep populating those tabs across, if need be. Now another couple things to point out, all these tabs are excellent ways of labeling these different browsers or interface components that we're working with. But they can also get in the way of taking up some valuable real estate when you're working.
You can see we have this gap down below the view-port here. We also have another gap at the top of the view-port, and another gap up top of this tool-bar. Well, that's because of these view-port tabs. If I want to hide them, I can just simply right-click, and go hide tab, and you can see that we're actually taking advantage of that real estate, if you will, within our user interface so that we get a bigger view-port, for example. Another way to quickly hide anything, is if I pull out or fly out that tab. If I didn't want to see that tool-bar, I can just click that X, and it's actually going to get rid of that completely.
And, I can do that, of course, with any of these. I can hide that tab, and I can grab and drag the extent of the tops or the sides of any of these elements, and just drag and resize them as needed. Now, at any time, if I want to bring back anything that I've deleted, or if I want to bring up another window that I can't see here, I can just simply go up to the window tab, and I can go in and I can grab a whole other details browser, if I wanted to, I can grab other view-ports, I can view layers, I can view levels, if we want the tool-bar back, I can simply click that and bring it right back into the user interface, and be able to work with it in that regard.
Now at any time, I can drag and adjust these tabs and these view-ports, resize them and work with them the way that I'm happy with, and it will stay like that. When I save my scene, it will remember my last settings, it will remember where things were last docked, and that's important because, now it might be an area that I'm comfortable with in the way I want to work within my Unreal environment, so it will remember the way that is. Of course, at any time, if wanted to actually save the layout, I could simply go underneath my window, into the layout module here, and go save layout.
At the same time, I can also, if I want to revert back to the default layout I can click reset layout, and it's going to ask me if I want to do that, and I can simply say yes. I'm not going to save this here, but I'm just going to let is restart, and what's going to happen is it's going to reset the layout as the default layout is defined, so that's what we've simply done here with our scene. So, there's a quick overview of how you can customize the user interface within Unreal Engine 4.
- Customizing the Unreal UI
- Creating a new project
- Creating landscapes
- Blocking out levels
- Assembling a scene
- Working with materials and lights
- Adding post-processing effects
- Defining bodies of water
- Adding atmospherics, foliage, and wind
- Working with the Blueprint editor
- Creating cinematics
- Monitoring performance
- Packaging a game for distribution