Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Documentation, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- Unreal Engine 4 is a powerful game development environment that is constantly evolving and updating. As a result, so is the documentation. The documentation can be accessed in a couple of ways. So for example, if we're in the midst of working on something within our project, here within the user interface of Unreal Engine 4, at any time we can go to the top left corner and hit Help and we can access things like the documentation. But before we dive into that, there are other Help areas that are worthwhile pointing out.
For example, there are online tutorials. These may be in the format of verbose or word based format, all the way to something like a video tutorial format as well, like the YouTube channel. Online there are different forums and answer hubs, as well as the Unreal Engine Wiki, which can help provide potential solutions to, or direct answers to the problem you may be having or the area you want to learn about. So up here on the documentation, we can simply click on this, or hit, as you can see, the F1 hotkey to access the online documentation.
So let's click that. It's going to bring us up to a browser with our Unreal Engine 4 documentation. Now a couple of things to note on the way that this is formatted. We have a table of contents on the left that we can dive into and dig through and find specific things. For example, if we click on the Getting Started with UE4, we can find things like the release notes here. Within the release notes, we can see that we can go all the way back, to the Unreal Engine 4.1 release notes right up to the current release.
In this case, I'm running 4.10 and if I click on that I can see all of the different updates that have happened, the major features and the major updates with this version that I am running. If we go back to the main splash page for the Unreal Engine 4 documentation, we know that they're always updating this as the software updates and we have a couple of different ways that we can help find the solution that we need. Mainly three different basic ways. So we can search based on something that we type. Second way is that we can click on Quick Search Terms.
So for example, materials, we can click on a simple button there to be able to access around that topic. Or we can browse by more general or generic topics, things like Getting Started with Unreal Engine 4, all the way down to very specific things, things like maybe, working with blueprints, which is the visual scripting modules built within Unreal Engine 4. So we've seen how we can access this documentation while working within the user interface. But we can also access this in another way here as well and this is using the Unreal Engine launch pad or the epic game launcher, where we can simply launch this launch pad without even launching Unreal Engine and we can get right into the learn area underneath the Unreal Engine tab and we can click on documentation.
That will bring us right there as well. Again though, very similar to what we saw within the Help menu in the user interface for Unreal Engine, we can see that we can access video tutorials. Access to things like community Wikis and answer hubs in here as well to be able to learn different things and find any potential solutions or help that we may require to get us solving that problem. So there's a quick overview of accessing and how the documentation works for 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