Blueprints in Unreal Engine provide an extremely powerful way to visually script just about anything. This video provides a basic introduction and overview to working with Blueprints.
- [Instructor] The purpose of our project is to work with CAD data so that we can visualize this in a compelling way. We want to create some nice imagery, but we also want to showcase our model. We're going to take a look at how we can do that with blueprints. Before we do that, we should take a look at an introduction to what blueprints are. Now, if you're following along with the example files, here you'll see that I'm using chapter_03_01, and, once again, it may look a little different than my file if yours is viewed in or zoomed in on the object, great, if not, something go underneath the geometry folder, select the rotor, press F, and then alt left-mouse-button around so that we have something in view.
Let's take a look at what blueprints are and how they can be very powerful for a visualization project such as this. We're going to create a couple different things with blueprints. One is a simple turntable to showcase our data, and another one is to create a more complex animation with blueprints. So, let's go into what blueprints are. The first thing we're going to do for this introduction to blueprints is actually create a simple blueprint. So, if you remember, before, we created a blueprint directory here. Let's double-click and go into that blueprint directory. It's empty, and what we're going to do is we can either go to add new and select blueprint class or, once again, we can right-click and go to blueprint class as well, so go ahead and do that.
And, then, select the top one, actor. So, we'll pick that as our parent blueprint class. And, it's going to want you to rename that. I'm going to call mine CAD_BP, and then we'll leave it at that for now. So, with this, we've created a simple blueprint, nothing is happening yet, but what we want to do is actually double-click on this. Now, I should point out at this point here, if you've never used blueprints before, you may actually see a different window pop up in your view. And, that window actually may look quite different than this.
I'm in the editor here. Yours may not be, it may actually look like something with a bunch of nodes or parameters in there. You should see something in the middle of it there that will reference open full blueprint editor. And, by clicking that, it's going to bring you to this. If you don't see that, great, you'll probably see something like what I'm looking at here, which is this blueprint editor. Let's grab the tab and actually drag it up to the top here so that we can take a quick look at what the blueprint editor is all about. Now, yours might look a little different in here. Sometimes the default setting for this may have the details tab somewhere docked over at the side of this, something maybe like this, and, if that's the case, that's great, you can work with it in that way.
It's important to know that Unreal, everything is dockable, so if yours is like this you can leave it like that, or you can simply drag this guy right beside the my blueprint tab. And, that's actually kind of handy because we're going to be working in this section, we can get access to those details in here. So, a quick tour of what the blueprint editor is and what blueprints are. Blueprints are visual scripting, so instead of actually coding with C plus or whatever else you prefer to use, blueprints actually allow you to hook up events and functions together in this visual manner.
So, the blueprint editor, just like in Unreal all the other different editors, here are the basics here. We have these five areas that are basic that we're going to work with. On the top left we have components, and this is where we're going to do a lot here, we're going to bring in all of our different pieces of our CAD data, our break set, as a component to be able to work with it here. And, then, we have the my blueprint tab, which actually defines everything around the blueprint. That's where you can manage things like graphs, functions, or different variables that you may create for things, and we're not going to get into that right now, but we will later when we create something a little more complex for a blueprint.
Next, we have the details panels, we discussed we docked that into here, and that's just the same as all the different details panels you may see throughout Unreal, whether it's to do with materials or maybe a static mesh. That's where you find all your typical parameters and attributes related to the properties of our component or our object that we're working with. Now, the event graph, if we click above here, this is the most important area that we'll be working with as well as the construction script, we're going to be looking at how we can use that for some other effects there. And, blueprints have their very own view port where you can preview what is happening within the blueprint itself, so this is its own view port separate from the main scene view port.
So, that's an intro to what blueprints are, what the blueprint editor is, just to familiarize yourself with it before we dive in and start to create anything here in Unreal engine.
- Preparing CAD data for transition into UE4
- Setting up a project
- Importing CAD data
- Organizing content
- Setting the scene
- Lighting for CAD visualization
- Working with Blueprints
- Creating a brushed steel material
- Creating and applying an exploded view animation for CAD data
- Rendering CAD data in UE4
- Setting up Sequencer
- Outputting a visualization edit