Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Migrating projects, part of Unreal: Virtual Reality for Architectural & Industrial Visualization.
- In order to have a quick and easy setup for our virtual reality visualization project, we can take advantage of the existing VR templates provided by Unreal. However, we still need to bring our data into this project. Now, if you're starting from scratch, this process is very much the same as any regular Unreal project startup, where you would get your basic startup and then import your assets into the scene and begin to assemble and build your overall scene. Our project takes into account an existing project built elsewhere under a different template, an actual first-person template and being used for more of a standard interactive playable approach.
So we'll need to migrate those assets into this project. Now, if you're familiar with Unreal's project-based directory structure, you'll be aware that it bases everything on the steep content structure, and everything must be in a specific area for everything to work properly. So, the way we're going to work with this is if you're starting from scratch, you don't need to worry about this at all, and I actually have this scene built for you to VR and this takes advantage of a previous force for Unreal visualization in this data set that I've built and we want to port that data set into our VR template.
Now, there is another option. We could port out components from the VR template back into that existing visualization project, but the problem with that is we're not going to get the entire setup or advantages of the world settings and everything set up in this existing project. So, we're actually taking the reverse approach of bringing our data and assets over to this template that have already been set up in another project. So a few things will be disconnected, namely materials, but everything else, like existing collisions, and the built out materials will exist, you just have to simply place and reapply.
But other than that, the nice advantage with this VR template again is more than just the setup of the head-mounted display and the controllers, it's also optimized for virtual reality rendering, so it takes into consideration performance demands and needs. So this is why this template is excellent for this. So, here's a quick overview of how to migrate assets from an existing project into the Unreal virtual reality template. Now, with the other project, all I simply did was take my structure directory, which I organized into subdirectories, and I advise you do that, and let's just take a quick look at how that's built.
Underneath the content browser, content, and then we have geometry. We jump into there, we'll see three basic folders, materials, meshes, and textures, and I do this just to keep it very simple from the top. And if we go into any of these, we go into materials, we'll see that we have all our materials there. We can further subcategorize those, but there aren't too many materials so it isn't too bad of something to organize. Now, meshes, there are a lot of meshes, so I've organized these by room, from the bathroom all the way across to the living room space, and inside there of course are many different meshes, and they're all organized by the different area of the living space.
And then of course textures, and we could organize those down if we needed to, but there's no need to do that. The key understanding here is that these are organized into subdirectory folders, and this comes in handy now for a time like this when you want to migrate assets from one project to another. So with that folder selected, I want to migrate those out to another project and the way I would do that is simply right-click on that entire directory and go to migrate, simple as that. Now what it's going to ask me to do here is what is the content that you want to save here, and what content do you want to go ahead and migrate out.
I can simply just, we'll save that scene, and now it's going to give me an asset report, and it's going to tell me that the following assets are going to be migrated to another content folder. Content folder, in Unreal speak, is the key folder for an Unreal project, so this is showing me all those materials, all those meshes, all those textures, all of the assets. And this is where I could just simply say yes, that's what I want, and hit okay. And it's going to ask me where I want to put that. We're not going to do that now because I've already done this over here, but that's exactly what I did, and I saved that to a location which was in the other project, and once you save that underneath the content structure in here, you now have this.
So it's just another piece of advice, if a geometry folder already exists in another content or template setup, which most likely it does, you want to rename it. I simply just call this Geometry Two, and then import it in my geometry folder from my other project into that content folder. And now when I come into this template, it is in here and I simply dragged all the assets into place and the biggest headache was the reassigning of materials, but it's actually not that big of a deal, because everything is there. The materials as they were built, and everything like collisions are all back in place as well.
Now the most important thing to address, now that we have our assets in the scene is the volume that is required for teleportation throughout the scene. And you can find these volumes, over here in the volumes up on the top left in the modes panel and if we just take a look at what exists in there, we can go down to a couple of different volumes here and you can see that we have a nav modifier volume. And if we just scroll over here in the World Outliner, let's find our volumes here, here's our light mass importance volume, and there's your Nav Mesh Bounds volume.
And what this volume is going to give us is the ability to make sure that we are staying within that area there, so we have the Nav modifier volume and in this case here we want the Nav, Navigation Mesh Bounds volume. And I just simply dragged that into the scene and scaled it to represent this area. So I could even scale that to bring it in a little bit tighter but with collisions I don't necessarily need to worry about that. But that's important to have that, controllers need to have that in order to process the teleportation capabilities. But you'll want to make sure that's in the scene and scale that to fit your environment.
My scene here isn't too massive, so I didn't have to worry about it being too big, but if you have a scene that is huge you're going to have to scale this out to encompass that entire data sets that you can navigate around. So that's a quick overview of how you can take an existing project, migrate assets over into that project, and then begin to use the advantages of the template for virtual reality that's already set up from the epic guys at Unreal Engine.
- Considering VR as a presentation tool and a design tool
- Selecting your VR gear
- Migrating projects
- VR scene adjustment tips
- Real-world scale in VR
- Textures, details, and navigation in VR
- Dealing with motion and VR sickness