Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the exercise files, part of Unreal Essential Training.
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- If you have access to the files for this course, you will see that it's quite a large file. And within this file it contains all of the content that you need to assemble or build the project that I utilize throughout this course. Now if you don't have access to the content for this course, some of the steps of what I'm going to show here are important to note to be able to gain access to other assets that happen to exist in the amazing Epic or Unreal Engine community. So let's go through briefly here how to use the exercise files for this course.
Now I happen to have everything in a simple little folder here. I've gone ahead and unzipped the training project assets. So you'll see, if you've downloaded the asset file, it's a rather large zip project here, it's just around five gigs. Now once you unzip that into the location of your choosing, let's take a look what's inside there. You're going to see that you have this Beach 4.10. You most likely are going to be running a different version of Unreal than I am here, and that's simply because the awesome development team there at Epic on the Unreal Engines side is always updating builds on a weekly basis at certain points, and they're always adding more and fixing bugs and making the product even more awesome.
So you may be running a newer version, that's fine. What I'm running here shouldn't be a problem in the version that you're running. So underneath this Beach 4.10, you're going to see this structure build. Now this Beach.uproject, that is our project that we're working with here in order to build all the different scenes and make our way through each chapter and each video of the course. Most importantly you're going to see in this content folder, this contains everything that we need to work with if you're following along step-by-step within the course.
This contains all of the different scene files and that's determined by .umap file structure name. And you can see that we have quite a few of those there. We're going to do a quick test just to make sure that you're able to see the files properly there. So let's go right back out of this and before we jump into launching that, one more thing. I have this beach game in here. And all this simply is is just at the end of our project, we actually learn how to build a cinematic, and this is a live running version of that cinematic here, that you can work with, so let's go right back up to our top here.
So now, what we need to do is when we launch Unreal we need to define this is our project folder. So let's do that. Let's go into the Epic Games Launcher, launch it up, and now you should have an account with Epic Games. The reason for this is that you want access to all of the amazing content they have there, so I'd strongly advise you to do that. Just going to log into my account. And what it's going to ask you to here once you're in is take a look at the community, see what's new, see what's going on, and this is why it's important to have this membership, have this account there.
You're going to see what's new, what's available, of course you're going to have access to the latest builds. But with an account, it will let you download free assets and scenes and effects. And we actually take advantage of that later on in the course. This is why I'm telling you to go ahead and sign up a free account so that you get access to this awesome community that exists around Unreal Engine. And once we're in here, the most important thing to understand for the exercise files is now how to define your project. So I'm going to launch my Unreal Engine 4.1 here.
Again, you're probably running a different version, it doesn't matter. We want to launch the engine, and then we want to define our project. I'm running a different project in here and building the course content, but I'm going to show you the exact steps that you would need to do in order to define all of the project content on here. So let the Unreal Editor load up, and once it's all initialized and everything's loaded up here, we need to define a project that we want to work with. In this case, with the Unreal Editor, if you already have current projects, it will list those out for you and you can certainly click on an existing project to dive in and work with.
And that's something to consider as well. Follow along with the project files I've created, but you can certainly create your own version of a project as well if need be so that you can have your own version of it. As you can see I have a couple of different versions of projects here. Now more than likely, if it's the first time that you've been into Unreal Engine 4, you won't have anything in here, it will be blank it will be completely empty. This is where you can create a brand new project, which we cover in the course, but for now, let's define the existing project that I have. What we want to do is go down to the bottom right-hand corner and click on Browse.
Once we've done that, I'm going to bring this all the way down to where my current folder is. So wherever you put your project is where you want to go. Now this is my project right in here, this Beach 4.1 underneath my UE4_Essential_Training_Project. So I'm going to define that project there, you can see that it's looking for that file format, Unreal Project File.uproject so simply click that. Then we're going to hit Open. That is now defining that as the project that we are working with here.
This is important to do because the way the ecosystem or the environment works with an Unreal Engine 4 is that it needs to define a project to have access to all of the content that exists within that project. Now if you open up your project here, this is what you should see. If you are not seeing all of this, confirm what scene you are working with here. So by default, it should open up LightHouse_Complete. If it has not, simply go underneath the File menu and you can Open Level.
Now let's take a look at something before we do that here. We want to make sure that we're looking at our Content browser. So if you open up a Content browser, this is going to show you everything that we just looked at in that project folder that you would have unzipped. Here you see everything from Blueprints, all the way down to the Models, the Textures, and we do work with something called a Water Plane later on to build the ocean environment. Now here you'll see the structure here from right from the beginning all the way to the end. What I want you to do is open something kind of in the middle here.
What we might want to do is open something like a Chapter five. So let's open up Chapter5_Begin. And what I'm going to do is I'm just going to double-click on that in here. That is exactly the same as going to File, Open Level. And by going to File, Open Level, this is where I would want to hit the root level of Content. And you will see the exact same thing that we just saw in the Content browser. So it's your choice. You can go by File, Open Level, or through the Content browser. I would advise you use the Content browser because we dive deep into that in this course anyways.
It's a great way to get used to how that works. The reason why I wanted you to open this Ch5_03_Begin is just to double-check a few things. What you should see is exactly what I'm seeing here. And that is this simple little structure of some landscape that's been built up, but also some painted textures on there. So that's important that you see that. If you're not seeing that for some reason, double-check your downloaded zip file, just make sure you have everything in there. It should be fine, and all the materials in the basic environment should load up.
So if you open up a Content browser, You'll see that the original one that we started with was LightHouse_Complete. That's everything in the scene. Let's double-click that one and open that one up again. You can see that it actually loads quite fast. Now this is our last check, just to make sure that you have all the files properly. So simply hold down alt key on windows, and right mouse button, and just kind of start to zoom back out there. You don't have to go too far out, this is fine. And if we hold just the left click, you can even hold alt, left click if you want, that will move from the camera space, it doesn't really matter here.
But left click will do. And just take a look around. You should be seeing what I'm seeing here. And that is, things like the structures. The lighthouse, the shed, boat, the car, all of the different rocks, all of the different trees, and the basic environment, and also most importantly here, we also have the water in, and we have the background environment, the sun and the sky. And you'll notice that there's some fog in here, and we get into how we build that, of course, in the project. If by chance, something's missing, for example a texture, is missing, this is where you'll want to check the content.
And now I would advise you, you can do it through the Content browser, that's fine, and just to show for comparison purposes here, underneath the content browser, if you go down to something, for example, like Textures, this is where you should see all the textures that we're accessing here. So for example, buildings. I mentioned the lighthouse. Well here are all those textures, and you'll have all those textures in your project structure as well. Another way to double-check this is just to come out of the project, out of the launcher here, and go back into wherever you have your project setting.
Click on that Beach folder, go to Content, just make sure that you're seeing what I'm seeing here, have all of your levels, all of your maps, all of your models, all of your textures, everything here that I've provided for you to learn with this course. That is it. That's the basics as to what is required in order to access the content from this course. Most important to note, is put your project somewhere where you have easy access to it. And then simply define the project using that Browse button. Once you've done that, you should be able to have access to all of the content here.
So let's get started with this course. Enjoy learning about 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