How to use Unreal Engine 4 for Beginners

How to develop a game using unreal engine - 1

For producing 2D mobile games to AAA conClick Install and the engine will appear in your library. Now it’s time to create the project.sole titles, Unreal Engine 4 is used. It is very simple for beginners to learn as it has a collection of game development tools. Without writing a single line of code, you can create entire games using the Blueprints Visual Scripting system. Easy-to-use interface, you can quickly get a prototype up and running. Unreal Engine 4 tutorial focused on helping beginners get started. In this tutorial, we will be discussing on,

  • Installing the engine
  • Importing assets
  • Creating materials

Installing Unreal Engine 4

 

Epic Games Launcher is used for the Unreal Engine 4 installation. Download it on the unreal engine website. After you have created an account, download the launcher for your operating system. Check on this blog: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pIcezCPSkTa3htsxHLWBBK9Sy5HjlOff4k1RBZJDgAQ/edit

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Click Install Engine, the launcher will take you to a screen where you can select which components to install. You should have created the checklist:

  • Starter Content: This is a collection of assets that is free and has content such as models and materials.
  • Templates and Feature Packs
  • Engine Source: Epic provides source code access, which means anyone can make changes to the engine. 
 
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Click Install and the engine will appear in your library. Now it’s time to create the project.

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Creating a Project

You can click on the Launch buttons to open the Project Browser and then Click on New Project.

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Click the Blueprint tab and choose one of the templates, you are starting from scratch, select the Blank template. Few tips to followup
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  • Target Hardware: You have to choose Desktop/Console to have good post-processing effects.
  • Graphical Target: Set this to Maximum Quality, other options will disable the post-processing effects.
  • Starter Content: No Starter Content would be the best option to keep it simple.

Mention the location of your project folder and the name of your project.

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On the project folder segment, there will be 3dots you can click on that and change the name later if you want. The project name does not represent the game’s title so if you want to change the title you can change that later on. Finally, click Create Project.

Navigating the Interface

After creating the project, the editor will open and it has multiple panels.

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  1. Content Browser: Where you can see all your project files, you can create, search and organize your files here.
  2. Modes: You can choose tools like Landscape & Foliage Tool at this panel and it has a default tool called Place Tool. Default tools place many different types of objects on your levels such as lights and cameras.
  3. World Outliner: Displays all the objects at the current level. You can organize the list here.
  4. Details: Any object you select will have its properties displayed here, you can do edits for this object here.
  5. Toolbar: You can opt for different functions here and the most used one is Play.
  6. Viewport: This will help you to have a better view, by using right-click you can have a look around and move your mouse. To move, hold right-click and use the WASD keys.

Importing Assets

Before Unreal it is easy you can simply click on the file and import them. Navigate to the Content Browser and click Import.

Now on Unreal, you have some import options for the .fbx file. Make sure Import Materials is unchecked as you will be creating your own material. The other settings can be still the same.

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Click Import. The two files will now appear in your Content Browser.

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The file is not saved automatically, you should right-click the file and then Save it. You can use File\Save All option to bulk save the file. Note in Unreal, models are called meshes

Adding Meshes To the Level

We can take the banana model to add a mesh to this level. You can Left-click and drag the Banana_Model from the Content Browser into the Viewport. Releasing the left click will place the mesh. 

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Objects on this level can be moved, scaled, and rotated. You can use the keyboard shortcuts W, E, and R to do so.

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About Materials

The banana displayed above looks grey in color and you should add material to give the banana some color. Materials are the ones that determine the things,

  • Base Color: The color or texture of a surface.
  • Metallic: How “metal-like” a surface is. 
  • Specular: Controls the shininess of non-metallic surfaces. 
  • Roughness: A surface with maximum roughness will not have any shininess. 

Below is an example of three different materials and each has different colors. Each material has a high value for its respective attribute.

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Creating a Material

Go to the Content Browser to create a material and click the green Add New button. Menu will appear with the list of assets you can create. Then Click on Material.

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You should name the material and click on open.

The Material Editor

The material editor has five panels, that are listed below:

  1. Graph: This panel will contain all your nodes and the Result node.
  2. Details: All the node’s properties are displayed here.
  3. Viewport: You can preview the mesh material here and you can use the mouse wheel to rotate things.
  4. Palette: A list of all the nodes available to your material.

What is a Node?

Nodes are used to make objects and it has the majority of materials. Nodes are of different types and offer different functionalities.

Nodes can have inputs and outputs, represented by a circle with an arrow. Inputs are on the left side and outputs are on the right side.

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Adding Textures

To add color and detail to a model, you need a texture. Typically a texture is a 2D image and they are projected to be a 3D with some detailed note.

If you need to add texture to the banana then you need to check the TextureSample on the Palette panel. You can hold it by left-clicking and dragging it into the graph.

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Navigate to your Details panel and select the texture from the drop-down.

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The material was created with the appropriate texture.

 

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