Last time we covered how to install the Unreal Engine. While it may seem tricky at first, getting used to the Unreal Engine is a process that takes time, practice and outside help in the form of guides such as this one. Today we’ll be going over the Unreal Engine UI to help you get started.
Launching a new project
When you first launch the Unreal Engine you’ll be greeted with the Projects screen. You can see on the screenshot below that I’ve already opened and saved a few things while testing and playing around with the software.
We’re not interested in any of this however. What you want is the New Project tab so go ahead and click that. You should be face with this screen:
Now this is where you’ll always be starting from. As you can see there are a good variety of options which can provided the basis of different game types if you’re a little uncertain when using the software. I’d advise going through these later to see what each one offers.
For this however, we’ll be using the Blank option so you don’t get too confused with all the things on the screen. Underneath the main options are three drop down menu’s in the center of the screen. Set them up like mine for this and give the project any name you wish.
Once your ready, click the Create Project button.
The Project UI
If you’ve never read through the built-in tutorials, pop-up messages will appear and walk you through the software. The information from this is pretty good and can also help you understand how the complicated looking screen works.
I would advise reading through the tutorials to gain a better understanding of everything. However, there’s no shame in preferring images over plain text.
As you can see, the screen is made up of several different boxes. Each of these boxes can be moved around and re-positioned to suit you better. Feel free to play with this to come up with a system you like the look of but I would suggest waiting until the end of this tutorial. Just so that you can follow along easier.
All of these boxes are different tools you’ll use in the editor to create your game. If you end up accidentally closing a window then you can find the tool under the Window tab at the top left of the screen.
Now let’s looks at what each of these boxes are for.
This is the box at the center of the screen. It’s called the 3D Viewport. This is where you’ll be able to see your game come to life as you place different objects around the area.
The Modes Panel can be found on the left hand side of the scree, right next to the 3D Viewport. It contains a variety of tool modes which change the Level Editor and make it specialised for a certain task. This can be placing a new item into the world, putting meshes on objects and even sculpting the landscape.
Just below the Modes Panel and the 3D Viewport is the Content Browser. This is where you’ll be creating, modifying and viewing assets in the Unreal Editior. You can also manage different assets here, it allows you to access all assets in the game project.
This box on the lower right side of the 3D Viewport is the Details Panel. It contains information and functions specific to whatever is currently selected. So it allows you to transform items and scale objects.
Above the Details Panel is the Scene Outliner Panel. It lists all of the objects (called ‘Actor’s in the editor) in the scene and allows you to select and modify each one directly without actively clicking on it in the 3D Viewport.
The Toolbar just above the 3D Viewport provides you with access to a range of commonly used tools and operations. Such as an option to launch and play the game.
That covers the basics! As to be expected there’s also a menu at the top left of the screen for you to explore a little bit. In addition to this, at the top right of the screen there’s a search bar when you can look for help with specific issues. Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of the Unreal Engine UI.
Next week we’ll be taking a look at how you navigate through the 3D Viewport.
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