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Top Tips for Unreal Engine

Rob Redman introduces his top tips for first time creators delving into the many possibilities available in Unreal Engine...

Rob Redman introduces his top tips for first time creators delving into the many possibilities available in Unreal Engine...

Tip 1: Check your version number

Unlike most software, a small point upgrade can change a lot in Unreal Engine, so if you are trying to follow along with a tutorial, or are collaborating, and things don't look right, then check this first. You'd be surprised how often it's the culprit.

Check your build to avoid problems.

Tip 2: Local content

Make the most of the Unreal Launcher. Use the Vault area to keep asset collections that can be added to any of your projects. This is great for collaboration and re-using models, blueprints and more across games.

The vault is a very useful asset manager.

The vault is a very useful asset manager.

Tip 3: Manage the manager

It's a good idea to keep your content browser in an orderly fashion. Not only does it help you stay neat and tidy but also to stay focused and work smarter. Best practice pays in the long run.

)Folder hierarchies are king!

Tip 4: Versioning and saving

While the UE4 autosave might seem helpful it doesn't always allow full reloads, so get into the habit of saving often, and also with version names/numbers, so you can go back to previous states if it all goes wrong.

Save a lot of headache down the line by saving regularly, manually.

Tip 5: Take the shortcut

Head to Edit/editor preferences/keyboard shortcuts to edit shortcuts. Better still use this as a crib sheet to learn them, so you can work faster and smarter.

Learning keyboard shortcuts can save huge amounts of time over a project.

Learning keyboard shortcuts can save huge amounts of time over a project.

Tip 6: Conquer the world

Access the world settings by right-clicking it in the outliner and choosing show settings. In the details tab you now have control over many global settings, from VR scaling to how light works in your level.

Global settings can be useful to make sweeping controls that affect everything in the scene.

Tip 7: Easy cloning

If you want to make a quick duplicate of an object in your scene, simply hold down the ALT key while moving and you will drag out a copy.

Quick copies are a doddle, with the drag+ALT combo.

Quick copies are a doddle, with the drag+ALT combo.

Tip 8: Viewport options

Click on the arrow top-left of the viewport to access the options. Unless you need it, turn off real-time. This will save you a chunk of processing power. Note the option to change the field of view. Wider can help a lot while navigating but can slow things down slightly.

Take advantage of the viewport options.

Tip 9: Lighting view only

Sometimes it can be hard to see what you are doing with your lighting, as textures and effects can mask things. Luckily there is an option to turn off the textures in the viewport. Press ALT+6 to activate and get a good look at the real influence of light sources within your level.

Seeing your level texture free can be a help when dialling in lights.

Seeing your level texture free can be a help when dialling in lights.

Tip 10: Sharing projects

Many people have difficulties with this but it's possible they are looking from the wrong angle. Ignore all the UE4 file options and head to windows explorer. You can take whole project folders from here and share them with collaborators, hard drives and machines without any issue. Open the Unreal project file within to open on a new machine.

Windows can handle all the movement of complete projects. No exporting or packaging needed.

Windows can handle all the movement of complete projects. No exporting or packaging needed.

Related links

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