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UE4 Terrain and Landscape

This tutorial is the second in the 10 part series on how to create a first person shooter game using Unreal Engine 4.

Creating The Terrain

Go to 'Contents Browser' and select 'Add New' and choose 'New Level'


UE4 Terrain and Landscape

  
Select level and in ‘Modes menu’, select ‘Landscape’ and your view-port should look like the following:





In the ‘Modes’ panel, select the landscape mode and adjust its settings to the following (15 x 15 quads is large enough for the first level), then select ‘Create’


Editing The Landscape (Terrain)

1   When a landscape is created the following options panel should appear under ‘Landscape Mode’

You can edit your landscape you can choose from three edit modes. These three modes are:
  •         Manage Mode
  •      Sculpt Mode
  •         Paint Mode (This will be covered under the Materials and Textures tutorial)


Manage Mode – Create new landscapes, Modify an existing landscape, Select components (building blocks/grids of landscapes) and modify their properties in the Level Editor’s Details Panel

Selection – Selects a section (Block) of the landscape

Add – Adds a section of landscape to the current Landscape and can add a number of blocks based on the value of the brush size

Delete – Completely removes a section of the landscape


Move Level – Moves any selected components to the specified streaming level

Change Component Size – Changes the size of components and the size of the landscape according to the settings



Edit Splines – Ctrl + Left Click on the landscape will place a node for a spline. If a node is selected and there is another node placed, this tool will connect the two nodes and if there are no nodes selected then a new node will be placed







Sculpt Mode – Allows you to mould the look of your landscape height map



1. Sculpting Tools – Sculpts the landscape with various tools.

 2. Brush Tools – Modifies the appearance and effect of the brush that is used when you are painting or sculpting the Landscape

3. Falloff Tools – Modifies how your brushes falloff










Sculpt Tools












 Retopologize Tool
Similar to the smooth tool but it pushes and pulls triangles to smooth the transition of the landscape and try and keep the basic form of the terrain which minimizes change to the height of the landscape. This tool makes the project slower to render and should only be used if really needed.

Visibility Tool
Used to create holes in the landscape for things such as caves. For this tool to be visual, the landscape must have a material/texture on it. This tool will be covered in more detail in our ‘Textures and Materials’ tutorial.

Region Tools








Brush Tools







3. Falloff Tools






Our Level Landscape

This is the landscape we created for our First Person Shooter Game using the above tools

Next Up

In the next tutorial we will show you how to create the textures and materials for the FPS game level



Introduction to UE4

In this tutorial series we are going to show you how to create a ‘First Person Shooter 3D Game’ using Unreal Engine 4.9 Software. We will be providing you with both video and text tutorials under the following headings, File set-up and management, Landscape, Materials, Meshes, Pickups, Animation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), User Interface (UI).

1.    Download Unreal Engine for free from Unreal Engine 4


2.    When downloaded it will be under the name ‘Epic Games Launcher’, double click on the application and select ‘Create Account’ and enter your details into the following menu and select ‘Sign Up’




3.    When logged into Unreal Engine, select the library and then select ‘Launch’ on the latest version of Unreal Engine.


  •      This is the menu that you should see when you have selected ‘Launch’

4.    Ensure the game option is ‘Blueprint’. Select the option ‘First Person’ and then change the option ‘With Starter Content’ to ‘No Starter Content’. Rename your game with your desired name. Then select ‘Create Project’. 


  •       When the project is created, the following image is what you should see.


OR


1.    There are two options ‘Blueprint’ or ‘C++’. For this tutorial we are choosing ‘Blueprint’ because the ‘C++’ option requires knowledge of programming. Therefore, select the ‘Blueprint’ option and Select ‘Blank’. Rename the project to your desired name and select ‘Create Project’.



  ·         When you have selected ‘Create project’, you should see the following screen:




2.    To open your project, select ‘Library’ in your Unreal Engine home screen and under ‘MyProjects’ your games should be there.


  • Or you can use the ‘Launcher’ screen to open your project. First select ‘Launch’, then select ‘Projects’ and select the project you would like to open. Once the project is selected, press open.


File Management

  • When you log into your Epic Games Launcher (Unreal Engine), your files will be stored in the library:

  • Here you can, open, clone, delete, create shortcut of your project and show in folder.

OR

  • These files will also be stored in your computers File Folders, usually under ‘Documents’ and then under ‘Unreal Projects’.


  • From here you can open your project also:


Navigating Around The UE4 Editor User Interface

Like every computer based programme, Unreal Engine has a main menu toolbar with four options:



1.    File – Manages your files in Unreal Engine:

  ·         Save your files and/or specific areas of your project

       ·         Open and create new Levels

       ·         Open and create new projects

       ·         Import and export files


2.    Edit – Changes anything that you may have done or want to do to your Unreal Engine open project:

        ·         Undo or Redo

        ·         Cut, copy, paste, duplicate and delete

        ·         Change the editor preference

        ·         Change project settings


3.    Window – Controls the Unreal Engine Editor window view (User Interface):

   ·         Adding/Removing specific toolbars and menus to your view

        ·         Reset your layout to default

        ·         Saving your layout with the changes you made to it


4.    Help – Provides tips and directions to do anything in your Unreal Engine user interface:

  ·         Provides links to online tutorials

       ·         Provides in-window tutorials

       ·         Provides information about Unreal Engine

Content Browser

The UE4 Content Browser


The content browser is the main are of Unreal Editor for:


  •  Create content
  • Importing external content
  • Organize content
  • View content
  • Modify content
  •  Manage content folders
  •  Rename assets
  • Move assets
  • Copy assets
  •  View references 
  • Search for saved/unsaved assets
  • Interact with assets in the game
  • Organize all the assets


World Outliner


The World Outliner panel displays all of the Actors (Light, Mesh, Player, etc.) in a hierarchy view. In the World Outliner panel, each Actor can be directly selected and modified (Edit, parent together, hide and delete objects/actors).



Toolbar

This toolbar appears in a Blueprint file by default. The toolbar contains two sections:
1.    
1. 1. Toolbar options – Tools for working with your blueprint



Save – Saves all changes that were made in the current blueprint.
Source Control – Provides the option to connect to the source control.
Content - Opens the content browser if there isn’t one already open.
Marketplace – Brings you to the Marketplace in your Unreal Engine Window.
Settings – Controls things such as World and Project settings, selection, scalability, audio volume and snapping settings.
Blueprints – Controls the blueprints (bp) of the open project. Create new bp, convert components or actors to bp class, open level bp.
Matinee – Can ‘Add Matinee’ which opens up the matinee window (for animation of an actor).
Build – Builds lighting, reflection, visibility, geometry, navigation paths, hierarchical LODs (level of details).
Play – Starts the game and provides different modes to play in (normal, stimulator, mobile, etc.)
Launch – Provides a list of possible platforms you can launch the current map on.

1.    2. Mode Panel – Buttons that you can use to switch which mode your Blueprint is in

Contains various tool modes for the Unreal Engine Editor that change the primary behaviour of the Level Editor for a specialized task.




The modes represent different editing modes the level editor provides which enable specialized editing interfaces and workflows for editing particular types of actors or geometry.

Place Mode (shift + 1)
Places actors into your viewport


Paint Mode (shift + 2)
Painting vertex colors and textures on Static Mesh Actors directly in the viewport


Landscape Mode (shift + 3)
Edits landscape terrains


Foliage Mode (shift + 4)
Paints instanced foliage


Geometry Editing Mode (shift + 5)
Modifies brushes to geometry


Details Panel

The details panel provides information, utilities and functions specific to the currently selected component/actor in the viewport.





The details panel provides:

 ·         Tools to adjust the location, rotation and scale of the selected actor

      ·         Quick access to additional editing functionality depending on the type of actor that is selected

     ·         Allows the view of materials used by selected actors

     ·         A search filter for the properties displayed








Next Up

Now it's time for the to begin the FPS game by creating the level landscape.


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