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  • Writer's pictureLingheng Tao

UE4#1 Basic Operations

Real Basics

This notes write about the basic operations of Unreal Engine 4. I'm using the Chinese Edition of UE4, so the screen shots will be in Chinese. The layout should be the same, and I will provide English translation.

So this is the Unreal Engine 4 (v4.26.2), and this is called the level editor.

I will write about the function of each component later. Anyway, this is the viewport.

When you are in the editing mode, i.e. you have the above interface, you can interact with this viewport by using your mouse and you Alt key on your keyboard.

  1. Alt + left mouse: rotating your sight.

  2. Alt + right mouse: zooming in/out.

  3. Alt + middle mouse: pan.

Middle mouse, i.e. your scroll. You can click it down on most mouses, if not please buy one. The above operations are frequently seen in other softwares as well, for example, 3DS Max and Maya.

Specially, in UE4, you can also pan or zoom with your keyboard.

  1. Mouse key (left/right) + W/A/S/D: moving forward/backward/left/right.

  2. Mouse key (left/right) + Q/E: moving upward/downward.

  3. Mouse key (left/right) + C/Z: zooming in/out.

Basics about Blueprints

You can both programming with C++, or use a node-based script called blueprint. In the UE4 blogs I will write mainly about using blueprints. In UE4(C++) blogs I will use C++ instead.

Here's the tool bar.

And this icon is the icon for blueprints. It's good time to learn some Chinese here, 蓝 = blue, 图 = graph, somehow it is the translation of blueprints.

Now before we proceed to some more blueprints knowledge, it's better to understand some basic UE4 terms.

  1. level: a level is your game scene.

  2. class: a class is a set of functions to realize some ability of some certain objects.

OK. Let's start with the most basic and most important blueprint -- the level blueprint.

Interestingly, UE4 gives English description of a level blueprint. Click here to open it.

So this is the level blueprint editor. Actually blueprint editors all look like this.

Again, let's start making something first before telling you about the names of each panels.

As the screen indicates, let's right click on the screen to create a new node. You should see something like this. Well, this is the functions that you may use.

Let's search "begin play" to add a node. Enter to add the node.

And you should see a node called EventsBeginPlay. Alright, this is a node, I forgot to say.

OK, let's add another one, the print node.

Search for the print string, and look for the Print String.

Click to add the node.

Now we have two nodes.

Notice that for a node, usually there are some arrows.

Some on the right side, and some on the left side.

Connecting these arrows identifies a processing sequence for the node. For example,

This means "After the event begins, print string".

There're also some other plugs as you can see, but always remember that only the plugs with same color can be connected. For example, this will not be allowed:

Now, compile this blueprint. Whenever there's some change in the blueprints, the compile icon will be marked by a "?".

Click on it to compile the blueprint. Go back to the level editor, run the game by clicking on the play icon.

And you can see a "Hello" is printed on the screen.

Press Esc or click on the stop icon to stop the play.

And this is the very basic operations of UE4 level editors and blueprints.

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