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Lynda – Unreal Essential Training (2019): How to Build Immersive User Experiences with Unreal Engine 4



Lynda Unreal Essential Training (2019): A Comprehensive Course for Beginners




Unreal Engine 4 is a powerful and versatile tool that can be used for creating stunning real-time visuals for various industries such as gaming, architecture, automotive, healthcare, and education. Whether you want to showcase your design, tell a story, or create an immersive experience, Unreal Engine 4 can help you achieve your vision.




Lynda – Unreal Essential Training (2019)



In this course, you will learn the essential skills you need to get started with Unreal Engine 4, from downloading and installing the software, to building your first level, adding materials and effects, creating interactivity with blueprints, making cinematics with sequencer, and packaging your project for distribution. By the end of this course, you will have a solid foundation of Unreal Engine 4 and be able to create your own real-time experiences.


What you will learn in this course




This course covers the following topics:



  • How to download and install Unreal Engine 4



  • How to create a new project and navigate the interface



  • How to import assets and use the content browser



  • How to create a base landscape and sculpt terrain



  • How to place and manipulate meshes in the level



  • How to add lighting and shadows to your scene



  • How to create and apply materials to your meshes



  • How to use post-processing effects and adjust camera settings



  • How to add particle systems and sound effects to your scene



  • What are blueprints and how to use them for visual scripting



  • How to create a blueprint actor and add components



  • How to use blueprint nodes and events to create logic



  • What is sequencer and how to use it for creating cinematics



  • How to add cameras, actors, and tracks to your sequence



  • How to edit keyframes, curves, and transitions in your sequence



  • How to optimize your project for performance and quality



  • How to package your project for different platforms



  • How to share your project with others or publish it online



Who is this course for?




This course is for anyone who wants to learn the basics of Unreal Engine 4 and create real-time visuals for various purposes. You don't need any prior experience with Unreal Engine 4 or 3D modeling, but some familiarity with basic computer skills and concepts is recommended. This course is also suitable for those who have some experience with Unreal Engine 4 but want to refresh their knowledge or learn new tips and tricks.


Getting Started with Unreal Engine 4




How to download and install Unreal Engine 4




To download and install Unreal Engine 4, you need to create a free account on the Epic Games website and download the Epic Games Launcher. Once you have the launcher, you can access the Unreal Engine tab and choose the version of Unreal Engine 4 you want to install. The latest version is 4.26, but you can also install previous versions if you need them for compatibility reasons. You can also update or uninstall Unreal Engine 4 from the launcher.


How to create a new project and navigate the interface




To create a new project in Unreal Engine 4, you need to launch the engine from the launcher and choose the New Project tab. You can then select a template for your project, such as Blank, First Person, Third Person, or VR. You can also choose the quality settings, platforms, and features for your project, such as ray tracing, mobile support, or starter content. Once you create your project, you will see the main interface of Unreal Engine 4, which consists of several windows and panels:



  • The viewport: This is where you can see your level and interact with it in real-time. You can use the mouse and keyboard to move around, zoom in and out, and rotate the view. You can also switch between different modes, such as perspective, orthographic, or wireframe.



  • The toolbar: This is where you can access the most common tools and commands, such as play, save, undo, redo, modes, landscape, foliage, geometry, content browser, world settings, world outline, details panel, etc.



  • The modes panel: This is where you can access different modes for editing your level, such as place mode, paint mode, landscape mode, foliage mode, geometry editing mode, etc. Each mode has its own tools and options for manipulating objects in your level.



  • The content browser: This is where you can browse and manage your assets, such as meshes, materials, textures, sounds, blueprints, etc. You can import assets from external sources or create new assets within Unreal Engine 4. You can also organize your assets into folders and subfolders.



  • The world outline: This is where you can see a hierarchical list of all the actors in your level. Actors are anything that can be placed in your level, such as meshes, lights, cameras, blueprints, etc. You can select actors from the world outline and modify their properties in the details panel.



  • The details panel: This is where you can see and edit the properties of the selected actor or asset. Properties are anything that defines the behavior or appearance of an actor or asset, such as location, rotation, scale, material, collision settings, etc.



How to import assets and use the content browser




To import assets into Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the content browser. You can drag and drop files from your computer into the content browser or use the import button on the toolbar. You can import various types of files into Unreal Engine 4, such as FBX (for meshes), PNG or JPG (for textures), WAV or MP3 (for sounds), etc. When you import an asset into Unreal Engine 4, you will see a dialog box that lets you adjust some settings for the asset, such as scale factor, compression quality, or import options. You can also edit these settings later by double-clicking on the asset in the content browser.


To use the content browser, you need to know how to navigate and organize your assets. You can use the search bar, the filters, and the breadcrumbs to find assets quickly. You can also use folders and subfolders to group assets by category or function. content browser or use the new folder button on the toolbar. You can rename, move, copy, or delete assets by right-clicking on them and choosing the appropriate option. You can also drag and drop assets from the content browser into the viewport or the world outline to place them in your level.


Building Your First Level




How to create a base landscape and sculpt terrain




To create a base landscape in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the landscape mode. You can access the landscape mode from the modes panel or the toolbar. In the landscape mode, you can choose a material for your landscape, adjust the size and resolution of your landscape, and create a new landscape actor in your level. A landscape actor is a special type of actor that represents a large terrain that can be sculpted and painted.


To sculpt terrain in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the sculpt tool in the landscape mode. The sculpt tool lets you modify the height of the terrain by adding or subtracting elevation. You can adjust the size, strength, and falloff of the sculpt tool by using the sliders or the keyboard shortcuts. You can also choose different brushes for the sculpt tool, such as circle, alpha, noise, etc. You can also use other tools in the landscape mode to smooth, flatten, ramp, erosion, or hydro erosion your terrain.


How to place and manipulate meshes in the level




To place meshes in your level in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the place mode. You can access the place mode from the modes panel or the toolbar. In the place mode, you can browse and select meshes from the content browser or use the basic shapes category to create simple meshes such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, etc. You can then drag and drop meshes from the place mode into the viewport or the world outline to place them in your level.


To manipulate meshes in your level in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the transform tools. The transform tools let you move, rotate, or scale meshes in your level. You can access the transform tools from the toolbar or use the keyboard shortcuts (W for move, E for rotate, R for scale). You can also use the gizmo that appears when you select a mesh to manipulate it with your mouse. You can adjust the snapping settings for the transform tools by using the buttons on the toolbar or pressing Ctrl + Shift + P.


How to add lighting and shadows to your scene




To add lighting and shadows to your scene in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use light actors. Light actors are actors that emit light and cast shadows in your scene. There are different types of light actors in Unreal Engine 4, such as directional lights, point lights, spot lights, sky lights, etc. You can place light actors in your level by using the place mode or dragging and dropping them from the content browser. You can then adjust their properties in the details panel, such as color, intensity, attenuation, shadow settings, etc.


Unreal Engine 4 uses two types of lighting: static and dynamic. Static lighting is precomputed and baked into lightmaps that are applied to static meshes in your scene. Static lighting is faster and more realistic but cannot change at runtime. Dynamic lighting is calculated in real-time and applied to dynamic meshes in your scene. Dynamic lighting is more flexible and interactive but more expensive and less accurate. You can choose which type of lighting to use for each light actor by changing its mobility setting in the details panel: static, stationary, Enhancing Your Scene with Materials and Effects




How to create and apply materials to your meshes




To create and apply materials to your meshes in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the material editor. The material editor is a node-based interface that lets you create complex materials by combining different nodes that represent textures, colors, functions, math operations, etc. You can access the material editor by creating a new material asset in the content browser or double-clicking on an existing material asset. You can then drag and drop nodes from the palette or right-click on the graph to add nodes. You can connect nodes by dragging wires from output pins to input pins. You can preview your material in the preview window or on a mesh of your choice.


To apply materials to your meshes in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the content browser or the details panel. You can drag and drop materials from the content browser onto your meshes in the viewport or the world outline. You can also select your meshes and assign materials to their material slots in the details panel. Each mesh has one or more material slots that correspond to different parts of the mesh. You can also create material instances from your materials to create variations of your materials with different parameters.


How to use post-processing effects and adjust camera settings




To use post-processing effects and adjust camera settings in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use post-process volumes and camera actors. Post-process volumes are actors that define a region of space where post-processing effects are applied. Post-processing effects are visual effects that enhance the appearance of your scene, such as bloom, depth of field, motion blur, color grading, etc. You can place post-process volumes in your level by using the place mode or dragging and dropping them from the content browser. You can then adjust their properties in the details panel, such as blend weight, priority, unbound, settings, etc.


Camera actors are actors that define a point of view for your scene. Camera actors are used for creating cinematics or controlling the player's perspective. You can place camera actors in your level by using the place mode or dragging and dropping them from the content browser. You can then adjust their properties in the details panel, such as location, rotation, field of view, aspect ratio, film back, lens settings, etc.


How to add particle systems and sound effects to your scene




To add particle systems and sound effects to your scene in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use particle system assets and sound cue assets. Particle system assets are assets that define how particles are spawned, animated, and rendered in your scene. Particles are small sprites that simulate natural phenomena such as fire, smoke, water, sparks, etc. You can create particle system assets by using the cascade editor or the niagara editor. The cascade editor is a node-based interface that lets you create particle systems by combining different modules that represent emitters, behaviors, renderers, etc. The niagara editor is a graph-based interface that lets you create particle systems by combining different nodes that represent emitters, systems, events, functions, etc.


Sound cue assets are assets that define how sounds are played in your scene. Sounds are audio files that simulate ambient noises, sound effects, music, dialogue, etc. You can create sound cue assets by using the sound cue editor. The sound cue editor is a node-based interface that lets you create sound cues by combining different nodes that represent sounds, modifiers, mixers, randomizers, etc.


To add particle systems and sound effects to your scene in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use particle system components and audio components. Particle system components and audio components are components that attach particle systems and sound cues to actors in your scene. You can add particle system components and audio components to your actors by using the blueprint editor or the details panel. You can then adjust their properties in the details panel, such as location, rotation, scale, auto activate, looping, volume, pitch, Adding Interactivity with Blueprints




What are blueprints and how to use them for visual scripting




Blueprints are a visual scripting system in Unreal Engine 4 that lets you create logic and interactivity for your actors and assets without writing any code. Blueprints are composed of nodes that represent functions, variables, events, operators, etc. You can create blueprints by using the blueprint editor or the level blueprint. The blueprint editor is a graph-based interface that lets you create blueprint classes or blueprint interfaces. Blueprint classes are blueprints that define the behavior and properties of a specific type of actor or asset. Blueprint interfaces are blueprints that define a set of functions that can be implemented by different blueprint classes. The level blueprint is a graph-based interface that lets you create blueprint logic for the current level.


To use blueprints for visual scripting in Unreal Engine 4, you need to know how to add and connect nodes, create variables and events, and use debugging tools. You can add nodes to your blueprint graph by dragging and dropping them from the palette or right-clicking on the graph and choosing from the context menu. You can connect nodes by dragging wires from output pins to input pins. You can create variables and events by using the variables panel or the event graph. You can use debugging tools such as breakpoints, watches, print strings, etc. to test and troubleshoot your blueprint logic.


How to create a blueprint actor and add components




To create a blueprint actor in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the content browser or the place mode. You can create a new blueprint actor asset in the content browser by right-clicking on an empty space and choosing Blueprint Class. You can then choose a parent class for your blueprint actor, such as Actor, Pawn, Character, etc. You can also create a new blueprint actor in the place mode by dragging and dropping a basic actor from the basic category and choosing Convert to Blueprint Class. You can then open your blueprint actor asset in the blueprint editor by double-clicking on it in the content browser.


To add components to your blueprint actor in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the components panel or the viewport in the blueprint editor. The components panel is where you can see and manage the components of your blueprint actor. Components are anything that define the appearance or functionality of your blueprint actor, such as meshes, lights, cameras, colliders, audio sources, etc. You can add components to your blueprint actor by using the add component button on the toolbar or right-clicking on an existing component and choosing Add Child Component. You can also add components to your blueprint actor by dragging and dropping them from the content browser or the place mode into the viewport or the components panel in the blueprint editor. You can then adjust their properties in the details panel, such as location, rotation, scale, material, collision settings, etc.


How to use blueprint nodes and events to create logic




To use blueprint nodes and events to create logic for your blueprint actor in Unreal Engine 4, you need to use the event graph or the construction script in the blueprint editor. The event graph is where you can create logic that responds to events that happen in your game, such as begin play, end play, tick, overlap, input, etc. The construction script is where you can create logic that executes when your blueprint actor is constructed in the editor or at runtime.


To use blueprint nodes and events in Unreal Engine 4, you need to know how to access and connect them. You can access nodes and events by using the palette or the context menu in the event graph or the construction script. You can connect nodes and events by dragging wires from output pins to input pins. You can also use reroute nodes, comment boxes, Creating Cinematics with Sequencer




What is sequencer and how to use it for creating cinematics




Sequencer is a cinematic editing tool in Unreal Engine 4 that lets you create cinematic sequences for your game or project. Cinematic sequences are collections of shots that tell a story or showcase your scene. Shots are composed of cameras, actors, and tracks that define how they move and change over time. You can access sequencer by using the cinematics button on the toolbar or the window menu. You can then create a new level sequence asset in the content browser or open an existing level sequence asset in the sequencer editor.


To use sequencer for creating cinematics in Unreal Engine 4, you need to know how to add and edit shots, cameras, actors, and tracks. You can add shots to your sequence by using the add button on the toolbar or right-clicking on the timeline and choosing Add Shot. You can then adjust the duration and order of your shots by dragging and dropping them on the timeline. You can also trim, split, or delete shots by using the context menu or the keyboard shortcuts.


You can add cameras to your shots by using the add button on the toolbar or right-clicking on a shot track and choosing Add Camera. You can then adjust the position and orientation of your cameras by using the transform tools or the camera cut track. You can also switch between different cameras in your shot by using the camera cut track or the camera button on the toolbar.


You can add actors to your shots by using the add button on the toolbar or dragging and dropping them from the content browser or the world outline into the viewport or the shot track. You can then adjust their properties by using the details panel or the transform tools. You can also animate their properties by ad


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