Managing Content

Not all of the content you need for your game is intended to be created within the Editor. Most of your artistic assets will be created externally, using such tools as 3ds Max, Maya, Photoshop, ZBrush, and others. Below is a very general breakdown of the types of assets that will be created in the Editor versus those that will be created externally.

Asset Creation Locations

Created in Unreal Editor

Created Using External Application

  • Game Levels

  • Materials

  • Particle Systems

  • Cinematic Sequences

  • Blueprint Scripts

  • AI Navigation Meshes

  • Precalculated Light Maps

  • Level Lights

  • Static Meshes

  • Skeletal Meshes

  • Skeletal Animation

  • Textures

  • Sounds (WAVs)

  • IES Light Profiles

  • NVIDIA APEX files (APB and APX)

Artist Quick Start Guide

If you are looking to quickly get into Unreal Engine 4 as a content creator, check out the Artist Quick Start Guide. In it, you will be taken through the steps of importing of meshes and textures, the basics of creating materials, and applying materials to your meshes.

FBX Import Pipeline

FBX is a file format owned and developed by Autodesk. It is used to provide interoperability between digital content creation applications such as Autodesk MotionBuilder, Autodesk Maya, and Autodesk 3ds Max. Autodesk MotionBuilder software supports FBX natively, while Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max software include FBX plug-ins.

Unreal Engine features an FBX import pipeline which allows simple transfer of content from any number of digital content creation applications that support the format.

Alembic File Importer

The Alembic file format (.abc) is an open computer graphics interchange framework that distils complex, animated scenes into a non-procedural, application-independent set of baked geometric results. Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) allows you to import your Alembic files through the Alembic Importer which gives you the freedom to create complex animations externally, then bring them into UE4 and render them in real-time.