S1.02 Unreal Project Structure

Lesson Summary

The file structure of an Unreal project includes the following:

  • The project file itself.
  • The Content folder, where assets are stored.
  • The Config folder, where engine and project config files are stored.
  • The Source folder, if you are working with C++.
  • Other automatically generated folders that help in avoiding redundant loading or compiling when opening the project.

To navigate the Unreal Editor and understand the components and actors:

  • Open the Unreal Editor and load the project.
  • Observe the project name and the engine version used.
  • After loading the project, you can see the name of the map and the list of actors within it in the Outliner. (If you dont have the Outliner you can find it under Window → Outliner)
  • Each actor has internal components, with the basic component being the scene component that allows modification of the actor's position, rotation, and scale.
  • Actors in Unreal Engine are instances of engine classes and can include different types of assets such as sounds, static meshes, skeletal meshes, blueprints, cameras, lights, volumes, etc.

To share the Unreal Engine project:

  • Go to File → Zip Project, and select the folder to save the zipped file. Sometimes if you leave the name by default, the project folder will be opened instead of saving the zip file, so don't forget to change the name.
  • Alternatively, copy and compress the necessary files. This includes the project file (.uproject), the Content folder, Config folder, and the Source folder (not available in a Blueprints-only project).

Unreal Engine Terminology

Project File: It's the file that you double-click to open the project. It's a text file with the extension ".uproject". You get more actions by right-clicking this file and choosing Show more options. If Unreal Engine is installed correctly, the icon of this file should be something like this:

Actor: An Actor is any object that can be placed into a level, such as a Camera, static mesh, or player start location. Actors support 3D transformations such as translation, rotation, and scaling. They can be created (spawned) and destroyed through gameplay code (C++ or Blueprints). [1]

Component: Components can be thought of as the objects that will be needed for a Blueprint object to fulfill its purpose. There are many types of Components that can be added to a Blueprint. For example, if you know your Blueprint will need some sort of polygonal mesh to help define it, then you can add a Static Mesh Component. If your Blueprint object needs to emit light, you can add a Point Light Component or perhaps a Spot Light Component. [2]


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