How to set up a production pipeline in Unreal Engine 5?

January 30, 2023
 min read

Before diving into the core of the topic, I would like to highlight that Unreal Engine 5 is a popular game engine that is widely used by game developers to create high-quality games across a variety of platforms. And if you are wondering why UE5 is gaining momentum across the gaming industry, 3D animation industry, and architecture industry, here are the reasons:

Why is UE5 so popular?

The first reason is because Unreal Engine 5 offers high-quality graphics

UE5 is known for its advanced graphics capabilities, which allow developers to create detailed and realistic environments and characters. The engine's "Nanite" and "Lumen" systems allow for the creation of large, highly detailed environments and dynamic lighting, while the "Chaos" physics system enables realistic physics simulations.

Second reason is for its efficient workflow

Unreal Engine 5 is designed to be user-friendly, with a variety of tools and features that make it easy for developers to create and iterate on their games. The engine's "Blueprint" visual scripting system allows developers to create gameplay elements without writing code, while the "Content Browser" makes it easy to manage and organize assets.

Then comes the cross-platform compatibility

Unreal Engine 5 can be used to build games for a wide range of platforms, including PC, console, mobile, and virtual reality. This makes it a versatile choice for developers who want to create games that can be played on multiple devices.

Finally, UE5 offers a strong community support

Unreal Engine has a large and active community of developers who share tips, resources, and best practices. This can be a valuable resource for developers who are new to the engine or who are looking for help with specific challenges.

Key steps to set up your production pipeline in UE5

Now, let's deep dive into the core of the topic. Here is a detailed breakdown of the steps you can follow to set up a production pipeline in Unreal Engine 5:

  1. Install Unreal Engine 5: The first step is to download and install Unreal Engine 5 on your computer. You can do this by visiting the Unreal Engine website and following the instructions provided.
  2. Create a new project: Once Unreal Engine 5 is installed, launch the engine and create a new project. You can do this by clicking the "Create New Project" button in the welcome screen.
  3. Set up version control: It's a good idea to set up version control for your project to track changes and collaborate with other team members. You can do this by going to the "Edit > Editor Preferences > Version Control" menu and selecting your preferred version control system.
  4. Create a folder structure: Next, you'll want to create a folder structure for your project to help keep your assets organized. You can do this by right-clicking on the content browser and selecting "New Folder."
  5. Import assets: Once you have a folder structure set up, you can begin importing your assets into Unreal Engine 5. You can do this by dragging and dropping files into the content browser, or by using the "Import" button in the toolbar.
  6. Set up lighting: To create realistic lighting in your scene, you'll need to set up light sources and baked lighting. You can do this by placing light actors in your scene and using the "Bake Lighting" button in the toolbar.
  7. Set up materials: Materials are used to define the appearance of surfaces in your scene. You can create and edit materials by using the "Material Editor" in the toolbar.
  8. Set up animations: If your project includes animated characters or objects, you'll need to set up animations using the "Animation Blueprint" system in Unreal Engine 5.
  9. Set up particle effects: Particle effects can be used to create a wide range of visual effects, such as explosions, smoke, and sparks. You can create and edit particle effects using the "Cascade" tool in the toolbar.
  10. Set up audio: To add audio to your project, you'll need to import audio files and set up audio components. You can do this by using the "Audio Editor" in the toolbar.
  11. Set up gameplay: Finally, you'll need to set up gameplay elements such as characters, enemies, and interactive objects. You can do this by using the "Blueprint" system in Unreal Engine 5.

By following these steps, you can set up a production pipeline in Unreal Engine 5 and begin creating your project. Keep in mind that this is just a general overview, and you may need to perform additional tasks depending on the specific requirements of your project.

Why a version control software like Perforce is important in your production pipeline?

When you develop your game, you may use a version control software like Perforce. Indeed, it helps teams manage changes to code, assets, and other files that are part of the game development process.

Some specific benefits of using Perforce for game development include:

  • Collaboration: Perforce allows multiple team members to work on the same files simultaneously, ensuring that everyone is working with the most up-to-date version of the codebase.
  • Version tracking: Perforce keeps track of every change made to a file, so it's easy to see who made a change and when. This can be helpful for debugging and for understanding how the codebase has evolved over time.
  • Branching and merging: Perforce allows developers to create separate branches of the codebase for different features or bug fixes, and then merge those changes back into the main branch when they are ready. This helps teams work independently and reduces the risk of conflicts when multiple people are working on the same code.
  • Asset management: Perforce can also be used to manage large binary files such as art assets, audio files, and other media that are part of the game. This makes it easier to track changes to these assets and ensure that everyone is working with the most up-to-date versions.

Overall, Perforce can help game development teams manage code and assets more effectively, which can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors or conflicts.

How to Use Unreal Engine 5 With Version Control From Perforce?

Unreal Engine 5 supports integration with version control systems, including Perforce. To use Unreal Engine 5 with Perforce, you'll need to have a Perforce server and client installed and set up. Once you have these, you can follow these steps to set up Unreal Engine 5 with Perforce:

  1. In Unreal Engine 5, go to the "Edit > Editor Preferences > Version Control" menu.
  2. In the "Version Control" tab, select "Perforce" as the version control provider.
  3. Enter the address and port number for your Perforce server in the "Server Address" and "Server Port" fields.
  4. Enter your Perforce username and password in the "Username" and "Password" fields.
  5. Click the "Connect" button to establish a connection to the Perforce server.
  6. If prompted, enter the path to your Perforce client executable in the "Client Executable" field.
  7. Click the "Save" button to save your changes.

After following these steps, you should be able to use Perforce with Unreal Engine 5 to track changes to your project and collaborate with other team members. Keep in mind that you'll need to set up a workspace and create a Perforce depot for your project before you can start using version control. You can find more information on how to do this in the Perforce documentation.

How to compile a Unreal Engine 5 project?

The last step for your production pipeline, and not the least, is the export packaging of your project. To compile an Unreal Engine 5 project, you'll need to build the project using the Unreal Engine editor. Here are the general steps you can follow to compile an Unreal Engine 5 project:

  1. Open the project in the Unreal Engine editor: Double-click the project file to open it in the Unreal Engine editor.
  2. Set the build configuration: In the toolbar, click the "Build Configuration" dropdown and select the configuration you want to use (e.g., "Development," "Shipping," etc.).
  3. Select the build platform: In the toolbar, click the "Build Platform" dropdown and select the platform you want to build for (e.g., "Windows," "Linux," etc.).
  4. Open the build menu: Go to the "File > Package Project" menu.
  5. Select the build options: In the "Package Project" window, select the options you want to include in the build. This may include things like maps, levels, and content.
  6. Specify the output location: In the "Package Project" window, specify the location where you want the built project to be saved.
  7. Click the "Build" button: This will start the build process. The build progress will be displayed in the "Output Log" window.
  8. Wait for the build to complete: The build process may take some time, depending on the size and complexity of your project. Once the build is complete, you'll find the built project in the output location you specified.

At Flaneer we help our clients to set up a cloud infrastructure for their projects. Our core products are cloud workstations for creative jobs and Compute Stations for compiling, simulation jobs. 

If you are investigating about which PC to choose for your project, we've written a blog post that compares the best PCs to run UE5.

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