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Legacy:UnrealEd Tips

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A page of general tips on getting the most out of UnrealEd.

Other similar pages[edit]

Making actors snap[edit]

It's often useful to set Advanced -> bEdShouldSnap in the Actor properties window to True for actors such as Trigger or BlockAll, as they can then be aligned to the grid exactly.

(something needs to be mentioned about how you need to frantically alt-right click the critters to get their pivot point onto the grid)

Measuring height/breadth/width[edit]

  1. In the respective 2D view, press and hold down the Shift key.
  2. Press and hold down the middle mouse button. (You may release the Shift key now.)
  3. Drag the mouse pointer to see the measurement in unreal units.

Rounding: The measuring tool rounds off according to drag grid settings.

Making things fit (calculating the scaling ratio)[edit]

Example: A texture has a width of 512 pixels and a height of 256 pixels. The desired width for the texture is 352 unreal units. The desired height is 320 unreal units.

  • Brush width / Texture width
  • = 352 / 512
  • = 0.6875 scaling ratio
  • Brush height / Texture height
  • = 320 / 256
  • = 1.25 scaling ratio

Use these values in the U (horizontal) and V (vertical) fields in the Pan/Rot/Scale tab of the Surface Properties.

Scaling a static mesh[edit]

  1. In any view, select the static meshes that will be scaled.
  2. Enter the desired scaling ratios in the DrawScale3D boxes (found on the lower right side of the editor window).

Scaling a texture on a surface[edit]

  1. In the 3D view, select the surfaces that will be scaled.
  2. Press the F5 key to show the Surface Properties.
  3. Ensure the Pan/Rot/Scale tab is selected.
  4. Under Scaling, enter the horizontal scaling value in the U field, and enter the vertical scaling value in the V field.
  5. Click Apply.

If the horizontal and vertical scaling factors are the same, simply use the scaling value in the Simple field, then click the Apply button next to it.

Note: The scaling values used on a surface are not stored with it.

Exploring other maps[edit]

UnrealEd 2 is really quite complex and can be intimidating for the novice. One of the best techniques for understanding the myriad objects and their usefulness is to open up a map that you are familiar with from the gamers perspective. Use the Actor Search function to guide you on a tour of the level. Open Actor properties windows and check the settings. Attempt to manipulate brushes, actors, textures, and property settings (as long as you don't save, the map will remain in its original condition stored in the Unreal Tournament Directory on your hard drive).

Partial viewing & building[edit]

Extremely useful when a map gets complex. Use the Visibility group in the toolbox to either hide selected brushes and actors or to show only those selected. This will clear up orthogonal UnrealEd Viewports and show you only the parts you want to work with. To speed up build times, check the "Only Rebuild visible Actor?" option box in the build window. This option affects all the building buttons in the toolbar.

Map filenames[edit]

UnrealEd doesn't like filenames with spaces in them.


See UnrealEd Advanced Options.

Adding new items to UnrealEd 3 context menu[edit]

When you right-click on surface in a viewport, there are three predefined types of actors you can place: Light, PlayerStart and PathNode. You can add new placeable actors to the menu by editing UnrealEd.ini

Item0=Path Node,PATHNODE
Item1=Player Start,PLAYERSTART

The 'Item' should be followed by an incremented number. First string is what will show up in the context menu, the second string is the actor name.

Selecting multiple Actors[edit]

Selecting multiple actors is easy. There are several ways to accomplish this. One is using the CTRL-key. Press and hold down the CTRL-key and click on each actor you want to select. An actor can be a brush, lightsource, weapon,... Another way is using CTRL-ALT. Press and hold down the CTRL-key and the ALT-key and drag a box around the actors you want to select. And yet another way is to simply right-click each actor. So right-click the first actor (a menu will appear, but don't bother with that), then right-click the second and so on. See mouse control for more on this topic.

One final note: if you select multiple actors by left-clicking them while holding down the CTRL key, it's easy to accidentally move the actors you've already selected, since holding CTRL while moving the mouse moves actors around. Be wary of this possibility so you don't alter your map subtly. I tend to prefer the right-click method for this reason.

Mathematical Expressions in builder properties[edit]

When customizing your red builder-brush you'll sometimes want to do things like this: add an extra 128 to the width, divide the height by 2, ... This is easy to do because you can use mathematical expressions in the builder properties. For example: let assume we have a standard 256x256x256 cube for our Red Builder Brush. Let's say I would want to quadruple the height. What I do is go to the builder properties and type and = before the current value and a *4 at the end. So the value should look like =256.000000*4=. Now by pressing enter UnrealEd will evaluate this expression and change the value to 1024. I found this feature to be very useful. See brushbuilders for more.

Quick Texturing[edit]

You can quickly apply textures in a 3D viewport with ALT-left-click, and "pick up" a texture to be the current one with ALT-right-click. See also Selecting Surfaces and Mouse Control.

Textures won't import[edit]

See Texture Import And Export for a trouble shooting list.

My reachspecs keep increasing at each rebuild[edit]

Reachspecs keep increasing at each rebuild even when you didn't change the pathnode-network. To clean things up you do the following:

  1. Select a Pathnode.
  2. Right-Click it and click 'Select All Pathnodes'.
  3. Right-Click again and goto 'Order' and click 'Last'.
  4. Rebuild.

Now the reachspecs should be reset.

Actor Properties Summary[edit]

To quickly see how a particular actor's properties differs from the defaults for that class, copy it and then paste into a text editor. Only the properties that are different to the defaults are listed. This can be particularly handy for working out how a mapper has achieved a particular effect.

Highlighting important actors[edit]

Make important sprite actors stand out in UEd by setting their Display.DrawScale property to a number larger than 1. This works for any actor which is not visible in the game, eg Trigger, Light (but not ones with coronas).

Scaling Brushes[edit]

If you want to resize any brush (including the builder brush) with precise measurments then right click it then brush–>main scale–>scale and now you can change the values to shrink or enlarge the brush and it.Use values of 1, .875 , .5 , .375 ;works great when dealing with 2d created brushes.


Some advanced UEd functions can be accessed only by using UnrealEd Console Commands.

Quick Tip for skyboxes[edit]

Certain gametypes/mods allow you to fly. With those the standard skybox can seem kind of odd. It loses the effect and seems faked.

Well, a quick tip to handle this is to use sheets to make a cube around the skyzone info. Just use a force field like texture. I beliece UTech3 has one. Then just make the "cube" transparent, have the textures move. And then check it out. It should look like a force field is protecting you from the outside.

Non Technical, Artistic Tips[edit]

Moved to the Adding Polish To Maps Section.

We need a Design section... – Tarquin
True... once this gets too big maybe it should be moved? – TossMonkey
Ok I moved this to General Tips (under the design section) – TossMonkey

It has been reported by experienced UnrealEd Level Designers, that UnrealEd 2 crashes after about 1 hour of intense use. I suspect this because of a memory allocation problem,...but, it is often attributed to the ever-popular UnrealEd Goblin. See, TaoPaiPai for information on this bizarre phenomenon. Another excellent recommendation is: Rebuild your level often. The Editor sometimes crashes when it has too many actors to add during a rebuild. Also, the source of any BSP Holes problems is easier to identify.

the G.o.a.T : I added several Tips & Tricks which I compiled in this faq UED FAQ. Tell me what you think ;)

tarquin: cool :-)
the G.o.a.T : I'll add more from that same page when I find some more time :)

Tarquin: I've just realized there are duplicate items (mathematical expressions in brushbuilders, for example) between this page and UnrealEd Beginner FAQ. We need to decide which page they should live on – or better, shunt to a new page & leave a link in both.

SabbathCat: Dude, I wouldn't worry too much about duplication, this page isa useful quick reference for all the useful things that make editing so much faster. IMO I'd say keep things like the mathmatical expressions, anything that speeds up the creative process. :) I'd say FAQ = Beginnger/More general stuff , Ued Tips = Nuggets of info on how to speed up the map building process.

Darkwarrior: This might be just my computer, but sometimes UnrealEd 2 crashes when i try to extrude a shape from the 2d shape editor. As far a I can tell, it has to have a flat bottom to extrude. Can anyone tell me if they have the same problem?

Ironblayde: I use the extrude function all the time, and have never noticed the problem you describe. I just tried it again now with an irregularly-shaped polygon to be sure – extrude, extrude to point, and extrude to bevel – and they all worked. Have you offered the UnrealEd Goblin his daily tribute? You might want to stock up on goat's blood. :)