My first experience with Unreal Engine was in September of 2002. UT2k3 just shipped and it included a brand new Unreal Engine 2 editor. On the day the game was released, I went straight to the mall's GameSpot and picked up a copy of UT2k3.
I launched Unreal Editor, immediately after installing the game.
There was nothing more exciting than seeing an opened level editor and the possibilities of what I could create.
But, I was getting ahead of myself. I never used Unreal Engine Editor before. As much as I wanted to create all the ideas in my head, without proper fundamentals and basic foundation nothing was going to be done.
I was staring at a blank Unreal Editor map and began to feel overwhelmed. What should I learn first? And in what order should I learn features in?
Back in 2002 there were not a lot of tutorials, especially not a lot of video tutorials. It was difficult to know where to begin learning Unreal Engine. I was a total newbie and never used anything similar to this game engine. I needed a basic tutorial series for beginners that wasn't too advanced and didn't require previous knowledge. A series that would guide me and show me:
"here is what you should learn right now, focus on these features and avoid everything else. Once you learn these fundamentals of the engine then everything else will become easier and you can begin to explore more advanced topics."
Today, I see the same problem.
Not in the lack of tutorials but in the amount of tutorials there are. You may think the more tutorials the better, but you get pulled into many different directions and become more confused of what you should learn first and in what order. You end up overwhelmed and frustrated.
It is called the paradox of choice.
If you are presented with too many options, you end up choosing none of them.
Learning a new game engine, especially Unreal Engine 4 as a complete beginner is very intimidating.
Unreal Engine 4 is a complete next-generation game engine. This means you can use it to create a full AAA console/PC game or a mobile game; design a fly-through for arch viz or to display your environment art. You can also use UE4 for open worlds, landscapes, VR, simulations, create PBR materials, script inside the editor or use C++ programming, extend the functionality of the engine by creating various plug-ins and so much more.
It is an extremely deep and complex piece of software with insane amount of features. UE4 can be used to create any game, environment, cinematic or visualization you want.
But before you can create any of these ideas, you have to learn the basics of how to use Unreal Engine 4.
As you launch Unreal Engine 4 and stare at the editor, you are probably asking yourself the same questions I've asked myself:
You need is a system that is simple yet methodical of teaching you Unreal Engine 4. A system to teach you to use Unreal Engine 4 as a complete beginner with the goal of starting as quickly as possible. Without any prior knowledge or experience. A cohesive video series that is rooted in a larger vision of using Unreal Engine 4 for level design and game environment art.
I've been teaching how to use game engines since 2008. I've spent a lot of time deconstructing what it takes to learn them scratch.
Few key insights you need to know as you learn and use UE4:
First, you should avoid jumping right into the editor to learn it, as many have suggested.
If you don't know how to swim but want to learn, the worst thing you can do is jump right into the ocean. More have drowned, where only a few succeeded using this method. The odds are not on your side. You need a better plan.
Second, you want to avoid doing the "cool" stuff first. You'll be doing plenty of that later - once you know the fundamentals - which will make the "cool" or more advanced work a lot easier to create.
Most importantly, "UE4 Fundamentals" does not require previous knowledge or skill. I did this for a reason, so you focus entirely on learning UE4.
Here is an overview of what you can expect to learn in this tutorial series.
In addition to "UE4 Fundamentals" and 42 videos that you get with it, I decided to include some bonuses for you. PDF guide and accompanied videos.
Bonus #1: UE4 Beginner's Crash Course PDF
Bonus #2: 4 Additional Videos
These bonuses are extra and are available to download along with UE4 Fundamentals.
Watch this video for in-depth tutorial series breakdown.
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