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In this step-by-step tutorial you'll learn how to create a populated street scene using free ActorCore assets in Unreal Engine.
What You'll Learn in This Tutorial
With ActorCore you can find a premium selection of animation-ready and fully-textured 3D models in a wide selection of styles, including photorealistic people, sci-fi, fantasy, historical and toon figures. Simply choose the ones you like and import them into your project. Topics we cover here include:
- How to download the 3D characters and animations from ActorCore
- How to import the characters into your scene in Unreal Engine 4
- How to apply your chosen animation to the 3D character in Unreal Engine 4
- How to Install Unreal Free Assets and use them in your project
- How add a walk animation to your characters
What You'll Need
To follow along with this tutorial you will need your own version of Unreal Engine 4, which is a game engine developed by Epic Games. You can download for it for free at the link below.
You will also need to create an account for Reallusion to access what ActorCore has to offer. You'll need some assets to create your scene; we'll be using a Procedural Building Generator from the free marketplace, but feel free to browse through the content or use your own.
And lastly you will need the Auto Setup for Unreal Engine. This can be downloaded for free on the ActorCore website.
1. Download Free 3D Characters
Once you have created an account and signed in to Reallusion, enter the ActorCore website, which can be found in the Products tab under Cloud Service.
Here on the front page of the website you can see some offers and videos explaining how to use ActorCore. In the top menu bar click on either the Actor or Motion buttons to browse through everything that ActorCore has to offer. Let's start with downloading the 3D character by clicking on the Actor button.
By default you will see all the items available. To narrow this down you can select a particular category by using the menu on the left. To download the free characters, click on the Free button.
Now that only the free characters are displayed, it should be easier for you to choose which one you want to use for your project. Add the characters that you like into your inventory by clicking on the Add to Cart button.
2. Download Free Animations
Downloading the animations on ActorCore follows the same steps as downloading the 3D characters.
Select the Motion button from the top menu.
Here you can see a thumbnail preview of all the animations available to choose from. To select the free animations, click on the Free button on the left.
Now that only the free animations are displayed, it should be easier to choose which one you want to use for your character. If you select a particular animation you can even preview what it would look like on your chosen character in the preview window.
For this tutorial we will be using Walk Relaxed. Add the animation into your inventory by clicking on the Add to Cart button.
3. Download Characters and Animations from ActorCore
Select the Walk Relaxed motion and click on the Download (Motion) button.
This will take you to the Download Settings window where you can select the character you would like to animate. Choose your character from the selection and then click the Next button.
Make sure that the correct character is selected on the left and that the target application is set to Unreal. Then hit the Download button to download the animation.
4. Download and Install Auto Setup for Unreal Engine
In order to import our characters and animations we need to download and install Auto Setup for Unreal Engine. To do this, go to the top of the ActorCore main page and select the Learn button. From there click Supported Software.
This will take you to a page that contains the download links to various software. Select Unreal Engine at the top and then click on the green Download button. This will download Auto Setup for Unreal Engine to your computer.
Double click the Auto Setup for Unreal Engine and install the software.
Once installed, open up the Auto Setup folder in Windows Explorer and you'll see that there are three different folders, each for a different version of Unreal. For this tutorial we will be using Unreal 4.27 however the process should be the same for other versions as well.
5. Import Your Characters and Animations to Unreal Engine
Create a new project in Unreal by selecting the category Games and then clicking the Next.
In the Project Browser select Third Person and then click the Next button.
Create a name and location for your project and then click the Create Project button. Make sure to save the project before exiting the application.
Open the Epic Games Launcher and find your saved project under the Library tab. Right-click on your project and select Show in Folder.
Copy the Content and Plugins folder from the Auto Setup folder in Windows Explorer and paste them into your project folder.
Open your project in Unreal again, and make sure that the plugin is enabled. You can check this by going to Edit > Plugins and then use the search bar at the top to search for Character Creator & iClone Auto Setup.
In the Content Browser create a new folder in the Content folder by right-clicking and selecting New Folder.
Name the new folder CC. This is where we will place our models and animations.
Click and drag the .FBX file for your character into the CC folder from Windows Explorer.
Select Standard Shader and then click OK.
In the FBX Import Options, select Animated Time which can be found under the Animation section in the dropdown box.
Once you are happy with the other options select Import. Your actor model should now appear in the Content Browser.
Now select the .FBX file for your animation and click and drag it into the Content Browser as well.
Your animation should also now appear in the Content Browser.
Click and drag the animation into the project window to see it appear in the scene.
With the animation selected you can change the Animation Mode to Use Animation Asset. Then choose the animation you want to use from the dropdown menu next to it.
Scroll down until you come to the Mesh Section. Here you can replace your character with another one that you have downloaded and use the same animation.
Repeat the above steps to fill your scene with other characters downloaded from ActorCore.
6. Import Free Assets from Unreal Marketplace
Now that we have our characters populating the scene, next we want to import some assets from the Unreal Marketplace to create a street scene. Go to the Unreal Marketplace and select the Free tab. From there, select the Permanently Free Collection.
In this section you will see all the free assets available for you to download into your account, including a number of free environment assets for your scene. For this tutorial we will use Procedural Building Generator. Click the Add to Cart button to add it to your library.
This will add the item into your vault which is located under the Library tab. Click on the Add To Project button and select your project.
Open up your project in Unreal and you will find the Procedural Building Generator folder within the Content Browser.
From there, simply go to Content > ProceduralBuildingGenerator > Prefabs and then click and drag the files you find there into your scene to create some buildings.
Depending on your scene, you may need to expand the walls using the splines. To do this, click and drag the end of the spline whilst holding the Alt key on the keyboard.
Continue to add buildings and characters to your scene, and adjust until you are satisfied.
Congratulations, you are done!! That's how you can create a populated street scene using free assets from ActorCore and Unreal.
Taking Your Animation Further
Try using use other characters or animations available in ActorCore to add more to your scene. I hope you've found this tutorial useful and I'll see you next time, on Envato Tuts+!
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