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How to Make a Populated Street Scene With ActorCore and Unreal Using Free Assets

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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

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

select actorselect actorselect actor

Step 3

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. 

Step 4

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.

add to inventoryadd to inventoryadd to inventory

2. Download Free Animations

Step 1

Downloading the animations on ActorCore follows the same steps as downloading the 3D characters. 

Select the Motion button from the top menu.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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

Step 1

Select the Walk Relaxed motion and click on the Download (Motion) button.

Step 2

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.

apply animation to characterapply animation to characterapply animation to character

Step 3

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.

download assets to unrealdownload assets to unrealdownload assets to unreal

4. Download and Install Auto Setup for Unreal Engine

Step 1

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.

select supported softwareselect supported softwareselect supported software

Step 2

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.

download softwaredownload softwaredownload software

Step 3

Double click the Auto Setup for Unreal Engine and install the software.

install auto setupinstall auto setupinstall auto setup

Step 4

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.

auto setup foldersauto setup foldersauto setup folders

5. Import Your Characters and Animations to Unreal Engine

Step 1

Create a new project in Unreal by selecting the category Games and then clicking the Next.

create a new projectcreate a new projectcreate a new project

Step 2

In the Project Browser select Third Person and then click the Next button.

select third personselect third personselect third person

Step 3

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.

create projectcreate projectcreate project

Step 4

Open the Epic Games Launcher and find your saved project under the Library tab. Right-click on your project and select Show in Folder. 

open project folderopen project folderopen project folder

Step 5

Copy the Content and Plugins folder from the Auto Setup folder in Windows Explorer and paste them into your project folder.

copy folderscopy folderscopy folders

Step 6

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.

enable pluginenable pluginenable plugin

Step 7

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.

create new foldercreate new foldercreate new folder

Step 8

Click and drag the .FBX file for your character into the CC folder from Windows Explorer.

drag and drop actor into projectdrag and drop actor into projectdrag and drop actor into project

Step 9

Select Standard Shader and then click OK.

standard shaderstandard shaderstandard shader

Step 10

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.

import character optionsimport character optionsimport character options

Step 11

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.

import animationimport animationimport animation

Step 12

Click and drag the animation into the project window to see it appear in the scene.

click and drag character into sceneclick and drag character into sceneclick and drag character into scene

Step 13

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.

use animationuse animationuse animation

Step 14

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.

replace the meshreplace the meshreplace the mesh

Step 15

Repeat the above steps to fill your scene with other characters downloaded from ActorCore.

6. Import Free Assets from Unreal Marketplace

Step 1

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.

unreal marketplaceunreal marketplaceunreal marketplace

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

add assets to projectadd assets to projectadd assets to project

Step 4

Open up your project in Unreal and you will find the Procedural Building Generator folder within the Content Browser.

open the folderopen the folderopen the folder

Step 5

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.

add buildingsadd buildingsadd buildings

Step 6

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.

create the walls of the buildingscreate the walls of the buildingscreate the walls of the buildings

Step 7

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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