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Swat Editor interface
Swat 4's UnrealEd Interface
This tutorial is intended to be an introduction to the Unreal Editor used by SWAT 4, it does not give detailed information of how to use all of its tools, it merely shows how to access the basic functions required to create a map.

It is worth remembering that SWAT 4's engine is a heavily modified version of the one used for Unreal Tournament 2003 (UT2003); because of this both editors are almost identical. However certain features from UT2003 are not supported, even though they remain present in the editor these features may either work incorrectly or cause the editor to crash.

The Unreal Editor's interface can be broken up into five distinct sections each shown in the image below:

UnrealEd Interface
Included here are the obligatory drop down menus that provide access to further properties and advanced manipulation tools. Many of these functions can be accessed through other buttons and pop-up menus; it also features the main tool bar explained below.

 

File buttons File buttons: From left to right on the image, these buttons allow you to start a new map, open an existing map, or save the current map.

 

Undo / Redo buttons Undo / Redo buttons: The arrow pointing left un-does (undo) the last function performed, the arrow pointing right re-does (redo) the last function previously un-done. Note: In some cases a rebuild is required before the changes become visible.

 

Search for Actors button Search for Actors: This tool allows you to search for actors placed within your map, useful for making final adjustments to properties. The list of actors is reduced as you refine the data entered. For example typing br in the name field reduces the list too actors with a name beginning with br.

 

Class Browser Class Browser: This browser shows all of the classes currently loaded into the editor, from here you can load and edit classes. Any place-able classes can be added to your map as an actor (An instance of a class).

 

Group Browser Group Browser: Here you can group actors together; normally they will be related in some way, this enables you to find certain actors quickly. You can also hide specific groups from view within the editor, which is useful to avoid clutter.

 

Sound Browser Sound Browser: The Sound Browser (Speaker) enables you to play sounds stored in Sound Packages. SWAT 4 also uses a lot of streamed audio files that are not kept in Sound Packages. Note: The Music Browser (Music Note) is obsolete because the .umx package format is no longer supported.

 

Texture Browser Texture Browser: This browser allows you to open the Texture Packages and search for textures to use in your map. You can also add new textures to existing packages, or create a completely new package for them.

 

Static Mesh Browser Static Mesh Browser: The Static Mesh Browser (Arch) allows you to view static meshes and add them to your map; you can also edit some properties, for example its textures. Static meshes cannot have any animations associated with them, hence the name, meaning they cannot move. Note: The Mesh Browser (Eye Icon) doesn't seem to be supported by SWAT 4.

 

Prefab Browser Prefab Browser: Here you can create predefined groups of actors and/or brushes to be reused later in your map. Once inserted the data is copied into the Map Package meaning the Prefab Package is no longer required. Note: It may be useful to retain prefabs for future use.

 

Animation Browser Animation Browser: This browser displays very detailed information about animations for meshes and other skeletal structures. You will probably only use it to preview animations even though it is a very powerful tool for animation modellers.

 

2D Shape Editor 2D Shape Editor: This tool allows you to create custom primitive brush builders. They can be more complex than the normal primitive brush builders, however they should not be used as a replacement for high-end modelling software such as 3D Studio Max or Maya.

 

Unreal Script Editor Unreal Script Editor: Here you can edit some aspects of the packaged classes, in other words some of the source code for Actors, using a programming language similar to Java. Most likely to be used for mods rather than level design.

 

Actor Properties Actor Properties: Allows you to view and change the settings for all selected actors, any changes will only affect those particular actors and not the actor's classes.

 

Surface Properties Surface Properties: Again you can view and change the properties of selected surfaces. Surfaces can only be selected from the 3D view.

 

Build Geometry Build Geometry: This will rebuild the geometry, being all of the brushes, to create the BSP for your map.

 

Build Lighting Build Lighting: Rebuilding the lights will render the light settings for all of the lights in your map. You can either rebuild all lights, or rebuild changed lights, them being light actors added or altered since the last build.

 

Build Paths Build Paths: Paths are made from a number of different actors, and rebuilding them will create paths for the AI to navigate around your map.

 

Build All Build All: This will rebuild you entire map based on your rebuild settings, by default this causes the geometry, lighting, and paths to be rebuilt.

 

Build Options Build Options: This allows you to change your current rebuild options that will be used to rebuild your level when a "Rebuild All" is invoked.

 

Play Map Play Map: This saves the current map, and loads it into SWAT 4 to begin playing. This is useful for testing and seeing what your level looks like when being played directly in the engine, because although UnrealEd uses the same renderer some differences can occur.
These tools are all used in the actual creation of your map, they allow you to construct and manipulate the "back bone" of your map. Related tools are further separated into 5 groups for organisation purposes. Note: You can scroll through all of these groups by dragging the green scroll bar that is located just to the right of this section.

 

Camera Movement Camera Movement: Allows you to move the camera freely in any viewport without affecting anything in your map. Other construction tools allow you to move freely but have other options available as well.

 

Vertex Editing Vertex Editing: Enables vertex editing mode making it easier to manipulate the vertices of BSP brushes. It can also be used as an easy way to align meshes onto the current grid.

 

Actor Scaling Actor Scaling: Allows you to resize brushes or actors, each dimension can be resized independently from the others, it does not have to be a uniform scale. Note: This may cause brushes to become misaligned on the grid.

 

Actor Rotate Actor Rotate: The Actor Rotate tool enables you to rotate an actor or brush on all three axes from a single viewport. Note: This may cause brushes to become misaligned on the grid.

 

Texture Pan Texture Pan: This tools allows you to move around and scale the texture on selected faces of BSP geometry, so that it is aligned correctly. It will only work in the 3D view when textures are visible.

 

Texture Rotate Texture Rotate: Enables you to rotate a texture on selected faces BSP geometry, so that it is aligned correctly. The texture is rotated around an automatically selected vertex on the brush, there is no way to change it.

 

Brush Clipping Brush Clipping: Allows you to place brush clipping markers in order to define a clipping plane. You can only use a maximum of three markers to define a single clipping plane. Note: This tools does not actually perform the clipping operation, you need to use the Brush Clipping tools below.

 

Freehand Polygon Drawing Freehand Polygon Drawing: Similar to the 2D Shape Editor this tool allows you to create custom primitive brush builders. However the Freehand Polygon Drawing tools allows you to create these shapes directly in the viewports.

 

Face Drag Face Drag: Enables you to stretch the brush while leaving the face of the brush untouched, normally along a single plane. However the brush can be stretched at any angle if you wish to do so.

 

Terrain Editing Terrain Editing: This tool allows you to create Terrain from a height map, however Terrain is not fully supported by SWAT 4.

 

Matinee Matinee: Allows you to create scripted sequences using the Unreal Engine, however this tool does not seem to be supported by SWAT 4.

 

Geometry Editing Geometry Editing: This tool doesn't seem to be used for anything within SWAT 4.

 

Clip Selected Brushes Clip Selected Brushes: Enables you to clip (remove) a portion of a brush defined by the clipping plane, the plane always indicates which part of the brush will be removed.

 

Split Selected Brushes Split Selected Brushes: Enables you to split a brush into two sections defined by the clipping plane. The direction of the plane is no longer relevent unless you want to maintain a naming system.

 

Flip Clipping Normal Flip Clipping Normals: This tool allows you to reverse the direction of the clipping plane, to determine which part of the brush is affected. The direction that will be clipped is shown by the small line extending from the middle of the clipping plane.

 

Delete Clipping Markers Delete Clipping Markers: Allows you to remove the currently placed clipping markers, but leave the Brush Clipping tool active.

 

Cube Cube: This tool sets the primitive brush builder to a cube or cuboid shape. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

Curved Staircase Curved Staircase: Enables you to set the primitive brush builder to a curved staircase shape. Each step is always started from the ground to the required height. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

Spiral Staircase Spiral Staircase: Allows you to set the primitive brush builder to a spiral staircase shape. Each step is started from the top of the previous step, enabling 720 degrees of revolution. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

Linear Staircase Linear Staircase: Enables you to set the primitive brush builder to a linear staircase shape. Each step is always started from the ground to the required height. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

BSP Based Terrain BSP Based Terrain: This tool sets the primitive brush builder to a cube or cuboid shape but one side is heavily tessellated to allow for easy and reliable vertex editing. Note: Irrational Games favoured Static Meshes over this method.

 

Sheet Sheet: Sets the primitive brush builder to a 2D square or rectangle (flat polygon). This polygon cannot block any actors making it useful for portals etc. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

Cylinder Cylinder: Allows you to set the primitive brush builder to a cylindrical shape. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

Cone Cone: Enables you to set the primitive brush builder to a cone shape. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

Volumetric Shape Volumetric Shape: This sets the primitive brush builder to a volumetric shape (Two sheets that intersect perpendicular to one another). This is useful when true 3D is either not required or too expensive to render, often used as a technique to render trees in older games. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon.

 

Tetrahedron (Sphere) Tetrahedron (Sphere): Allows you to set the primitive brush builder to a tetrahedron (An almost spherical shape). With a few extrapolations, the tetrahedron can become a very high polygon and very smooth sphere. The settings can be adjusted by right-clicking the icon. Note: An extrapolation of 3 creates an adequate sphere, but avoid using this tool because a mesh is more efficient.

 

Add Add: This will create an additive brush in the exact place as the current builder brush. The faces of this brush are only visible when viewed from an area outside of the brush's edges.

 

Subtract Subtract: This will create a subtractive brush in the exact place as the current builder brush. The faces of this brush are only visible when viewed from an area inside of the brush's edges.

 

Intersect Intersect: The brush builder primitive is recreated so that any part of it contained inside subtracted BSP geometry is removed (Creates a subtractive builder brush). Note: The icon show here and also in the SWAT 4 editor is incorrect, the icon should be the one used by the deintersect button.

 

Deintersect Deintersect: The brush builder primitive is recreated so that any part of it contained outside subtractive BSP geometry is removed (Creates an additive builder brush). Note: The icon show here and also in the SWAT 4 editor is incorrect, the icon should be the one used by the intersect button.

 

Add Special Brush Add Special Brush: This allows you to create brushes that have special properties assigned to them. There are a number of preset brushes but you can also create custom ones.

 

Add Static Mesh Add Static Mesh: This allows you to create a brush and convert it to Static Mesh in a single operation. This allows the renderer to treat these brushes as Static Meshes, which in some cases can increase performance. Note: Also known as a "Hardware Brush" because it can be handled entirely by the graphics card.

 

Add Mover Brush Add Mover Brush: A mover brush is a special type of Static Mesh, it cannot be animated but it can have transformations applied to it. Each transformation is recorded and saved in a key frame, when played back the transformations are extrapolated between frames.

 

Add Antiportal Add Antiportal: This creates a non-solid barrier that prevents the renderer from drawing items not in view. If this optimisation is used correctly it can have a big performance increase for open areas.

 

Volume Volume: Volumes are invisible brushes that "know" when actors enter or leave them. They can be solid to create an efficient blocking area, or non-solid so that special effects take place when passing through its boundaries.

 

Show Selected Actors Only Show Selected Actors Only: This causes any actor that is not selected to be hidden from view within the editor. It is useful when you only want to work with a certain group of actors.

 

Hide Selected Actors Hide Selected Actors: This causes all of the actors current selected to be hidden from view within the editor. This can be useful to avoid clutter when you don't need to be working with certain actors.

 

Show All Actors Show All Actors: This enables all actors that were previously hidden to become visible again. Actors that were not hidden still remain visible.

 

Invert Selection Invert Selection: This simply swaps your selection of actors for ones that are unselected. Any actor that you currently have selected will become unselected, and any actor that was not selected will become selected.

 

Change Camera Speed Change Camera Speed: The Camera Speed can be toggled between three different settings to allow for better manipulation. The current speed is show by the bar highlighted in green, the smallest bar being the slowest speed, and the longest bar being the fastest speed.
The section of the editor has additional tools that allow you to further modify your editor, set a few simple preferences, and enter commands directly into the console.

 

Command Prompt Command Prompt: The command prompt allows you to send commands directly to the editor, you can mimic a sequence of buttons being clicked, but you can also enter commands normally used in-game.

 

Log Window Log Window: The log window shows a real-time output of commands to the editor's log file, some information can be useful but most can be ignored. There are many commands that only output their information to the log.

 

Lock Selection Lock Selection: This toggles a selection lock on and off. The selection lock allows multiple item to be selected at once simply by clicking them, although it is often more convenient to use ctrl + click.

 

Vertex Snap Vertex Snap: When turned on this allows brush vertices to be snapped to the grid, sometimes brushes can become detached from the grid after being scaled or rotated, even with this setting on. Note: Many actors, such as Lights or ZoneInfos, cannot be snapped to the grid.

 

Grid Settings Grid Settings: The Grid Snap toggle is similar to the Vertex Snap, except it will snap entire brushes to the grid. The size of the grid can also be changed here using the drop down box, you can only use the preset sizes.

 

Rotation Snap Rotation Snap: Unlike the other toggle snaps this one does not snap to the grid, instead it allows you to switch between free rotation and fixed rotation modes. In free rotation you can rotate a brush or actor by minute amounts, but with Rotation Snap enabled you can only rotate a fixed amount from the previous point. Note: The UDN documentation quotes this as being "64 rotational units per complete revolution i.e. one rotational grid unit is equal to 5.625 degrees".
Viewports are your working areas within the editor, they can be changed and customised to allow you to view the information as you need it. They also show you all of the actors and other information that is not visible while playing the actual map in-game.

 

 Brought 

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