Illustration: Unreal Engine 5
May 12, 2022

How to Use Unreal Engine 5 With Perforce Helix Core

Version Control
Game Development

Unreal Engine 5 is the latest version of a popular game engine and 3D creation tool. Industry-leading studios choose to use it with Perforce Helix Core version control. 

Read on to learn how to use Unreal Engine 5 with Perforce Helix Core. Plus, learn about new UE5 source control features. 

What Is Unreal Engine 5 (UE5)?

Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) is the latest version of a game engine & 3D creation tool developed by Epic Games. Unreal Engine has been powering games since 1998, and it is being adopted in many industries to create photorealistic visuals and animations in real-time.

What Is Unreal Engine Used For?

Unreal Engine is most commonly used to create video games. It is also used to create animations, interactive experiences, and other 3D visuals.  

Unreal Engine is primarily used in game development, from indie studios to AAA game companies. Outside of the game development industry, it is also popular in the media & entertainment field for virtual production. 

Unreal Engine is being adopted across industries by teams who are looking to create advanced visuals for any number of purposes, such as:

  • Digital twins
  • Product Demos
  • Interactive VR Trainings
  • Virtual reality
  • Mixed reality
  • Extended reality

How to Use Unreal Engine 5

Here's a quick overview of how to use Unreal Engine 5:

  1. Install UE5.
    1. Consult The Unreal Documentation and Epic Games’ educational videos for more details.
      1.  Unreal Engine 5 Documentation
      2. Learning | Epic Developer Community
  2. Integrate UE5 + source control like Helix Core.
    1. See our guide: How to Configure Helix Core + Game Engine
       

Free Source Control for UE5

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UE5 Source Control: Why Unreal Engine Needs SCM

Unreal is popular among game development and AR/VR teams. That’s because it is a great engine for creating immersive experiences. But to manage the many large files that come with using it, your team needs source control.

Many teams using Unreal also use Perforce version control — Helix Core. Epic Games, the developer or Unreal Engine, encourages third party developers using Unreal to also use Helix Core. The two tools are tightly integrated, which helps your team work together more efficiently on projects. This integration is through the Unreal Editor.

[Check Out Version Control Fundamentals From Unreal Engine HQ]  

Tutorial: How to Use Unreal Engine 5 With Version Control From Perforce

For full instructions on how to use game engines like Unreal Engine 5 with Perforce Helix Core version control, see our guide How to Configure Helix Core + Game Engine. Read on for a quick overview of the steps plus new UE5 source control features.

FULL INSTRUCTIONS

Unreal also provides guidance for getting started with Helix Core in Unreal.

1. Install Unreal Engine

First, you’ll need to install Unreal Engine. The latest version, UE5, is available as of April 2022.

2. Download Helix Core From Perforce

Next, you’ll download Perforce Helix Core. Helix Core is free for up to 5 users. Download it here.

If you already have a Helix Core server, download the latest version of Helix Visual client (P4V).

3. Create a Stream Depot

Streams depots enable much more powerful branching features and easier creation of workspaces.

4. Set Up p4 typemap

Before adding files to the server, you’ll need to set up the p4 TypeMap so Helix Core knows how to handle Unreal files. This is an important step. For instance, if you want to edit a binary, it will be exclusively locked if you have the TypeMap set up.

5. Set Up the Main Stream

After setting up the TypeMap so your server knows how to handle different file types, you will create your first stream and workspace. The purpose of Perforce Streams is to allow certain users to collaborate on files, sharing those through Helix Core without affecting users in other streams.For example, you may have your artists working in an art stream while your developers are working on some complicated automation in a development stream. 

6. Create a Workspace

In order to work on files in Helix Core, you need to create a workspace. A workspace is a folder on your local machine that is linked to files on the server. Using this workspace, you can add new files to the server, edit existing files, get the latest changes from others, or go back to previous versions of files. Be sure not to add your game engine project files until you set up your ignore file in the next step. 

7. Set Up Your Ignore File

Next, you’ll need to set up an ignore file. By default, Helix Core wants to version all of your files. For game engine builds, you need Helix Core to ignore some of the files. By setting up your ignore file, you’ll tell Helix Core which files you don’t want to be stored in version control, such as individual settings files or intermediate build files.

It is very important that you do this before you populate your depot.

8. Add Project Files

Once you have set up your server to properly recognize file types and ignore files, you can add the project files to the workspace. The first time you submit a game engine project, it may take a while to upload all of the files to your server, depending on your network connection. Once you have submitted the initial project files, future submits will only include files that have been changed or added since the last submit, which will generally be much fewer than this initial commit.

9. Set Up Source Control in UE5

Now it’s time to return to UE5 (or launch it if it isn’t already open).

Once you open Unreal:

  • Click the source control button.
  • Select change source control settings.
  • Drop down the provider menu and choose Perforce.
  • Enter your server address, username, and then select your workspace.
  • Click accept settings

10. Use the Unreal Editor (If You’re A Designer or Technical Artist)

The Unreal Editor has built-in integration for Helix Core, maintained by Epic Games. Designers primarily use the Unreal Editor with Helix Core for version control.

Asset files (with the extensions .uasset and .umap) are binary files modified in the Unreal Editor. They cannot be opened as text or merged in a text-based merge tool.

When you want to work on an asset, you just click on it in a UE content browser. You’ll see a “check out” choice. Our typemap ensures the file is locked automatically when you make that choice.

When you’re done editing files you have locked, check in or submit those files. This uploads the changes to the server and releases the lock on the files.

You can even see the history of changes to the files — and visually compare one version to another — without leaving UE.

New: UE5 Source Control Features

Epic made some big improvements to source control in UE5. Here are some new UE5 source control features:

  • You can now have multiple changelists inside of UE5 and move files between them.
  • Syncing and updating the UI is much faster.
  • You can now shelve files from within UE5.
  • UE5 can validate changelists to make sure all your files are saved before submitting.
  • By enabling one file per actor (OFPA), multiple users can edit the same level without causing conflicts.

Learn more in the UE5 release notes.

Get Started: UE5 Source Control

Get started on Unreal Engine game development with Helix Core today. Helix Core is free for up to 5 users and 20 workspaces.

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