Unreal 4 Guide

 Getting Content to Unreal 4 


PlayUp Tools Plugin for Unreal 4

This plugin adds a new button to your top bar that will open a file browser to find and import your level file. It is available directly through the UE4 Launcher.

Alternatively, you can install the plugin files manually through the following link:

To install the required UE4 plugin manually:

STEP 1: Open the ZIP file and place the PlayUp folder in the following directory:


IMPORTANT NOTE: When installing the plugin manually, you need to be using a C++ template as the plugin must be compiled. If you want to use a Blueprint template, first install the plugin on a C++ template and then copy the compiled plugin folder over to your Blueprint template project.

STEP 2: Launch the UE4 Editor.

STEP 3: From the top bar menu, go to Edit > Plugins.

STEP 4: Find and select the Level Importer option under the Project group for plugins.

STEP 5: Click on the Enabled checkbox. You may need to restart the editor for the change to take effect.

The Export Process:

Open SketchUp.

In your PlayUp Preferences settings under the General tab, make sure you have the engine set to Unreal Engine 4.

In your PlayUp Preferences settings under the Unreal 4 tab, set your Export directory. This can be any directory on your computer in which you would like to store your mesh and texture files.

In your PlayUp Preferences settings under the Unreal 4 tab, name the folder off of the Content path that you will use to contain the assets in Unreal 4.

In Unreal 4, add the folder that you defined in your PlayUp Preferences.

Export your level.

The Import Process:

Go to the Export directory, mass select all of the generated FBX files, and drag them to the Unreal 4 Content Browser directory that you created for your assets.

An FBX Import Options window will appear. Click on the Import All button.
NOTE: If you are using UE 4.14+, make sure that "Convert Scene Unit" under the Miscellaneous options is unchecked.
NOTE: If you are using UE 4.15+, make sure that "Combine Meshes" under the Mesh options is checked.

Click the PlayUp button and import the level file (it will be a .XML file) that was generated when the level exported.

NOTE: You can test the importer without doing an export. Look in the following directory for a demo of the importer:

{YOUR UE4 PROJECT PATH}/Plugins/PlayUp/Demo

The Packaging Process:

When you are ready to package your project, be sure to disable the PlayUp Tools plugin for UE4 by going to Edit > Plugins and unchecking the "Enabled" box for the PlayUp Tools plugin.

 Golden Rules of Getting Lightmaps Right 

1. Do NOT use SketchUp's built in solid colors. In order to get lightmaps to look right, you must use projected textures. Unfortunately when you use SketchUp's built in solid colors, it overwrites all of the projection data you make have applied on that face previously (See Figure 1).

2. Box projections are the key to getting lightmaps for tiled textures right. Use PlayUp's box projection tool to align and map your textures properly. Open up PlayUp's Geometry Properties window and go to the Projections tab to apply box projections to your textures (See Figure 2 and 3).

3. If a face does not project correctly after using the box projection tool, just sample an adjacent face and fill to adjust. On occasion this happens with the tool--usually on faces that have more than 3 vertices.

Figure 1. This house was painted using SketchUp colors and had many issues with overlapping lightmaps (as indicated by the darkened faces).

Figure 2. Box projecting the textures fixed the UV maps.

Figure 3. Creating solid textures, applying them to the mesh, and applying box projection can create the same results as painting with solid SketchUp colors without the lightmap overlap issues.


 UE4 Specific Troubleshooting Tips 

If you are having problems with exporting, check to make sure you aren't falling into these traps:

Do not name any of your groups or components with the same name as a material. The engine will think that the asset already exists, even if it is of a different type.

If your textures are not coming in, make sure the generated TGA files are RGB. If you are using grayscale textures, PlayUp will create grayscale TGAs. However, there is currently a known bug in Unreal where grayscale TGAs are not importing properly. For any grayscale TGAs that were generated, you will need to bring them into your graphics editing software and switch it to RGB until this bug is resolved.