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How To Distribute Your ArchViz Project In Windows?

Hi,

What is a good way to distribute your archviz project to your clients desktop or that of your teammembers? (let’s limit this to all members use windows only)

I recently began to explore Unreal Engine 4 to see if I could use it for archviz proposes. I find it fun to use so far and it reminds me a bit of Quest3d, where I have a bit of experience.
First I started with a new project: First Person / Desktop / Maximum Quality / With Starter Content
Added a Shape_Cube and made my first Blueprint (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2Ua6ncLcVY&list=PLZlv_N0_O1gak1_FoAJVrEGiLIploeF3F&index=9 I used the sliding door example)
Great! So now I want to send it to a colleague.

I switch the Build Configuration to Shipping, next: File - Package Project - Windows - Windows (32-bit), choose a folder and voila, a little bit of waiting and done.
(I’ve read: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Basics/Projects/Packaging/index.html)

It created a folder structure:
WindowsNoEditor
Engine => 1248 files, 48 folders, 65MB
MyProjectDemo => 2 files, 4 folders, 569MB

In PackageFolder\WindowsNoEditor\MyProjectDemo\Binaries\Win32 is a executable MyProjectDemo.exe which will start the game.

So I have some questions about this, as the shear size of these folders/files is not something you would pro preferably email/send to anyone, and those kind of numbers in files and only that one nested in a subfolder is used is not something I would throw at any given teammember:

1 Are there ways of decreasing those numbers (MB’s and amount of files/folders) Are all files necessary?
2 What is the use of PackageFolder\WindowsNoEditor\MyProjectDemo\Content\Paks\MyProjectDemo-WindowsNoEditor.pak it is 546MB. It is in the folder Content so I would guess it contains specific files created in that game, but this example is made of cubes, a sky texture and some blueprint, this can’t be this big. But you know, I’m asking because I don’t know.
3 What method do you use to combine those files in one *.exe file? If you do this that is. I would like to know how do you Package your Project to your teammembers? What works for you?

Best regards,
Herbert

  1. Don’t have a specific answer for that one. I’m almost positive UE4 goes through the project and only packs what is needed. So what you get is probably the smallest it will be.

You can always zip/compress the file after it’s finished packing. My project is 26gb, Packed (development) -> 4gb, Compressed ->1.5gb. Much more manageable for clients.

Obviously you can’t email them a 1.5gb file, so I send them a Dropbox link for them to download. It’s arguably a faster download too.

  1. The pak file contains all the necessary files (like meshes, assets, materials etc) that have been condensed into one file. If you want it to be spread out (so you can see what’s actually in there), go to Project Settings -> Packaging, and untick the ‘Use Pak File’. Then do another pack as normal.

  2. I just create shortcut to the application file (right click, create shortcut) and put that in the first folder so whoever open’s it up see’s it first. Rename it to something obvious like ‘Run Project’.

Good to know how to export… Thanks for the tip.

Thanks JLO for your reply,

That shortut tip together with a cloudstoragething could do the trick. Windows adapts to the ‘current location’ when copied.

I did your suggestion and unchecked ‘use pak file’ and did an export again. And saw a ‘startercontent’ folder with images and such. So I made a new project without startercontent, exported it and now the size is 134MB.

The large folders are:
\WindowsNoEditor\Engine\Content\Slate\Fonts 14MB, 7 fonts
\WindowsNoEditor\Engine\Content\EngineSky 15MB, the large one is Sky_Clouds_M.uasset fair enough
\WindowsNoEditor\Engine\Content\Localization\ICU\icudt53l 7MB, lots of files

\WindowsNoEditor\Engine\Binaries\ThirdParty\PhysX\PhysX-3.3\Win32\VS2013 20MB fysics dll’s
\WindowsNoEditor\Engine\Binaries\ThirdParty\PhysX\APEX-1.3\Win32\VS2013 9MB, apex dll’s
\WindowsNoEditor\Engine\Binaries\ThirdParty\ICU\icu4c-53_1\Win32\VS2013 9MB, uci dll’s
\WindowsNoEditor\Engine\Binaries\Win32\CrashReportClient.exe 6MB

\WindowsNoEditor\MyProjectDemo3\Binaries\Win32\MyProjectDemo3.exe 24MB
\WindowsNoEditor\MyProjectDemo3\Content\Maps\Example_Map.umap 14MB

So, does that suggests that when exported, all project files are included, wether they are called/used or not?
Then I would have to find a way to get rid of unused items in a quick convenient way.

Thanks again, I’m open for any other suggestions,