New to UE4, Few General Questions Regarding UE4 Capabilities

Hi there,

I’m a CS graduate student mainly working on physically-based rendering methods, I am also bold enough to claim a relatively high level of proficiency in both C and C++. I have a number of questions as I’m considering switching the implementation of a project from Qt/OpenGL to UE4. Your help is truly appreciated :slight_smile:

I’m working on a project for our graphics lab, I won’t go into details about the project, but we have decided on working with C++ for implementation, OpenGL for visualization, and Qt for GUI, but now that UE4 is free, I was thinking if the engine can help us avoiding direct interaction with OpenGL and Qt, which I must admit is a diversion from the project’s main goals and at the end won’t end up looking attractive for all that trouble. I must add I’m fairly comfortable working with OpenGL but don’t know anything about Qt and will have to learn it from scratch.

Now with the above background, I was wondering if in general UE4 can be used to implement a full-screen UI with drop-down menus, progress bar, buttons, check-box, radio button, vertical/horizontal sliders, and alike; I would also like to know if having a working C++ implementation of an algorithm, we can use UE4 to visualize the algorithm as it is working, let’s say there is a scene and the algorithm performs some measurements and calculations on the scene objects, we would like to display the algorithm’s interactions with these objects while display the intermediate results on a menu.

I’m sure the above can be done using UE4, I can think of this as a game, the algorithm’s interaction with the scene as the game-play, UI and user input are also similar to what one would have in a game.

But I guess my main concern is that how easy it is to integrate a working C++ piece of code with the engine, think of it as implementing the game-play in C++. Knowing that following the original plan we will have to learn Qt from scratch and it will take some time (while being a diversion from project’s main goals), I’m guessing learning UE4 should be easier and more rewarding. Any thoughts on this?

It definitely is. If you create a new UI blueprint (rightclick the asset browser window and go down to UI) you can add drop down menus, radio buttons, etc. As an undergrad CS student taking an OpenGL class that’s completely excruciating in the amount of code happen for something simple, using Unreal or Unity is so much easier. You can use OpenGL to render or DirectX if you choose. It is also easy to distribute to multiple platforms and will automatically adjust for whatever GPU/APU you’re using instead of having to account for bugs in your hand written/compile engine.

Hey thanks for your reply :slight_smile: really good to know. I’m planning to start in a couple of days with tutorials on youtube… fingers crossed!

I will agree for a very large portion with ndlanier.

Unreal can pretty much remove QT and replace it with really easy functions presented by UMG or you can write your own implementations with a few UI draw calls.

Regarding to physically based rendering. I’m sure you know Unreal comes with quite a few solutions already which is nice already. It’s source open so you can just go in there implement your own algorithm and just make it available via the normal drop down box in editor! You can expose the traces and what no so you can display them or collect data about it.

In general. Yea. UE is probably a good choice for tests like this. If this is a single semester project keep in mind that getting to know Unreal will cost quite some time and greatly limit the time you can work on your actual project. QT will probably be easier and faster to learn but once you do learn it UE as tool is far more powerful so for longer projects or maybe follow ups or something like that it’s definitely a great choice!