NOTE: This integration requires an ftrack subscription. You can start it from ftrack Connect.

ftrack Studio’s integration with Unreal Technologies’ cross-platform game engine, Unreal, makes real-time productions easier to track, manage, and deliver than ever before.

This integration enables users to import assets published from other applications and builds, and to run collaborative review sessions on scenes from a native-looking ftrack interface, all within the Unreal application itself.

The ftrack Studio integration with Unreal is suitable for:

  1. VFX studios using game engines for pre-vis, with a connection to a traditional offline rendering pipeline.
  2. AAA animation studios with end-to-end or partial real-time pipelines for episodic or feature content.
  3. Game studios or hybrid game/linear studios making cinematic content for game production.
  4. Live Productions, e.g., TV content, eSports, direct to YouTube.
  5. Virtual Productions, final pixels in-game – mixing live plates with CG elements in-game in real-time.

Requirements

  • Python >= 2.7.9 for 64bit for Windows
  • Git for Windows
  • Unreal version >= 4.22
  • Centralized location setup

What you’ll learn

  • How to launch the integration
  • How to install the ftrack package in the project
  • Widgets overview
  • Importing assets
  • Versioning assets
  • Publishing assets

Installing the integration

The ftrack Connect Unreal Engine is a standard ftrack Connect integration plugin. You can find it as source code in our repository, or directly via the ftrack website. You can install the integration from these locations.

For more in-depth information and troubleshooting on installation, check the repository documentation.

Launching the integration

When the integration is installed and a task context is selected, the new entry in ftrack Connect will show. You can select the task context directly from the web interface, or from the ftrack Connect context browser.

Click on the Unreal icon to launch the Unreal Project Browser. From here, you can create or select the project you wish to work on.

Note: New projects should be of C++ type.


Installing the Unreal plugin in the project

Once the project starts up, open: Edit -> plugin
Search for: ftrack plugin, and install it.

Widgets overview

Info widget

Modify and update the current task information.

Import Asset widget

Navigate published assets and version details/thumbnails, and select one to import.

Depending on the asset type selected, various options will be available in the Import widget:

Geometry:

  • Import materials: import materials along with geometry

Rig:

  • Choose Skeleton: define skeleton type to import into
  • Create Physical Asset: generate physical asset for dynamics
  • Import materials: Import the materials along with rig

Animation:

  • Choose Skeleton: define skeleton type to import into
  • Use Custom Animation Range: set custom range for animation
  • Range accepts: set the minimum and maximum frame range

Image Sequence:

  • Override Existing Asset: choose whether to override a potential pre-existing asset package

Publish widget

Publish your result assets back to the ftrack server. This includes the rendered image sequences, the reviewable, and the Unreal asset package.

Using the Publish dialog, artists can publish back to ftrack and generate frame sequences and QuickTime clips for use in review.

Please note: The A Level sequence must be properly configured to correctly publish image sequences and reviewable. More information is available in the Publish section of this documentation.

Asset Manager widget

The Asset Manager provides artists with an overview of imported assets and their versions. With the Asset Manager, artists can easily see if assets/versions have been updated and swap versions if necessary.

When starting up from a new scene, the Asset Manager will appear empty. To populate it, import one or more assets.

Importing assets

The ftrack Connect Unreal Engine integration provides a set of default asset types to import and publish.

On the import side, we provide:

  • Geometry
  • Animation
  • Rig
  • Image Sequence

Import-supported file formats:

  • FBX
  • Alembic
  • Unreal Asset Package

The interface provides a simple way to browse the context from which the assets are imported:

You can also select the component you wish to import and provide accessory information about the asset itself, such as comments and an attached thumbnail:

When import is triggered, a loading bar will appear to notify you of import progress:

Imported assets are automatically organized in a folder structure matching that of the ftrack server from which the asset is imported. You can find the imported asset in the Unreal Content Browser window:

You can drag and drop the asset from the Unreal Content browser into the current scene.

Versioning assets

Once an asset is imported, it will appear in the Asset Manager widget.

Using the Asset Manager widget, you can change the imported version to make sure that you’re using the correct version in your current scene:

If an asset version changes, a progress bar and a confirmation dialog will notify you of import progress:

Publishing assets

Before publishing, it is important to correctly set up a Sequence Level Sequence.

You can now publish an image_sequence asset via the Publish widget.

Via this asset, you can publish an image sequence for offline renders, a reviewable output, and a package, which will retain the current state of your scene.

Please note: It is important to save the scene you are working on before publishing. If you don’t, the publish process will be unsuccessful.

Only the resulting image sequence will publish as default. You can also publish the reviewable and the current scene using the option checkboxes.

When ready, click Publish. A progress bar in the widget will appear to notify you of publish progress.

Once published, you can check the result components via the server:

If you look at the links tab, you’ll be able to see the tracked asset present in the package:

If you included the reviewable in the publish, the Play button will become active and allow you to review your published asset.

If you have included the package in the publish, you can re-import it in Unreal via the Import widget. This will restore the scene to its status at publish time.

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