UnrealEd terminology


It's important to know a few UnrealEd terms that will be used a lot on this site.

Brush: A 2D or 3D shape that helps define the geometry of a level. By "geometry", I mean things like the walls, hallways, stairs, and doors of a map. Basically, anything you can run into or climb on, but can't move, talk to, or pick up. The exception is the selection brush, which is not part of a map. In UnrealEd, each of the brush types shows up as a different color. This illustration at Wolf's Unreal shows what they all are; there are six types.

Selection Brush: Also known as the Builder Brush. This is used to define a 2D or 3D area of your map that will become a brush when you press one of the brush buttons, such as Subtract Brush From World or Add Movable Brush. It's kind of like a 3D cursor. Sort of. It can be any shape - even a 2D sheet. There are a number of buttons that will change it's shape, such as a sphere or a staircase, but you'll use the cube shape a lot. The selection brush shows up red in UnrealEd.

Addition Brush: Adds solid geometry to the map. Since you start out with an infinitely solid mass when you start a new map, you won't use this until you've subtracted something first. So you might use a subtraction brush to make a room, then add some stairs with an addition brush. These types of brushes show up blue.

Subtraction Brush: Removes geometry from the map. It's the one you'll use to make rooms, hallways, window openings, and doorways. It shows up yellow.

Mover Brush: Also known as a movable brush or moving brush. This one is used to make doors, windows, breakable walls, and all sorts of "moving" things. It can have up to 8 key frames to define different positions. These are purple.

Semi-Solid Brush: A special type of brush that we won't go into detail here. They show up pink. (this says "pink" in case you couldn't read it!) This is one type of brush that can be created with the Add Special Brush button.

Non-Solid Brush: Another special type of brush added with the Add Special Brush button. Water surfaces and zone portals are two examples. These appear as green brushes.

The 3D view: The window that is by default in the lower left corner of the screen is the 3D view.

The 2D views: The other three windows are the 2D views.

Texture: In UnrealEd, textures are nothing more than bitmaps. The most common use is to assign them to surfaces in your map.

Surface: When in the 3D view, you can left-click on a surface and it will be highlighted. You can then select a texture from the browser or right-click on it to change properties or alignment.

Mesh: A 3D model. You can change which mesh a particular item will use, but usually you don't. Fancier levels will include custom meshes so that completely new items and characters can be added to the game. The Deus Ex developers created their meshes by using a combination of software: Lightwave (for modeling) and UView (for texturing). The combined retail cost of these would be about $3000. If you happen to have both of these (or $3000 burning a hole in your pocket), you can use a utility included in the Deus Ex SDK to import your own models (meshes) into UnrealEd.

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