Legacy:UnrealEd Viewport

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The viewports are the main part of the UnrealEd interface: they show different views the map that is currently loaded.

Scrolling and selecting and moving objects in the viewports may seem a little odd ad first if you are used to apps such as Photoshop, Freehand, PageMaker etc. For some reason UnrealEd doesn't use any of the conventions of GUIs: for example, select more than one thing with CTRL+click, not SHIFT+click. See mouse control for more on this.


By default, each viewport is a fixed section of the workspace, but it is also possible to have them as floating windows. Commands for changing configuration are in UnrealEd Main Menu -> View -> Viewports.

In UnrealEd's default configuration the workspace is split into four viewports:

  • three show orthogonal views of the map: a two-dimensional view like an architect's drawing. By default, all three possible views are shown:
    • top
    • front
    • side – this is from the left-hand side of the map, the negative x-axis.
  • one shows a 3D view, similar to what a player would see within the game.
Bug: Sometimes UnrealEd opens with no viewports visible, just white space. To correct this, do UnrealEd Main Menu -> View -> Viewports -> Configure... and select any option.
If the options do not show up, don't panic. :) Just simply press [ALT]. This should make the selection box appear.

Any single viewport can be maximized to fill the whole workspace: click the maximise icon at the right of the Console Bar.


Each viewport has a small bar on top that controls what is displayed in the viewport. The icons here control what you see in that viewport; they are explained below.

The top bar of any viewport has its own context menu which is accessed by right-clicking the title bar. Some of the most useful settings are:

  • Actors -> Radii View – shows the collision cylinder of selected actors
  • Actors -> Hide Actors – shows only brushes
  • View -> Show Active Brush – toggle visibility of the red builder brush
  • View -> Show Moving Brushes – toggle visibility of Mover brushes.

There are a nuber of keyboard shortcuts that toggle what is visible in the viewport.

See Viewport Caption Context Menu for full listing of menu and keyboard items.

Viewport Bar Icons

Viewport Title Bar

1. Realtime Preview

Clicking on the joystick icon will make the viewport live-updated, which will slow down the editor, but allows you to view the level better: effects such as ambient sounds, animated textures, and antiportal occlusion will be visible in a 3D viewport. See realtime preview for more.

2. Top View

Clicking this will turn this viewport into a 2D (schematics) view, viewed from above (Top).

3. Front View

Clicking this will turn this viewport into a 2D (schematics) view, viewed from Front .

4. Side View

Clicking this will turn this viewport into a 2D (schematics) view, viewed from Side.

5. Wireframe

Switches the viewport to a 3D wireframe view, showing brushes but not polygons.

The color of the wireframe indicates the type of brush you are looking at:

Red: The Red Builder Brush

Blue: Additive Brush (i.e. a solid object)

Yellow: Subtracive brush (i.e. an empty space you made)

Green: Non-solid brush (i.e. zone portal, some sky box objects)

Purple: Mover brush (Same as an additive brush, but it can move)

Other actors (like triggers, pathnodes, etc.) will display normally in this mode, except for meshes, which will display as a wireframe.

6. Texture Usage

A 3D view that shows each particular texture as a solid colour, so you can easily see how many different textures are visible in an area.

7. BSP cut

Not terribly useful. It's easier to see BSP cuts in Zone/Portal view.

8. Textured

Shows polygons with textures applied but no lighting.

9. Light

Shows surfaces pure untextured white, with lighting applied. Only works in Unreal Ed 3 (see Unreal Engine versions)

10. Dynamic Light

Shows polygons with lighting applied. This will look exactly the same as #8 unless the map's lighting has been built (see build).

11. Zone / Portal

Shows the polygons as uniform colour, one for each zone.

12. Complexity Mode

Complex places look more red: there's red where there are more static meshes.

AlphaOne: The "rmode 8" (complexity depth view) does not work in UT2003. All I see is red screen. Is this a bug? Can I do anything about it?

Tarquin: I think that's what I get too. But many maps do show as just read, which means low complexity. Does the same view of the same map look different in UEd's complexity view?

Highlander: How ive understood how that view works is this: green = 1 pass of video card the more passes the redder it gets. Now i have a geforce 2 MX and it shows as all red i take this to mean that my video card does several passes over everything (understandable considering the general crappyness of my video card) so is this video card dependant??

AlphaOne: I tried this option on the new Deck-16, which is very complex, and on a custom made map with about 1000 polys. It all looks red. Although this mode perfectly works in UED. I don't think it's becuase of the video card (I have GF2 Ultra). Should we report this to Epic????

MadNad: The depth complexity works just fine in UED for UT2003, not ingame though

13. Lock to Selected Actor

Enabling this button snaps the camera to the exact location of the next object you click on. The camera and the object are now locked as one. You can navigate the camera to a new location and click the Lock button a second time to release. Useful for relocating characters in complex scenes.

14. Show Large Vertices

Quite simply this makes the points or "vertices" in your geometry appear larger, making them easier to locate(or see at 4 am). Useful for aligning static meshes.

Related Topics


Tarquin: What do people call the 2D viewports? I've seen so far:

  • 2D viewport
  • orthogonal viewport
  • schematics viewport

I've been using "orthogonal", but what does everyone else think?

Sobiwan: Since this site is aimed at newbies, I suspect 2D viewport is a simple, straight to the point way of describing it. Orthogonal is a fancy word for advanced 3D users.

Wormbo: I'd also go for "2D viewports" or "top view", "front view" and "side view" when talking about individual 2D viewports.