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Overview

The Asset Browser provides an overview of your project's content. You can browse your project in its entirety, search for particular assets, as well as importing new assets via FBX. Note: That in the future all the asset management functionality will be added to the Asset Browser.

In short, the entire workflow will eventually revolve around the Asset Browser, and the regular file explorer should no longer be necessary when working on a CRYENGINE project. In fact, the goal of this feature is for users of CRYENGINE to ignore what lies on the disk completely and only interact with their project through the Editor. This gives us the freedom of changing how things appear on disk without changing anything in the user experience.

For more information about the system that's behind the Asset Browser, click here.

Engine assets have been separated from the project's assets and will appear in their own folder in the Asset Browser:

Everything under the Engine folder are Engine assets. 

In this case, everything under GameZero consists of the project's assets.

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There may be a folder in your Project Assets folder called engineassets (this is due to the way that assets were previously handled). The engineassets folder will only contain temporary files that are now correctly written to the Engine location. Hence, if you don't have any valuable data (that you made yourself) inside the engineassets folder (by the way there should not be any), then it is safe to delete the folder.

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For Programmers: Engine assets can be addressed by using the %ENGINE% prefix to file paths. ICryPak will take care of resolving the paths to the correct location. Note: That from now on every hardcoded reference to Engine assets need to use this prefix. For backward compatibility reasons, paths with no prefix will still work as crypak will default to Engine location if there is no file in the project's asset directory that matches the path.


Opening the Asset Browser

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Before using the Asset Browser on an existing project, you'll need to generate *.cryasset files - this will enable you to see your assets in the Asset Browser.

See here how to do this.


The Asset Browser can be opened in two ways:

  • by going to Tools -> Asset Browser
  • by pressing F2. This toggles the Quick Asset Browser, letting you quickly open and close it whenever you need it. As the future workflow within CRYENGINE will extensively use the Asset Browser we recommend that F2 is used to open the Asset Browser.

1. Menu Bar

File

Option
Description
New
  • Level - creates a new level in the current folder. Only works if you're in the Levels folder.
  • Particles - creates a new particle effect asset.
  • Schematyc Entity - creates a new Schematyc entity.
  • Schematyc Library - creates a new Schematyc library.
ImportImport assets. This will automatically open the relevant importer tool for the selected asset.

Edit

Option
Description
Generate All Thumbnails

Generates thumbnails for all the assets in your project. This will need to be done for projects that were created before CRYENGINE 5.4.

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Thumbnail files need to be committed to source control.

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It will take more than 5 minutes to generate thumbnails for a relatively small game project such as GameSDK. Typically, you only need to do it once to create an initial set of thumbnails as part of an upgrade to the new asset system. After that thumbnails will be updated incrementally on import.

Generate/Repair All Metadata

Generates *.cryasset files for an existing project.

See Asset System "Generating Metadata" for more details.

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This option does not work for assets located in *.pak files.


View

Option
Description
DetailsShows details for the assets in the Search Results pane.
ThumbnailsShows thumbnails instead of details in the Search Results pane. 
Split HorizontallyShows both details and thumbnails for the assets in the Search Results pane, showing details on the left and thumbnails on the right.

NOTE: Selecting an asset in the details pane will also select it in the thumbnail pane and vice versa. 
Split VerticallyShows both details and thumbnails for the assets in the Search Results pane, showing details at the top and thumbnails at the bottom.

NOTE: Selecting an asset in the details pane will also select it in the thumbnail pane and vice versa. 
Show Folder TreeShows/hides the Folder Tree pane.
Recursive ViewActivates/deactivates Recursive View in the Search Results pane. This means that all assets in the selected folder in the Folder Tree AND its subfolders are shown in the Search Results pane instead of just the ones in the selected folder.
Recursive SearchTurns the search in the Search Assets bar into a recursive search; the results from the search in the Search Assets bar will show all the results in the selected folder and its subfolders.

 

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When Recursive View and/or Recursive Search are active you can also select multiple folders. The Search Results will then show the assets in those folders.

2. Navigation Bar

Lets you go to the previous/next folder that you selected and shows you the path of the currently selected folder.

3. Folder View

Shows the folders within your project and lets you navigate through them. The Search Folders bar lets you type in part of a folder name that brings up a list of folders that correspond to the search criteria used.

Right Click Menu

Right clicking anywhere in this pane will let you add a new folder.

4. Search Results

This is where the assets and results of your searches and filters are displayed. 

Right Click Menu

Right clicking on the headers in this pane (Name, Type, etc) will let you add new columns with other information (which can also be filtered).

Right clicking in the Search Results pane will let you add folders and Levels, Particles, Schematyc Entities and Schematyc Libraries.

Size Slider

When in thumbnail view, this window has a slider in the bottom right-hand corner which changes the size of the thumbnails. This can also be changed by holding Ctrl and using the Mouse Wheel.

Functionality

Within the Asset Browser, you can do the following:

Favorites

You can add individual assets to your Favorites list by clicking the open star in the Search Results pane:

The icon will change into a filled in star and the assets will be added to your Favorites list. This list can be accessed by clicking the star button in front of the Search Assets bar:

 

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The Favorites list will only show your favorite assets in the selected folder in the Folder View on the left and its sub-folders.

Smart Search Bar & Advanced Search Bar

Smart Search Bar

The Search bar at the top of the Search Results is capable of searching for much more than just the name of an object or asset. It will search in all the columns that can be displayed in the Search Results below, so for example, if you want to search for textures with "leaf" in their names, you could simply type in "leaf texture" and it will only show these textures.

 

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In future releases more columns will be added to the Search Results, this will allow you to make much more complex queries.

Advanced Search Bar

The Search Assets bar at the top is a Smart Search bar and the filters are part of the Advanced Search Bar. More information about these can be found here.

Create Objects in Level

If an asset is an object or mesh, it is possible to drag it from the Asset Browser and drop it directly into the main Viewport. 


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In terms of placing objects, then this will eventually replace the Create Objects tool.

Importing Assets

File -> Import will open a dialog (see image in tip under this header).

Dragging & dropping into the Asset Browser will try to create all possible asset types by default. Holding Ctrl while dragging & dropping will also open the dialog.

Assets will be imported with default settings, which can be changed later in the relevant Asset Editor.

The following source file types and asset types are supported:

File/Asset TypeProduces
*.fbx

Static mesh (*.cgf), Skinned mesh (*.skin), Skeleton (*.chr), Skeletal animation (*.caf), Material (*.mtl) and Character definition (cdf).

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The Material (*.mtl) and Character definition (cdf) do not reference the *.fbx file as source.


*.bmp, *.bmp2, *.bmp3, *.icb, *.ico, *.icon, *. j2c, *.j2k, *.jbg, *.jbig, *.jng, *.jp2, *.jpc, *.jpe, *.jpeg *.jpg, *.jpm, *.jps, *.jpt, *.pjpeg, *.png, *.png00, *.png24 *.png32, *.png64, *.png8, *.ppm, *.psd, *.ptif, *.svg, *.svgz, *.tga, *.tiff, *.tiff64, *.tif

Texture (dds)

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The texture import uses the third-party tool "ImageMagick" which is shipped with the Engine. It is located in Tools/thirdparty/ImageMagick. If texture importing fails, please verify that this directory exists.

Either click File -> Import or drag & drop the asset into your preferred folder in the Asset Browser and the appropriate Importer tool will open.

When using File -> Import, the following dialog will open, letting you choose which parts of the asset(s) you want to import:

When dragging & dropping, all of these will be imported by default.

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It is possible to call up this dialog when dragging & dropping; simply hold Ctrl while doing this and when you drop the asset into a folder the dialog will appear.

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You can import multiple assets at a time by holding Shift or Ctrl and selecting more than one file.

Deleting Assets

You can right-click an asset in the Asset Browser and choose Delete. If other assets have dependencies on the asset you're trying to delete, a warning will appear.

Renaming Assets

You can right-click an asset in the Asset Browser and choose Rename. If other assets have dependencies on the asset you're trying to rename, a warning will appear.

Moving Assets

To move assets to another folder, select the asset(s) you want to move and then drag & drop it into the target folder.

If other assets have dependencies on the asset you're trying to move, a warning will appear.

Live Update for Asset Resource Selectors

An asset resource selector (the folder button in the Properties tool) will spawn an Asset Browser dialog. With this change, any selection made in the browser dialog will make an immediate change in the Viewport. The change is applied by double clicking an asset in the browser, or simply pressing OK as shown below:

Dependency Tracking

The Dependency Graph allows you to explore asset dependency. It shows asset dependencies as a graph, and where the graph shows the assets on which the selected asset depends. It does not indicate whether the selected asset is being used or not.

 Use Tools -> Dependency Graph menu to open a new instance of the tool.

The Dependency Graph shows unresolved dependencies in red:

 

The tools also accessible from the console, for example the following command:
asset.show_dependency_graph objects/stones/Stone_Small_C.cgf.cryasset 
will open a new instance of the tool for the asset. 

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For the moment Xml and Script asset types are not tracked properly.

The menus are as follows:

File

OptionDescription
OpenLets you open the graph for an asset.
Recent FilesShows a list of assets you have opened recently.

Window

Option
Description
Add PaneLets you add the panes if you have closed them before.
Reset layoutResets the layout, opening any closed panes where they were when first starting the Dependency Graph.
GraphShows the Dependency Graph.

 

Future Functionality

Examples of functionality that will be added to the Asset Browser in the future: 

  • Create assets of any type
  • Edit assets of any type
  • Source control integration 

CVars

 

CVarValuesDescription

ed_enableAssetPickers

0 - Off

1 -On

When clicking the Browse button in Asset Pickers, it will open an Asset Browser window instead of the default Open File window - this lets you pick assets instead of separate files.