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Getting Objects in Unreal Engine Editor

To get started quickly, you first need to obtain Object objects.

In the early stages of starting a Python journey, the biggest challenges are usually about how to get started.

  • How do I get an Actor in the editor?
  • How do I get a specific resource in the directory?
  • How can I view an object's properties in the command line?

The first step to solving these problems is getting objects in Unreal Engine through Python.

Get Objects from Predefined Menus

In TAPython's predefined menu, there are three menu items that allow users to quickly get objects. After selecting the corresponding object Component, Actor, or resource, click the corresponding menu. The corresponding component, Actor, or resource will be assigned to the global variable _r.

Get objects menu item of TAPython in Unreal Engine's Main bar

Then, in the Python command line, we can perform various desired operations:

Python(REPL) mode is most suitable for familiarizing yourself with objects and interfaces. You can save a lot of print statements.



GIF showing 'Using global variable _r in Python command window of Unreal Engine'

Getting Objects from Code

Get Selected Actor

In UE4:


actors = unreal.EditorLevelLibrary.get_selected_level_actors()

In UE5, due to the introduction of various SubSystems, the methods in EditorLevelLibrary have gradually been replaced by the methods in SubSystem.


actors = unreal.get_editor_subsystem(unreal.EditorActorSubsystem).get_selected_level_actors()

n various SubSystems, we need to first obtain the SubSystem instance through get_editor_subsystem, and then execute its methods.

n many cases, we should not be troubled by the differences between various methods. Therefore, you can encapsulate the changes and directly call your own functions.


import Utilities

actors = Utilities.Utils.get_selected_actors()

Get Selected Component

You can directly call the method provided by TAPyton's PythonBPLib

components = unreal.PythonBPLib.get_selected_components()


import Utilities

components = Utilities.Utils.get_selected_components()

If you want to add a Component to the selected Actor, you can use added_mesh_comp = unreal.PythonBPLib.add_component(unreal.StaticMeshComponent, target_actor, target_actor.root_component)

Get Selected Asset

Assets are similar, and you can directly call the methods in EditorUtilityLibrary

assets = unreal.EditorUtilityLibrary.get_selected_assets()

Or call your own encapsulated methods.

import Utilities
assets = Utilities.Utils.get_selected_assets()

Get Material Node

For some complex nodes, such as nodes in materials, we can also extract them, assign them to the variable "_r", and experiment in the command line, or put them in theObject Detail viewer

Menu for setting selected node to variable _r in Unreal Engine Material Editor

For more operations related to material nodes, please refer to this articlemanipulate Material

Next Step

After obtaining the objects, you can use commands like dir, help, and Python's inspect module to familiarize yourself with and view these Unreal objects in the editor.

For example, in the TAPython built-in tool Object detail viewer, the object's interfaces, properties, and corresponding results are displayed on the interface for easy viewing.

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