One of the most powerful things about the Leap Motion platform is its ability to tie into just about any creative platform. That’s why we’ve launched a Platform Integrations & Libraries showcase where you can discover the latest wrappers, plugins, and integrations.

With the rising popularity of PC gaming and VR, there’s never been a better time to start building with one of the world’s most powerful game engines. Today on the blog, we’re spotlighting getnamo’s community Leap Motion plugin for Unreal Engine 4, which offers some unique capabilities alongside the official plugin.

GET THE PLUGIN

Featuring passthrough capability, new collision assets, and out-of-the-box Oculus Rift VR/AR support, getnamo’s plugin exposes the entire Leap Motion API to Unreal’s Blueprint system. Oculus Rift VR/AR support is easily accessible, as the plugin handles all the necessary transforms. Your demo can even detect when an Oculus Rift is active and the demo is fullscreen, which triggers VR mode.

Earlier today, getnamo released a new collision demo and tutorial that shows how you can start rapidly building your own games for desktop and VR. But first, here are some of the features you can unpack with the plugin:

Plugin Features

Rigged Character

HWVaeid

Getnamo’s plugin gives you access to a simple full-body rigged character, complete with rigged hand assets.

Collisions

unofficial-ue4-collisionWith getnamo’s most recent release, collisions are now a one-click feature. Using the LeapCollisionCharacter, you can fully modify exactly how the character mesh collides with the world around it. From there, your hands will be able to interact directly with movable actors.

Switching Between VR/AR

unofficial-ue4-passthroughMuch like the Quick Switch gesture for Unity, this experimental approach lets you rapidly toggle between the real and virtual worlds. The default gesture is to pinch, then swipe up or down, but this can be customized. This feature is fully documented with a guide on the Unreal forums.

Getting Started: A Quick Tutorial

On our Developer Gallery, you can find an example project for a simple Jenga-style game. In the videos below, getnamo walks you through the creation of the project, so you’ll be building in no time.

Part 1: Setup and Collision

In this video, you’ll learn about drag and drop installation, selecting a Leap Motion character, and hitting Play to see the interactive hands.

You’ll also learn about building Jenga-style stacks and pushing them around with the Leap Collision Character.

Part 2: Picking Up and Dropping Objects

Dig into the second video and learn to extend functionality with input mapping in order to pick up and drop blocks:

Part 3: Raytracing and Telekinesis

This is the video where it gets really cool. Learn how to do raytracing in UE4, and enable your telekinetic powers to pickup blocks from the ground and place them back on top of the stack!

 

When you’ve finished, you can compare your results to the final project zip, or use it as a reference.

What’s Next?

The community Leap Motion plugin is just one of getnamo’s plugin projects, as he hopes to build a framework where a mixture of different inputs can play well together “One of the reasons I keep developing for Leap Motion is as a template for a more general abstraction of the hardware from rigged collisions. This is something that I want to do down the line, so that the hardware is very loosely bound to the actual character.

“With this, it would be easy to drive the character from a mix of different inputs. The developer will have a skeleton that comes downstream from the input, and they don’t have to worry about the source.”

Getnamo’s plugin is fully documented, with setup guides and feature updates on the Unreal forums, Leap Motion forums, and his GitHub page.

Breaking into Unreal development for the first time? Be sure to check out Epic’s extensive video tutorial series on YouTube. Divided into short segments, it breaks down everything you need to know about the inner workings of the engine and how to use its visual scripting language.

Alex is the head writer and blog editor at Leap Motion, where he stands as the final bulwark against bad grammar. Want to share your Leap Motion project? Email acolgan@leapmotion.com or PM leapmotion_alex on Reddit.

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