Epic Games officially announced “Unreal Engine 5” for a new generation of game consoles, and released a preview video and a set of renderings.
Epic Games claims that the goal of Unreal Engine 5 is to obtain photo-quality picture quality comparable to movie CG animation and real life in the game (saying this every time), but at the same time taking into account the practicality in the development process, providing efficient development Tools, content library.
This public demonstration clip is called “Lumen in the Land of Nanite”, and the official also provides a video of official technical staff commentary.
Demo running on Sony PS5, of course, will also support Microsoft Xbox Series X, and the two hosts are based on AMD RDNA 2 graphics architecture, which will naturally be of great benefit to future AMD graphics cards.
Taking this demonstration, Epic Games announced two new technologies for the new engine, one called “Nanite”, a virtual micro-polygon geometry technology that allows developers to create rich geometric details that exhaust the eyesight of the human eye. With it, movie and television-grade art works containing hundreds of millions of polygons can be directly imported into Unreal Engine.
Nanite geometry can be streamed and scaled in real time, so developers no longer need to worry about the number of polygons, the consumption of polygon memory, and the number of renderings. They don’t have to use normal maps to achieve details, or manually edit the level of detail. Picture quality will not be lost any more.
In order to use Nanite geometry technology to create giant scenes, the development team made extensive use of the Quixel MegaScans material library, which has hundreds of millions of polygonal movie-level objects.
The other is “Lumen”, a fully dynamic global illumination solution that can react to scene and lighting changes in real time, and does not require special ray tracing hardware.
It can render indirect specular reflections and diffuse reflections that can bounce infinitely in magnificent and fine scenes, from millimeters to all.
Designers can use Lumen to create more dynamic scenes, such as changing the angle of sunlight during the day, turning on a flashlight, or opening a hole in the ceiling. The system will adjust the indirect lighting according to the situation.
In the future, after the developer moves the light source in the Unreal Editor, there is no need to wait for the lightmap to be repainted or edit the lightmap UV, and the lighting effect will be exactly the same as when the game is run on the host.
In addition, the existing technologies of Unreal Engine 4 such as Chaos Physics and Destruction System, Niagara VFX, Convolution Reverb, Ambient Stereo Rendering, etc. will continue.
Unreal Engine 5 will release a preview version in early 2021 and an official version later in 2021, supporting all platforms such as PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, Mac, iOS, and Android.
It is worth mentioning that the Unreal Engine 4.25 version released a few days ago already supports Sony PS5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X.
Eipc Games is also designing a backward compatible function that supports the development of games in Unreal Engine 4 first, and then porting to Unreal Engine 5 in due course.
For example, after the official release of PS5 and Xbox Series X, the “Fortress Night” developed by Unreal Engine 4 will be logged in first, and then upgraded to Unreal Engine 5 in 2021.