Why should you bother about what’s new in Unreal Engine 5?
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The truth is that we could end this article right here. But we wouldn’t be ourselves if we wouldn’t take the time to dissect this topic further. Also, it’s a perfect time to jump on Unreal Engine 5 wagon – since the new tech will definitely affect the job market.
So without further ado… let’s check what’s waiting for you in Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5!
Nanite – Breathtaking graphics without putting in too much time
What is Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite? It’s a virtualized micropolygon geometry system. But what does that mean, you might ask. UE5 Nanite lets you create games with overwhelmingly detailed graphics without baking details to normal maps or manually author LODs (Level of Detail).
You can import film-quality assets composed of millions of polygons. ZBrush sculpts, photogrammetry scans? You name it. Take them and place them millions of times while keeping a real-time frame rate. Without any noticeable loss of fidelity.
UE5 allows creating sharper images with a quality of true native 4K at the cost of 1080p. All thanks to the Temporal Super-Resolution – an anti-aliasing solution.
I don’t know, guys – but achieving this level of quality without putting in tons of work seems to be a win for us 😉
Lumen – and let there be light
Okay, we have graphics so detailed that it hurts. But it’s hard to build believable worlds without proper lightning. So our wonderful friends from Epic Games thought of that as well.
Unreal Engine 5’s Lumen is the second most important feature in UE5. It’s a dynamic global illumination solution. It’ll help you breathe some life into your new game (imagine what it can do to the photorealistic ones).
Do you want to change the sun’s angle to represent a specific time of the day? Or maybe you need to apply some direct lightning? Like turning on a flashlight? Lumen is your go-to tool. According to the showcase, you won’t need to author lightmap UVs, don’t need to wait for lightmaps to bake. Just create, edit lights inside the editor and enjoy looking at the final lightning as it would run on the console.
It’s a software raytracer that adapts to all objects on the screen in real-time. It seems that it’s quite different from the hardware Ray Tracing, like in Nvidia’s RTX GPUs. For now, it’s hard to determine which solution is better or if we need to combine them for the best results. But we know for sure that game developers such as yourself will figure it out.
Unreal Engine’s 5 Lumen is supposed to work great paired up with the Nanite. This is your perfect mix if you’re looking for creating scenes that would blow people away (metaphorically ofc).
Open Worlds – painless (at least to the certain point) and efficient world building
Building a living Open World is often viewed as a big pain-you-know-where. Unreal Engine 5 introduces a system that will support an agile workflow on your meticulously crafted levels. UE 5’s World Partition system divides your world into a grid and streams only the necessary cells.
What does that mean? With World Partition collaboration is smoother and more efficient. All changes are tracked at the actor level (not the map level). That means that your team can simultaneously work on the same region of the same world without the painful merge conflicts.
Time is of the essence, but we can’t forget about the performance. UE5’s World Partition loads only specific cells in a user-defined radius. The system streams new cells when you move. Their lower resolution versions replace the other cells. You can easily define and configure the loading radius and the cell size.
Epic Games also introduces Data Layers Feature. It’s a system that allows developers to build different variations of the same environment. Imagine that the art team works on a basic variation, and with Data Layers, you can easily create a “spiritual, dark theme” of the same level.
Time-saving as its finest.
Mega assemblies – come on, let’s build a world together
To all those who thought it would be impossible to make an entire world out of the Epic Games’ Megascans. Well… of course, Unreal Engine 5 offers a solution.
Mega Assemblies are preassembled combined Megascans assets. Artists can easily access the collection of large, ready-to-use huge geographical features. They’re just waiting to be put on the scene. 😉
Animation – as fluid as you can get
While we’re saving time, we can’t miss the tools that will aid animators in their work. Unreal Engine 5 presents the Control Rig that’ll help them swiftly create rigs and share them across various characters.
How does it work?
Pose the character in the Sequencer.
Use the Pose Browser.
Save and apply poses as assets. Done.
Is that all? Of course not.
UE5 also has features that will help you create more fluid, natural movement. Full Body IK dynamically allows adjusting the animation of the character to the surface of the ground. Epic Games claims that this solution speeds up the process 10x.
There is also Animation Motion Warping. This clever tool manipulates root motion animations and dynamically adapts them to the world, and it’s objects.
Any Sound Designer out there? Unreal Engine 5 has something for you as well. How about having more flexibility and control over building unforgettable audio experiences?
Meta Sounds is a high-performance system that gives you complete control over audio DSP graph generation of sources. It allows you to manage all elements of audio rendering. Imagine all the freedom and options from the Material Editor (and what it brings into shaders) translated into creating a customizable sound-building pipeline.
Enhanced Editor UI & workflow – efficiency, efficiency, efficiency
Unreal Engine 5’s theme seems to be more quality paired with an efficient workflow, if you didn’t notice. Changes in the UE5’s UI show that perfectly. Designers were working on creating the workflow as fluid as it can be. Want to drag and drop Megascans content directly into your project? Without switching apps or downloading and exporting assets?
They have Quixel Bridge on board.
Open the bridge panel. Pick your Megascan asset. Click on it. And here it is. On your scene. Bam!
Check out the newest Unreal Engine technology right now!
So what are you waiting for? Download Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 available in Early Access and get your hands on the Valley of the Ancient sample project. Learn what the newest engine has to offer and get the edge in the game industry job market.
The full release of the UE5 is planned for early 2022. Epic Games claims that game developers can hope for many improvements.
We can’t wait to see what you can do with all these features!
Let us know how you find the UE5’s early access version so far!