If you’ve been online at all in the past few months, it’s impossible to have avoided the hype surrounding the release of Epic Games’ New engine: Unreal Engine 5. But what makes this engine so special, and why are people outside of the gaming industry becoming so interested in the software?
Let’s dive in to some of Unreal Engine 5’s most exciting new technologies:
As people in film and animation have known for years – when you’re trying to mimic reality, you must pay attention to light. Light is what makes a viewer aware of an object’s size, proportions, texture, and movement. Without light, there is nothing. When filming or photographing an object, illumination can come from a variety of natural and synthetic sources.
When you’re creating a virtual world, however, you must create the light itself. Until now, game developers used light maps to create shadows and most lighting was ‘baked’ or pre-coded into the game’s assets. Only certain objects could move dynamically and have light affect them in realistic ways.
Lumen, one of the most exciting features Unreal Engine 5 has on offer, changes that completely, offering a dynamic lighting system that means all the assets in a space are affected by light in real time. This is a huge step forward in creating virtual environments.
Even if you have such a dynamic lighting system, a straightforward, high-fidelity approach will allow only users with top-end systems to create games and animations in Unreal Engine 5. Nanite is a technology that renders only what is visible to the player/camera.
It accomplishes this by breaking down more distant objects into less-complex shapes while rendering closer details in high fidelity. Every object you see in a game is made up of polygons, so having an engine decide what’s important for the viewer to see makes creating a realistic environment even more possible
Meta Humans is an app that can link directly to Unreal Engine 5 that allows creators to quickly create and render a variety of pre-rigged virtual humans. Let’s break down what that means.
Companies like 3Lateral and Cubic Motion have created a massive database of 3D countless people: their faces, movement, and bodies. Now Meta Humans, a project spearheaded by Epic Games and incorporated into Unreal Engine allows developers to access a range of ultra-realistic movements, expressions, and textures, working from a series of stock models that have been created with the purpose of being easily-animatable.
Quixel Bridge/ Quixel Megascans
In a similar vein, Quixel Megascans is a team of researchers and activists who have spent years creating a massive library of ultra-realistic assets based on scans of real-world objects (first seen in the hit series The Mandalorian). Thanks to Nanite technology, these film-ready assets can be easily brought across into Unreal Engine 5 using Quixel Bridge.
These tools serve as just a few examples of how the highly integrated Unreal 5 engine is truly blurring the lines between reality and the digital world. In a space where Grand Rush online casino and other sites vie for attention, the future of all kinds of gaming looks great.