Chris Lawrence 26 May 2021

Unreal Engine 5 Early Access Release

We take a little look at some of the new exciting powerful features that come with the Unreal Engine 5 release, which is also open for early access!

Games Unreal Engine

The latest version of the game engine has been designed to empower artists and game developers with "next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility than ever before". The release of early access will provide users with their first chance to get their creative hands on the new innovative tools for all next-gen productions.

The early access for Unreal Engine 5 can be accessed here: https://www.unrealengine.com/unreal-engine-5

Senior Technical Designer, Chance Ivey and Galen Davis, Producer/Evangelist for Quixel at Epic Games talk us through the new development workflows and tools that come with the early access. The incredible "Valley of the Ancient" sample project produced in last years demo, has also been made accessible to Unreal Engine 5 users, which can be found at the above link.

Below are the highlights from the announcement made today, looking at some of the new features that have been demoed.

01:18New UI

A clean and practical looking new UI optimises the users workflow, while houses the same great tools that we have seen in Unreal Engine 4.

01:51Nanite

The virtualized micropolygon geometry system lets artists forget about the amount of triangle optimisation needed when creating assets for game engines.

02:49Temporal Super Resolution

This new system handles all the new geometry detail which keeps all image resolution sharp and detailed.

03:04Lumen

Fully dynamic real-time illumination system which immediately reacts to your scene.

03:43Sky Atmosphere System

Quickly simulate different times of the day and changing atmospherics, volumetric clouds and fog.

04:05Quixel Bridge

Has been made free and this has been natively integrated into Unreal Engine, making your workflow even faster.

04:54Mega Assemblies

A new asset type to MegaScans, which combines existing groups of assets from the MeagScans library into one.

05:28World Partition

This features allows teams to work on smaller areas of a map, allow artists to work on section of the maps they need to save on edit time resources.

06:17One File Per Actor

This feature improves the way in which multiple artists work on light, scene set-dressing and reworking the landscape in a single project.

07:23Data Layers

Part of World Partitions, data layers allow you to categories map assets and you can enable and disable these layers to create different layered environments. Assets can easily be switched out during runtime.

08:02Full Body IK Solver

This feature ensures that your animations will correct based on your environment that they interactive with.

08:27Game Feature Plugins

This new feature has been added to allow users to ship content in a more modular way.

09:16Animation Motion Warping

This feature manipulate route motion animations to the digital world. Basically, a user will be able to use the same jump animation and modify blueprints to enable the animation to work with other dimensioned sized assets.

10:13Control Rig

This in-built rig editor allows users to edit rigs along side Sequencer, a linear cinematic animation tool. This means reducing the amount of time jumping back into your animation software.

11:23Full Body IK + Control Rig

This section combines two of the above tools to allow for cleaner and more realistic of tracking animations.

12:20Metasounds

A complete revamp of the current audio system, which brings the power and flexibility which is currently found in the material editor.

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