Unreal Engine 5 Is Now Available In Early Access [VIDEO]

It will require a lot of space, though: expect Tim Sweeney’s new engine to require about one hundred gigabytes of free space on your SSD.

Epic Games announced that Unreal Engine 5 has launched in early access, and everyone can find it via the Epic Games Launcher. Let’s see what the company writes about the new features and plans: „This Early Access build of Unreal Engine 5 is not production-ready, but this is where, for the first time, you can get your hands on some of the technology that caused so much excitement when it was showcased in last year’s announcement—not to mention some you’ve never seen before. Here’s a roundup of the key new features that are ready for testing today.”

Here are some of the functions they mentioned: „Nanite: Nanite is a virtualized micropolygon geometry system that enables you to create games with massive amounts of geometric detail, eliminating time-consuming and tedious work such as baking details to normal maps or manually authoring LODs. Imagine directly importing film-quality source art comprised of millions of polygons—anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans—and placing them millions of times, all while maintaining a real-time frame rate, and without any noticeable loss of fidelity. Impossible? Not any more!

Lumen: Next up is Lumen, a fully dynamic global illumination solution. With Lumen, you can create dynamic, believable scenes where indirect lighting adapts on the fly to changes to direct lighting or geometry—for example, changing the sun’s angle with the time of day, turning on a flashlight, or opening an exterior door. With Lumen, you no longer have to author lightmap UVs, wait for lightmaps to bake, or place reflection captures; you can simply create and edit lights inside the Unreal Editor and see the same final lighting as when the game is run on console.

Open Worlds: We’re on an ongoing mission to make the creation of open worlds faster, easier, and more collaborative for teams of all sizes. Today, you can try out some of the steps that will take us there. First up, there’s a new World Partition system that automatically divides the world into a grid and streams the necessary cells when required. Then, there’s a new One File Per Actor system that makes collaboration easier—you and your team members can now work simultaneously on the same region of the same World without treading on each other’s toes. Finally, Data Layers let you create different variations of the same World—such as daytime and nighttime versions, or specific datasets that are enabled through gameplay—as layers that exist in the same space.

Animation: Constantly stepping outside of Unreal Engine to create or edit animation is time-consuming and painful, and a barrier to iteration. That’s why in Unreal Engine 5, we’re expanding and enhancing our animation toolset to let you author incredibly detailed characters right in context. Artist-friendly tools like Control Rig enable you to quickly create rigs and share them across multiple characters; pose them in Sequencer, and use the new Pose Browser to save and apply the poses as assets; and use the new Full-Body IK solver to easily create natural movement. Meanwhile, Motion Warping enables you to dynamically adjust a character’s root motion to align to different targets—for example, vaulting over walls of different heights—with a single animation.

MetaSounds: „Ever wish you had the same amount of control and flexibility when authoring your audio experiences as you have with your look development? With Unreal Engine 5, we’re introducing a fundamentally new way of making audio. MetaSounds is a high-performance system that offers complete control over audio DSP graph generation of sound sources, letting you manage all aspects of audio rendering to drive next-generation procedural audio experiences. MetaSounds is analogous to a fully programmable material and rendering pipeline, bringing all the benefits of procedural content creation to audio that the Material Editor brings to shaders: dynamic data-driven assets, the ability to map game parameters to sound playback, huge workflow improvements, and much more.

Enhanced Editor User Interface and Workflow: It’s time for a makeover! In Unreal Engine 5, the Unreal Editor gets a fresh new look, streamlined workflows, and optimized use of screen real estate, making it easier, faster, and more pleasing to use. New features in this Early Access build include the ability to easily summon and stow the Content Browser and to dock any editor tab to the collapsible sidebar, freeing up more space for viewport interactions; a new favouriting system for quick access to frequently used properties in the Details panel; a new Create button on the main toolbar that makes it easy to place Actors into your world; and a streamlined, easier workflow for creating new projects,” Epic Games wrote.

And that’s not all: you can see the Valley of the Ancient sample project below in a video, but you can also download the project for yourself to try. Here’s what Epic had to say: „There’s still a lot more to come for Unreal Engine 5; we are hoping to ship the full release in early 2022 with many memory, performance, and quality improvements, as well as additional new features that will benefit creators in all industries. As always, we use Unreal Engine in production before we expect you to, and we will ship Fortnite, on all its supported platforms, on Unreal Engine 5.”

It has always been the plan: Fortnite will be the first commercially available game to use Unreal Engine 5.

Source: Gematsu, PCGamer

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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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