Unreal Engine 4.11 Available Now – Tons of Performance Improvements, Added DX12 on XB1 Support

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Mar 31, 2016
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Epic has announced via press release that the Unreal Engine has been updated to the latest version. There are tons of performance improvements with Unreal Engine 4.11, most of them coming from Epic’s own experience while developing Paragon for PC and PlayStation 4.

Developers can now utilize features built for Paragon, including performance and multithreading optimizations to run at 60fps on PS4 and PC; realistic eye shading; advanced hair shading; improved skin shading; capsule shadows; better cloth simulation; particle depth of field; mutlithreaded animation; rapid character physics simulation; live animation recording from gameplay; faster garbage collection, and loads more additions. Plus, huge progress on the new Sequencer cinematic tool is shipping right now.

In addition, VR developers will have access to instanced stereo rendering; updates to the latest SDKs for Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, SteamVR / HTC Vive, and Gear VR. VR stereo layers and HMD display camera improvements are also included in 4.11.

Beyond VR, SDKs have been updated for Xbox One, PS4, iOS, Android, Linux, HTML5, and tvOS.

Epic also improved DirectX 12 support on Windows while adding experimental support for DX12 on Xbox One.

We’ve integrated updates to DirectX 12 in Unreal Engine from Microsoft to allow better CPU utilization while generating rendering commands in parallel; also added improvements like support for multiple root signatures, enabled asynchronous pipeline state disk cache by default, reduced memory footprint & fixed leaks, resource transitions optimizations, faster memory allocations and limited GPU starvation by flushing work during idle GPU time.

DIRECTX 12 FOR XBOX ONE
Microsoft engineers have worked to add experimental support for DirectX 12 on Xbox One!

Some steps are required to enable this feature:

  • Set bBuildForD3D12 to true in the XboxOneRuntimeSettings section of BaseEngine.ini
  • Set D3D12_ROOT_SIGNATURE to 1 in XboxOneShaderCompiler.cpp
  • Comment out the use of GetSamplePosition in PostProcessSelectionOutline.usf (not supported on Xbox One yet)
  • Rebuild and restart!

Due to its experimental nature, there may be rendering and/or stability issues with this enabled.

With Unreal Engine 4.11, Metal is now the default graphics API on Mac OS X El Capitan. UE4 developers can also enjoy faster lighting builds thanks to Intel Embree support.

We’ve integrated Intel’s Embree ray tracing library into Lightmass and have improved lighting build dramatically with it.

The majority of lighting build time goes toward tracing rays to figure out how light is bouncing. As a test case, the “Sun Temple” level lighting now builds 2.4x faster (from 45 seconds to 18 seconds) by using Embree. The results are visually identical, with Indirect Lighting Quality set to 4.

There are massive audio upgrades in Unreal Engine 4.11, such as stereo spatialization, sound focus, sound occlusion, and sound concurrency. Great news overall, especially with the huge amount of games in development with Unreal Engine.

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