New Unreal Engine 5.1 Preview 1 Improves Performance of Lumen and Nanite, Now Supporting Games Running at 60FPS on PC and Next-Gen Consoles

Aernout van de Velde
Unreal Engine 5.1 preview 1

Epic has rolled out Unreal Engine 5.1 Preview 1 for developers, packing performance improvements to Lumen and Nanite.

The new build is available now via Github and on the Epic Games launcher, and although this build isn’t fully tested just yet, developers can now test the new features before the final release of this preview build. According to Epic, this new build improves upon the features delivered with the release of Unreal Engine 5 and creates more streamlined and easy-to-use workflows for real-time 3D content creation.

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In addition, developers testing the new 5.1 preview build are promised improved performance with some of the engine’s key features. “Developers will see improved performance with Lumen, Nanite, and Virtual Shadow Maps (VSM), now supporting games running at 60 fps on next-generation consoles and PCs”, Epic writes. “Build expansive worlds using new functionality and improved workflows for World Partition, including support for Large World Coordinates. And enjoy significant improvements to cinematic pipelines, such as performance and usability improvements for ICVFX.”

The complete release notes for the 5.1 version will be made available alongside the final 5.1 release.

Unreal Engine 5 is available globally now. Epic released its new game engine back in April of this year. Following its release, various artists have released their own game imaginings and creations within the new Engine. Key new features for Unreal Engine 5 are Epic's new Lumen dynamic global illumination and reflections solution, the Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry system and a new Virtual Shadow Map system.

Lumen is a fully dynamic global illumination and reflections solution that enables indirect lighting to adapt on the fly to changes to direct lighting or geometry—for example, changing the sun’s angle with the time of day or opening an exterior door. 

With Lumen, you no longer have to author lightmap UVs, wait for lightmaps to bake, or place reflection captures; what you see inside the Unreal Editor is what you get on console. 

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