Unreal Engine 5 Community Highlight Reel Gives Us a Taste of What’s to Come
The Unreal Engine 5 early access version launched in late May, allowing countless developers to go hands-on with the new features such as Nanite and Lumen. Developers like Ninja Theory, XL Games, The Coalition, Myrkur Games, Game Science, Square Enix, inXile, and GSC Game World already pledged their support to Unreal Engine 5, but there are also many indie creators dabbling with UE5 now.
Epic Games recently published a community highlight reel to showcase what these talented developers can do with Unreal Engine 5's Nanite, Lumen, and MetaHuman creator tools. Check out the video below.
Here's a recap of the main Unreal Engine 5 features. Epic is planning to release the full version at some point in early 2022.
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!
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.
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.