In 2020 Epic Games provided a first peek at Unreal Engine 5 via their breathtaking “Lumen in the Land of Nanite” demo, and around a year later, Epic is planning to give us another peek. This Wednesday we’ll be getting “a further look at the game development tools of Unreal Engine 5” – whether this means more detail about things like Nanite and the Lumen lighting system, or if we’ll see some all new tech and tools, remains to be seen. Could we possibly also see an all-new demo? Let’s hope so.
In the meantime, Epic has released a new series of videos spotlighting some of the features revealed as part of last year’s Unreal Engine 5 demo. These videos feature interviews recorded all the way back in January of 2020, but they still provide some interesting glimpses of devs actually using the new UE5 tools.
Still not sure what UE5’s Nanite and Lumen tech are all about? Here’s the official rundown…
- Lumen is a fully dynamic global illumination solution that immediately reacts to scene and light changes. The system renders diffuse interreflection with infinite bounces and indirect specular reflections in huge, detailed environments, at scales ranging from kilometers to millimeters. Artists and designers can create more dynamic scenes using Lumen, for example, changing the sun angle for time of day, turning on a flashlight, or blowing a hole in the ceiling, and indirect lighting will adapt accordingly. Lumen erases the need to wait for lightmap bakes to finish and to author light map UVs—a huge time savings when an artist can move a light inside the Unreal Editor and lighting looks the same as when the game is run on console.
- Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry frees artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see. Nanite virtualized geometry means that film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons can be imported directly into Unreal Engine—anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans to CAD data—and it just works. Nanite geometry is streamed and scaled in real time so there are no more polygon count budgets, polygon memory budgets, or draw count budgets; there is no need to bake details to normal maps or manually author LODs; and there is no loss in quality.
Epic will provide a further look at Unreal Engine 5 at 7am PT on Wednesday (May 26). Are you excited for our next peek at the engine?