Epic Games announces the release of Unreal Engine 5
Epic Games has unveiled its next-generation game engine nearly two years after it was initially announced. Today, the company announced that Unreal Engine 5 is now available for download as part of a State of Unreal event.
The revised engine includes a number of developer-friendly enhancements, such as increased efficiency and a redesigned user interface, but the most significant upgrades come from a handful of technologies that enable more photorealistic images. These include Lumen, which Epic describes as a “completely dynamic global illumination solution” that enables more realistic lighting, and Nanite, which Epic describes as “a technology that enables the creation of games and experiences with huge levels of geometric complexity.” There are also more practical tools, such as the ability to split off pieces of an open environment to allow teams to work autonomously on certain areas. Together, these technologies are supposed to simplify the process of creating large-scale, high-fidelity games; CD Projekt Red has already indicated that it will use the technology to create the next Witcher.
While this is the first time the engine is being made broadly available to game developers, Epic has already released a few important UE5 projects to the public. Last December, Epic unveiled The Matrix Awakens, an impressive tech demo that combined the likenesses of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss with a massive open world populated by the developer’s Metahuman avatars.
Apart from gaming, engines like as Unreal have grown in popularity for a variety of other applications, most notably film and television. Unreal, for example, was used to create the virtual sets for The Mandalorian. Libreri feels that with technologies like UE5 and a new generation of gaming gear, we’ll see more of this type of crossover between mediums. Previously, he adds, artists created “movie-quality assets” that had to be scaled down for usage in a game. Now, those distinctions are beginning to blur, allowing for a plethora of new possibilities.
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