Epic Games has now launched its amazing Unreal Engine 5 graphics engine. The company allows you to download it totally free, a very attractive point if we take into account the power and complexity offered by this tool.
On the other hand, although we have already been able to see demonstrations where UE5 demonstrates great capabilities, some sections have not received the relevance they deserve. For this reason, we show you today the five key features that make Unreal Engine 5 great.
It was recently confirmed that the upcoming title of grave robber will be developed with Unreal Engine 5. In addition, we have other games like the new witcher and Gears of War 5.
They also promised to enjoy the benefits of the said graphics engine. Although at first glance it may seem that these next versions have chosen this tool for its graphical capabilities, the truth is that UE5 hides a lot more behind a pretty face.
Unreal Engine 5 promises to change the video game landscape from its foundations. We are facing a real generational leap, which has also been possible in large measure thanks to the hardware that we find in current-generation consoles and computers.
Unreal Engine 5: Temporary Super Resolution, the great promise of performance
One of the first features that promise to revolutionize the world of video games is Temporary super-resolution (TSR). It is a proposal that sets Unreal Engine 5 performance, and that it has the same importance as other lighting and shading technologies.
With TSR, games can use upsampling tools that allow higher resolutions, even when the title is minor. For example, getting 4K resolution when the base is 1080p.
TSR has already been shown in action in titles such as The Matrix: Wake UpYes Due to the graphics load of the game, this tool was essential to allow its execution. Of course, TSR is a pretty familiar tool, and we’ve already seen similar proposals such as Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR.
However, TSR is a completely independent technology from Nvidia and AMD. For this reason, this is a solution that can be implemented on any computer or console compatible with Unreal Engine 5.
Yes, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be able to process temporary super-resolution. Developers will be able to configure TSR natively in their games without any issues.
Of course, this translates to better image fidelity, especially for PC gamers. In this way you will be able to explore all the graphic options of a video game without sacrificing too much visual quality; and on numerous occasions, twice winning the performance.
Lumen, The Novelty in Lighting
Lumen is one of the technologies whose goal is to allow developers to make more realistic scenarios. Not only in their visual aspect, but also in the way the physics behaves in them. Thus, Lumen is a global and fully dynamic lighting system. The latter means that Unreal Engine 5 will be able to generate diffuse interreflections (light reflections produced by objects) with infinite bounces.
Additionally, according to Epic Games, Lumen’s performance will be the same regardless of the scene scale. So the lighting will behave the same in a virtual room with the light on, or in an open world where the main light source is the sun, for example.
It’s worth mentioning that this technology will prevent developers from resorting to light maps, which have brought lighting to life in many games in the past.
If you are someone familiar with the latest technical developments in video games, Lumen has surely reminded you of the Laser trace from Nvidia. Although their goal does not vary much, the process by which they achieve it is different.
Epic itself points out that Lumen, unlike Ray Tracing, does not require “expensive computer calculations”. In other words, Lumen isn’t just about hardware capabilities.
Nanite, increasing the level of detail
Nanite is the geometric technology that artists involved in the development of video games have always dreamed of. Because? Basically, its purpose is to allow the creation of models with a high level of detail. Indeed, it can display up to billions of polygons if an object, a character or a scene requires it.
“Nanite is Unreal Engine 5’s new virtualized geometry system that uses a new internal mesh format and rendering technology to render pixel-scale detail and large numbers of objects.”
It is very possible that we will see the use of Nanite applied beyond video games, which certainly depends on the technical capabilities of the hardware to display more polygons in real time. However, when we talk about film productions that do not require real-time processes, this is where this Unreal Engine 5 technology can show its greatest potential.
Virtual Shadow Map
This technique, known in Spanish as virtual shadow maps, collaborates with Nanite. And it is that if you intend to show an object with a great level of detail, the shadows play a fundamental role in obtaining this quality.
For this reason, a Virtual Shadow Map is a method for increasing shadow resolution, thus managing to adjust them to the details of the geometry. The idea is that virtual shadow maps do not abuse technical resources. In the video below you can see it in action on the thousands of leaves whose shadow is drawn on the surface:
A new Step in Artificial Intelligence
Although almost all of the changes to date have affected performance and visual quality, that’s not the only thing that comes with Unreal Engine 5. The new Mass AI is a system that will allow developers to fill your open worlds with dynamic characters and different.
We could already see a sample of Mass AI in Matrix: awakens. According to Epic Games technical director Jeff Farris, this system was used to simulate 35,000 members of a crowd, 18,000 moving vehicles and 40,000 parked vehicles in the demo. Moreover, this feature can simulate all of this no matter where the player is on the map.
Of course, that results in much more dynamic open worlds from what we know so far. With characters who truly feel alive in their own worlds.
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