Epic launches Unreal Engine 5 as the most advanced 3D creation tool for games, movies and more

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Epic Games has announced the next generation of its game engine and is calling it Unreal Engine 5. Now available to download, the new game engine comes with a number of improvements over the prior versions and is being deemed as “the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool.” This means new features and options for game developers and creators, as well as updates in existing technologies.

Unveiled at the State of Unreal event, the Unreal Engine 5 promises to help creators across industries like games, film & television, architecture, automotive & transportation, simulation, broadcast & live events and more such verticals. For this, it aims at delivering unparalleled performance and visuals and comes with tools to enable massive, detailed worlds for gaming and other use-cases.

Epic says that the massive amounts of geometric details are enabled by Nanite, a virtualized micro polygon geometry system, and a new Virtual Shadow Map system. Using these, creators will be able to import and replicate “multi-million-polygon meshes” and still maintain a real-time frame rate without much loss of fidelity. Epic says that the systems process only “the detail you can perceive,” thus removing poly count and draw call constraints.

Another big feature is that of Lumen, a “fully dynamic global illumination and reflections solution.” Epic says that the feature enables indirect lighting to adapt on the fly. For instance, this feature will make the light from the sun automatically change its direction with the time of day, or the light from a source will adapt upon opening or closing of a door. It is easy to see how this will be a huge add on for creators.

Unreal Engine 5 also comes with a UI makeover. It now has fully integrated Quixel Bridge, so users have simple drag-and-drop access to the entire Megascans library. “It’s part of the new Create menu for acquiring content and creating and placing Actors,” epic writes on the Unreal Engine 5 webpage.

The UI is also meant to be faster in finding the properties you’re looking for in the Details panel. Users will also be able to free up space in the viewport, by placing the Content Browser and any editor tab to a sidebar.

All in all, Epic believes that Unreal Engine 5 will allow for the creation of massively-scaled games at high fidelity. Epic has made the engine available to game developers as well as creators from other industries. For now, we know that we have seen the tool being used on Fortnite and The Matrix Awakens, as well as some upcoming games like the next version of Witcher.