Epic Games has announced that Unreal Engine 5, which will enable users to realise next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity and flexibility, is now available to download.
The game developer said that, with this release, it aims to empower both large and small teams to really push the boundaries of what is possible, visually and interactively.
“As you may have seen, the new features and workflows have already been production-proven for game development in Fortnite and The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine Experience demo,” the company said in a blogpost.
“Meanwhile, although some major new features like Lumen and Nanite have not yet been validated for non-games workflows (this is an ongoing goal for future releases), all creators will be able to continue using workflows supported in UE 4.27,” it added.
Lumen is a fully illumination solution that enables users to create believable scenes where indirect lighting adapts on the fly to changes to direct lighting or geometry.
With Lumen, users no longer have to author lightmap UVs, wait for lightmaps to bake, or place reflection captures.
They can simply create and edit lights inside the Unreal Editor and see the same final lighting their players will see when the game or experience is run on the target platform.
The new virtualised micro polygon geometry system, Nanite, gives users the ability to create games and experiences with massive amounts of geometric detail.
Specifically designed to work well with Lumen and Nanite, Virtual Shadow Maps (VSMs) provide plausible soft shadows with reasonable, controllable performance costs.