Epic Games showed off their next-gen Unreal Engine 4 at the Game Developer’s Conference today in San Francisco.
The demo shows off with a footage under different types of filters to prove that the engine was rendering in real time. Aside from the cinematic tech demo, Epic also showed how UE4 makes it easier for developers to edit game worlds via the Blueprint editor within the engine. They also have a new feature called Persona where skeletons, meshes and animations are all integrated into one convenient animation tool. Epic also talked about an Unreal landscaping tool that can be used to generate large open worlds where foliage can be inserted easily.
Aside from some developer tools, Epic also revealed that UE4 is using IES profiles for ultra-realistic lighting.
“As [the protagonist] steps through the cloaking field you actually see the boot reflected in the wet panelling below. And this is all throughout the demonstration,” said Epic Games’ senior technical artist and level designer Alan Willard. “And this is all throughout the demonstration. And some of them come across as somewhat subtle, but without them your eye would notice the difference.”
Epic also discussed the quality of the dynamic lighting and how it isn’t one of the main focuses of the UE4’s performance. “The dynamic lights are not our current performance limit. Our limits come more from the amounts of massive overlapping shadow-casting lights,” said Willard. “That’s not been a huge challenge because typically we don’t need that many to get a perfect-looking scene.”
The trailer was shown using a PC sporting a Core i7 CPU and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 with 16GB DDR3 RAM. The demo under these specs, however, doesn’t not properly reflect the engine’s actual performance on the PlayStation 4 which is why Epic has also provided the original UE4 demo shown last year except this time rendered by PS4 hardware. The result, however, isn’t all that impressive.