The presentation of the Unreal Engine 5 took place in May of last year, and it was quite complete, so we already knew its most important news. Yesterday, Epic Games confirmed the launch of said graphics engine in the ‘early access’ phase, which means that it still has a final phase of development to pass before it is fully finished, and that the release of the final version will not take place until sometime in 2022.
During yesterday’s event we once again saw technologies such as «Nanite», which allows you to create games with complex geometry based on micro polygons, or “Lumen”, which facilitates the implementation of a system of highly realistic global lighting. Both were two of the great protagonists of the event, although they were not the only ones, the new generation shading through “Virtual Shadow Maps” also marked an important advance, since it improves the quality of the shadows regardless of the distance to the that they are.
Epic Games confirmed that, with the Unreal Engine 5, they have improved one of the biggest headaches for developers, creating animations, offering a set of tools and resources that facilitate this task, and that allow adapting different animations depending on the actions to be carried out, the setting in which they take place and the characters in which we want to implement them. An important step forward, without a doubt.
Unreal Engine 5 and open worlds: Goodbye to the classic sandbox with invisible walls?
During the last 8 years we have seen a significant abuse of sandbox-type developments with invisible walls, which not only sinned to give a sense of false freedom, but also revolved around two major limitations: we could find ourselves with truly open settings, but empty and sparse in detail, or with more detailed and rich settings but smaller. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an example of the first concept, and Cyberpunk 2077 fits the second.
The Unreal Engine 5 aims to overcome this problem by adopting a new partition system, which allows dividing the world stage in a grid, and transmitting each of the cells in which it is distributed only when necessary.
To simplify collaboration, this graphics engine allows the development team to participate simultaneously in the creation of the same region, in an orderly and simplified way. Data layers also make it easy to create multiple versions, or visions, of the same world. (day and night, past and future, etc.), something very important and very interesting, since with the standardization of SSDs it will allow the development of titles with dynamic, living and changing scenarios. One of the best examples of what this technology can give of itself is in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Temporal Super Resolution Comes to Unreal Engine 5: Optimized for AMD Radeon
This has undoubtedly been the most important development from a technical point of view. AMD has confirmed that it has been working with Epic Games to ensure good support from your Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs in the Unreal Engine 5, and this has allowed the introduction of specific improvements for both components.
Nick Penwarden, vice president of engineering at Epic Games, said that the Unreal Engine 5 is optimized to take advantage of the Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs used by PS5 and Xbox Series X, and also for these components in their versions for PC. In fact, this graphics engine was compiled using AMD’s Threadripper processors.
Temporal Super Resolution is an algorithm that has been developed from scratch to take advantage of the potential of the Unreal Engine 5, and that replaces the TemporalAA system of the Unreal Engine 4. From the description given by Epic Games, it seems that we are facing a kind of alternative to NVIDIA’s DLSS , and that it will be available by default and optimized for Radeon graphics cards. It seems important, but I am a bit shocked to see that Epic Games has not defined it as one of the most important improvements of the Unreal Engine 5.
TSR achieves 43 FPS
Same scene in native 4K at 18 FPS
This algorithm is able to achieve, in theory, near native 4K quality from a base 1080p resolution, improving performance and achieving high fidelity in rendering, generating less “ghosting” effect in high frequency backgrounds and reducing flickering in scenes with complex geometry. It is compatible with any hardware with Shader Model 5 support (D3D11, D3D12, Vulkan, PS5 and Xbox Series X-Series S).
From what I have been able to see, the result is not, at the moment, as good as Epic Games has indicated, since there are substantial differences between a scene rendered in native 4K and in 1080p rescaled with Temporal Super Resolution, but since it is a technology that is in an early stage we must be understanding and give it a little margin. NVIDIA has confirmed that DLSS is available with the Unreal Engine 5.