Unreal Engine 5 revealed for iOS and Mac, coming in 2021

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2020
The newly announced cross-platform Unreal Engine 5, coming to Mac and iOS, utilizes new rendering techniques to achieve a whole new level of realism and detail.

Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5


Two new technologies will be introduced in the Unreal Engine update, which will enable game designers to make games with more detail and better design.

The first technology detailed is called "Nanite." The new feature allows artists to use film-quality source material with no limit to the number of polygons used. To put it simply, photo-realistic assets like rocks and buildings will be able to be rendered without a limit to detail. Epic says that these high resolution textures and objects will make a game world feel more alive, allowing players to sink into cinematic experiences that they control.

Scenes like this were only possible during cutscenes before
Scenes like this were only possible during cutscenes before


The second technology called "Lumen" is a new global illumination solution. Lumen will perform all lighting calculations in real time to prevent annoying conditions like "pop-in" where shadows and details show up well after they are supposed to.

Unreal Engine 5 uses Lumen to accomplish realistic lighting
Unreal Engine 5 uses Lumen to accomplish realistic lighting


To take full advantage of Unreal Engine 5, developers will need the latest in gaming hardware like the upcoming Playstation 5, or an advanced gaming PC. That doesn't leave other gamers out though, as the new engine works with all current consoles and iOS, Mac, and Android devices too. While you won't be able to achieve the same cinematic quality as those high end machines, a game using Unreal Engine 5 on your iPhone or iPad will still benefit from these new technologies.

The press release from Epic Games detail an early 2021 preview phase with a full release in late 2021. Developers who license Unreal Engine now can get started developing their games, as the next version will be fully forward compatible.

To show their commitment to the next generation in gaming, Epic will release Fortnite on next generation consoles and update the game for Unreal Engine 5 in mid-2021.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    Unreal Engine 5 on iOS?!

    There's no excuse for the new Apple TV to not have half-decent games.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I understand the show The Mandalorian uses Unreal Engine to generate realistic backgrounds and sets on-the-fly. Their production methods are extraordinary.
    edited May 2020 pscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member
    Beats said:
    Unreal Engine 5 on iOS?!

    There's no excuse for the new Apple TV to not have half-decent games.
    Huh? Unreal Engine's been on iOS for a decade. Remember Infinity Blade in 2010? Unreal Engine.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    If Nanite makes infinite polygon counts possible for certain types of in-game objects, wouldn't that mean it's independent of the GPU being used?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,055member
    I understand the show The Mandalorian uses Unreal Engine to generate realistic backgrounds and sets on-the-fly. Their production methods are extraordinary.
    Yes!  A deep technical dive (with jaw dropping stills) is available on the American Cinematographer site.  Unlike most behind-the-scenes articles, this one makes me appreciate their work even more.  Highly recommended.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    If Nanite makes infinite polygon counts possible for certain types of in-game objects, wouldn't that mean it's independent of the GPU being used?
    still need a beefy GPU to render. from my understanding, UE5 dynamically downscales models to the point where it just needs at most 1 triangle per pixel. in UE4, even the lowest LOD models that are being rendered far away could possibly have a hundred triangles within a pixel.
    fastasleepforegoneconclusioncgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    I miss Unreal Tournament. I would love to see it return for MacOS and iOS.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member
    If Nanite makes infinite polygon counts possible for certain types of in-game objects, wouldn't that mean it's independent of the GPU being used?
    No, I think it's just that Unreal handles all of the streaming and scaling in real-time, so devs don't need to worry about draw or polygon counts, or polygon memory budgets. I think prior you had to spend more time reducing poly counts, textures, pre-baking and stuff to even make models usable in the engine at all, which I think this solves a lot of. So you can use a super high-poly Zbrush or photogrammetry model without having to fuck with it before importing. Beyond that, I assume a lot of this scales as usual as you build a game and can target for different devices like Mac/PC/PS4/iOS etc, and the engine ramps down quality of geometry and textures etc as necessary depending on the device it's going to be running on. UE5 will be on iOS/Android, so same applies here. So, I may be wrong but I think to answer your question is that your GPU definitely does matter in both the back end and target device as far as the quality goes, but the engine scales everything for you on the fly. I'm still reading up on this. Looks gorgeous, either way, but all of these tech demos are always better than what we actually end up with in reality (same with PS4 and PS3 demos):


    edited May 2020 foregoneconclusioncgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member

    I miss Unreal Tournament. I would love to see it return for MacOS and iOS.
    I do too, I grew up on that shit. I was stoked to see them bring it back as a community-led experimental sort of sandbox for UE tech and content — and you can still play the "new" version for free via Epic Games Launcher — but all development halted abruptly in 2017 due to fucking Fortnite and shifting all the devs over to it and it's been collecting dust ever since. It's unfortunate.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    If Nanite makes infinite polygon counts possible for certain types of in-game objects, wouldn't that mean it's independent of the GPU being used?
    still need a beefy GPU to render. from my understanding, UE5 dynamically downscales models to the point where it just needs at most 1 triangle per pixel. in UE4, even the lowest LOD models that are being rendered far away could possibly have a hundred triangles within a pixel.
    So you could potentially have a cel-shaded style art approach for a game running on a mid-range or lower GPU, but with incredibly high polygon counts? It sounds like it's only the quality of textures that would slow down the GPU for solid objects in UE5. Maybe I'm still misunderstanding, but it seems like this could be a boon for cartoon/illustration style games and not just for photorealistic ones. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,720member
    This was really 'unreal' I've been involved in the 3D scene for years, and I don't really know how they are doing it. My hunch (with a few clues from the announcement) is that they are doing some kind of real-time 'lossless' compression at a pretty high scale to bring down those numbers into a scale more apt to be handled by the hardware... yet, even then, kind of unbelievable.

    I've even been in conversation with a couple 3D app developers over the last couple of days who seem a bit surprised (though, they can't say too much about their unreleased efforts either).
    Beats said:
    Unreal Engine 5 on iOS?!
    There's no excuse for the new Apple TV to not have half-decent games.
    Well, w/o some of those features that make it so impressive on more advanced hardware. But, I'm sure it will make *some* improvement.
    The AppleTV (or iPhones or iPads) don't have nearly enough power to do the really advanced stuff, but IMO, the reason for less than stellar games in some genres is more about the initial lack of controller support. Fortnite and Minecraft show that compelling games can do just fine on iDevices, they just need to be made.

    If Nanite makes infinite polygon counts possible for certain types of in-game objects, wouldn't that mean it's independent of the GPU being used?
    I'm not sure I understand that question, but I'm guessing however they are crunching down, and then handling those kind of numbers is going to to depend on higher-end GPUs, even if they don't have to be an exact model.

    movingincircles said:
    still need a beefy GPU to render. from my understanding, UE5 dynamically downscales models to the point where it just needs at most 1 triangle per pixel. in UE4, even the lowest LOD models that are being rendered far away could possibly have a hundred triangles within a pixel.
    Yeah, that makes sense. There were plugins (many years ago) that used dynamic scaling of model polygons depending on distance from the camera, and stuff like that. I'm sure that is involved here. And, you're right, once you hit that pixel point, no sense in going beyond that.

    fastasleep said:
    ... So, I may be wrong but I think to answer your question is that your GPU definitely does matter in both the back end and target device as far as the quality goes, but the engine scales everything for you on the fly. I'm still reading up on this. ...
    Yeah, I'd think you're on track there... or there is some kind of real magic going on. :smile: 

    foregoneconclusion said:
    So you could potentially have a cel-shaded style art approach for a game running on a mid-range or lower GPU, but with incredibly high polygon counts? It sounds like it's only the quality of textures that would slow down the GPU for solid objects in UE5. Maybe I'm still misunderstanding, but it seems like this could be a boon for cartoon/illustration style games and not just for photorealistic ones.  I'm not sure you'd have to change the shading style, you'd just get lower-poly/rez geometry/maps on the fly, based on hardware capability. And, you'd lose lighting effects, etc. BUT.... you'd still get better than what we currently get.
    edited May 2020 watto_cobra
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