Cary, NC — Epic Games has released Unreal Engine 4.22, including new features to push the boundaries of photorealistic and cinematic quality for real-time experiences. With features including real-time ray tracing, and improved build times of up to 165%, UE4 workflows continue to help game developers, enterprise users, and content creators produce world-class results on any platform.
Key new features and updates available in Unreal Engine 4.22 include:
Real-Time ray tracing (Early Access): Selectively ray trace just the passes that benefit from it, to achieve subtle, accurate effects that contribute to the realism of your scene, like true reflections and refractions, soft area shadows, and ambient occlusion — at blazingly fast speeds. Watch the 90-second Troll short film to view unprecedented cinematic-quality lighting using UE 4.22 ray tracing features:
Simultaneous multi-user editing (Early Access): Collaborative editing allows multiple developers to simultaneously make and view changes to the same Unreal Engine project, facilitating effective collaboration that eliminates bottlenecks and inspires creativity.
Faster mesh drawing: UE 4.22’s rendering code refactor significantly improves mesh drawing performance, with more aggressive caching of drawing information for static scene elements, and automatic instancing to merge draw calls where possible.
Faster C++ iterations: Unreal has licensed Molecular Matters’ Live++, and integrated it as a new Live Coding feature (Experimental). UE 4.22 also optimizes UnrealBuildTool and UnrealHeaderTool, drastically reducing build times and resulting in up to 3x faster iterations when making C++ code changes.
Enhanced sound design: Among the new tools for creative sound design are TimeSynth (Early Access) for sample-accurate audio clip management; a spectral analyzer for Submixes; layered sound concurrency for better control of how many sounds will play simultaneously; and spectral analysis baking.
Virtual production tools:
- New Composure UI: With a new UI in Unreal’s built-in compositing tool Composure, users can achieve real-time compositing capabilities directly within Unreal Editor – ideal for on-set visualization.
- Sequence Take Recorder: Enables users to record animations from motion capture linked to characters in the scene, and from Live Link data, for future playback, enabling faster iteration and review of previous takes.
- OpenColorIO (OCIO) color profiles: Unreal Engine now supports the Open Color IO framework for managing multiple color spaces across a film, TV series, or animated project.
- Hardware-accelerated video decoding (Experimental): On Windows platforms, UE 4.22 can use the GPU to speed up the processing of H.264 video streams to reduce the strain on the CPU when playing back video streams, resulting in smoother video and allowing the use of higher resolution movie files and more simultaneous input feeds.
- New Media I/O Formats: UE 4.22 ships with new features for professional video I/O input formats and devices, including 4K UHD inputs for both AJA and Blackmagic; support for both 8bit and 10bit inputs; single-link, dual-link, and quad-link; AJA Kona 5 devices; HDMI 2.0 input; and UHD at high frame rates (up to 60fps).
- nDisplay improvements (Experimental): Several new features make the nDisplay multi-display rendering system more flexible, handling new kinds of hardware configurations and inputs. See the Childish Gambino case study to see nDisplay in action.
Animation Sharing: This new plugin reduces the overall amount of animation work required for a crowd of actors. It is based upon the Master-Pose Component system, while adding blending and additive Animation States. The Animation states are buckets for which animation instances are evaluated. The resulting poses are then transferred to all child components part of the bucket.
Microsoft HoloLens remote streaming support: UE 4.22 supports streaming to HoleLens, with full support coming to HoloLens 2 coming in May 2019. Read more here.
Google Stadia support (coming in 4.22.1): Unreal Engine supports Google’s new game streaming platform, Stadia. With Unreal’s cross-platform capabilities, developers can access Stadia features through familiar interfaces for consistent workflows across any device. Read more here. For a full feature list and additional details, visit the Unreal Engine blog here.
Source: Epic Games