May 2020 is definitely Epic! For next gen video games but not only. Epic Games released a video of astonishing real time graphics using their latest Unreal Engine V (read Five).
They introduce new technologies such as Nanites and Lumen. Next gen video games should be able to display film quality models with billions of polygons and take advantage of Ray Tracing to render photorealistic lighting using dynamic global illumination. If you’ve never heard about Unreal Engine, it’s a render engine developed by Epic Games, the video game company founded by Tim Sweeney. They also developed Fortnite Battle Royale, an online Video Game downloaded by millions. You can get the Unreal Engine for free and use it to create your own games! Epic Games will claim a percentage of your profits only if your game reaches more than 1.000.000 dollars in sales. But hey, why talk about Epic Games and Unreal Engine in a Motion Graphics Blog? Well, just think about this; real time photorealistic rendering! Imagine all the possibilities for 3D artists! No need to wait hours, days or months to deliver renders of your scenes! Without mentioning the ability to create interactive and VR content. This is definitely exciting news that will change our ways to produce animated graphics in the future. Actually, Unreal Engine is already changing the game for film making.
You can now use a virtual set displayed on giant led screens that matches the lighting of your scene and your camera position for accurate backgrounds. Bye Bye Green screens and hours of Rotoscoping! This technology was used at a massive production scale by ILM on the Mandalorian show.
A year ago, the Mill used Unreal Engine to produce real time character animations with motion tracking devices, enabling them to produce 30 social spots in a super short amount of time, that would have been impossible with a traditional 3D workflow.
So Unreal Engine already changed video and cinema production, but not only! Broadcast and live events can surely take advantage of real-time technology too. See how the Weather Channel managed to create hyper immersive graphics to bring weather forecast to another level.
This works for live events as well. The immersive Dome for Childish Gambino concert “Pharos”was created for a real-time performance with Unreal Engine.
And as a feat of strength, Epic Games recently changed the face of live events during the Covid-19 Pandemic. While Concerts got cancelled and people can’t gather in public places anymore, why not gather them in a virtual environment? This is how you could attend a virtual concert of Travis Scott in Fortnite. This is an absolutely stunning, new and unique experience! Millions of players were logged into the event, something you would never be able to do in an Arena in the real world. Is Ready Player One going to become reality? Unreal Engine is definitively a game changer in the quest for immersive content thanks to real-time photorealistic renderings. I'm sure we will hear more and more about Virtual Production in the future and that will have an impact in the motion design industry as well. Unreal Engine V will be available early 2021. If you want to be up to date on that technology you may want to check the Unreal Online Learning page.