Epic Games gives a first look at Unreal Engine 5, which aims to combine photorealism on par with movie CG and real-life worlds. The technology demo, titled “Lumen in the Land of Nanite,” is basically a real-time demo running live on PlayStation 5 hardware, showcasing Unreal Engine technologies that enables creators to reach the highest level of real-time rendering detail in next-gen games. Read more for the video and additional information.
This demo previews two of the new core technologies, Nanite and Lumen, that will debut in Unreal Engine 5. Nanite is essentially virtualized micropolygon geometry that allows artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see, resulting in film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons that can be imported directly into Unreal Engine.
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Lumen is a fully dynamic global illumination solution that instantly reacts to scene and light changes. Its renders diffuse interreflection with infinite bounces and indirect mirror-like reflections in massive, detailed environments, at scales ranging from kilometers to millimeters. A few auto-adapting examples would be changing the sun angle for time of day, turning on a flashlight, or creating a hole in the ceiling.