Epic launches Unreal Engine 4.27 with new features for developers

Epic noted that it made improvements to GPU Lightmass to reduce the time required to generate lighting data for scenes that require global illumination, soft shadows, and other lighting effects.

August 20, 2021 05:26 pm | Updated 05:31 pm IST

Unreal Engine 4.27

Unreal Engine 4.27

Epic Games on August 19 rolled out the new Unreal Engine 4.27 with new features for creators including a new set of in-camera VFX tools and virtual production features.

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The latest update works with a new 3D Config Editor that lets users easily design their nDisplay setups for LED volumes or other multi-display rendering applications. In the new version, all nDisplay-related features have been combined into a single Root Actor for easier access.

4.27 adds support for OpenColorIO and multi-GPU for colour matching of Unreal Engine content to a physical camera while enabling nDisplay to scale more efficiently. Besides, Epic has added Multi-User Editing to Unreal Engine’s Camera system.

The new version also has a feature named Level Snapshots to let users save the state of a given scene and restore all of its elements later.

Also Read | Game developers can now dive into Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 Early Access

In Unreal Engine (UE) 4.27, the system uses the GPU rather than CPU to render pre-computed lightmaps, leveraging ray-tracing capabilities with DirectX 12 (DX12) and Microsoft's DXR framework.

Epic noted that it made improvements to GPU Lightmass to reduce the time required to generate lighting data for scenes that require global illumination, soft shadows, and other lighting effects.

In UE4.27, users can render from multiple using Movie Render Queue, eliminating the need to go through Sequencer setups. The feature can be useful while creating a series of large stills from different viewpoints through creative iterations or variations.

Epic says it has incorporated RAD Game Tools, the Oodle Compression Suite and Bink Video codec into Unreal Engine, putting some of the fastest and most popular compression and encoding tools in the industry into the hands of Unreal Engine developers for free.

In the 4.27 release, Pixel streaming is production-ready with an added support for Linux. Besides, the new update allows users to exports to USD elements such as Levels, Sublevels, Landscape, Foliage, and animation sequences, and import materials as MDL nodes.

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It lets users create XR content in Unreal Engine, with production-ready support for the OpenXR framework. The OpenXR plugin offers support for Stereo Layers, Splash Screens, querying Playspace bounds, and motion controller visualisation.

Epic Online Services is now included directly in Unreal Engine with the new online subsystem released in 4.27. There is an Epic Online Services plugin for Unity available in open source as well. The plugin will first arrive on PC and on console and mobile later this year.

Unreal Engine 4.27 is expected to keep gaming developers and creators content while they wait for Unreal Engine 5 – of which the Early Access is currently available to developers only. The full release of UE5 is expected in late 2021 or early 2022, and upcoming gaming titles with UE5 include Konami's eFootball PES 2022, GSC Game World's Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl and Avalanche Software's Hogwarts Legacy.

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