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6. June 2018


Epic have officially launched the first preview of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.20.  Of course this is Unreal Engine so you can expect a swath of graphical improvements, but there are several other new features as well.  On of the key features of this release is Beta 1 of Niagra, their next generation programmable particle FX system.  There are multiple newhttps://cdn2.unrealengine.com/Unreal+Engine%2Fblog%2Funreal-engine-4-20-preview-1-now-available%2F420Preview1_THUMB-375x275-5d05f8753370fe3a21b513f01552d46dd0bb829e.jpg LOD tools, blueprint bookmark support, the ability to export sequencer data in Final Cut Pro XML format and a switch to Visual Studio 2017 for the default C++ projects.

From the Epic blog announcement:

Included in Preview 1 are improvements to the proxy LOD tool, as highlighted in the May 17th livestream, many mobile improvements and optimizations we've made for Fortnite on iOS and Android, and early access to mixed reality capture. Niagara will be rolling out in early access, and you’ll also see a number of our GDC features, including the new cinematic depth of field and improved rendering features for digital humans at your disposal.


You can learn a great deal more about the specifics of this release on the Unreal forums, or watching the video below.  One of the major features in this release, Niagara, was heavily featured in this GDC talk, if you like me cannot get it to run but want to learn more.  As always this update is available in the Epic game launcher.  Also be forewarned, this is a preview release so don’t even think about using it in production!

GameDev News

19. March 2018

 

If you are an Unreal Engine game developer, Epic just announced a pretty sweet give away.  They just released $12,000,000 worth of art assets from the 2017 MOBA Paragon.  The assets include 20 AAA quality characters, fully rigged, textured and animated, ready for game deployment.  Additionally they released 1,500+ assets used to develop game levels. 

The assets are usable without condition so long as you are using Unreal Engine.  If you are using a different game engine you have no rights to any of these assets.

To see the assets in action be sure to watch this video.

GameDev News

14. March 2018


After several beta releases, Unreal Engine 4.19 is finally here.  This release includes a new raft of graphical features, a new dynamic resolution feature that should help PS4 and UE419XBox One developers scale across devices, a unified AR API that works on both Apple and Google devices, a new AR game template, a Maya and Motionbuilder live link plugin, sequencer improvements, improved landscape LOD, material layers and much much more.


Details from the release announcement:

Whether you are creating games, linear media, architectural visualizations, or product design tools, Unreal Engine 4.19 enables you to know exactly what the finished product will look like every step of the way. The new Live Link plugin seamlessly blends workflows between external content creation tools and Unreal Engine so you can see updates as you make changes to source content. And with the continued improvements to Sequencer, you can be the director with even more control of your scenes in real time.

When it comes to bringing the worlds in your imagination to life, the sky's the limit. Create breathtaking vistas in large, open worlds thanks to Landscape rendering optimizations. With the new Dynamic Resolution feature that adjusts the resolution as needed to achieve desired frame rates, those worlds will run smoother than ever before on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

It wouldn’t be a complete release without a mountain of workflow and usability improvements, and Unreal Engine 4.19 does not disappoint in this respect. Working with Material layers and parameters is easier and more intuitive. Features for debugging Blueprints are more powerful with the ability to step over, step into, and step out. You can now save content folders as favorites. Animation tools have been improved with pinnable commands, ability to have multiple viewports, and lots more.


As always, the newest version is available for download in the Epic Game Launcher. 

image


Be sure to read the release notes for comprehensive details of this release.

GameDev News

1. February 2018


Unreal recently started releasing preview versions of Unreal Engine 4.19 with some great new features and apparently one stealth one… glTF support.  This is actually excellent news for the industry as a whole, as the current standards FBX and COLLADA or convoluted, proprietary or both.  A good, game ready, cross platform, cross application open andgltf free 3D file format is desperately needed and more and more it seems that glTF may finally be that format.


User vlbanco did an in-depth post on his experiences with the new format on the Unreal forums.

My tests have resulted in this:
Basic static mesh support works. Skeletal meshes and animations are not supported yet.


Each of the objects in the scene will become a single static mesh in unreal. This is good for a modular pack, but very bad for complex multiobject files. An option to merge objects would be great (like in FBX import). This fails spectacularly if you try to import one of the complex models from https://sketchfab.com/features/gltf , like the unity robot model (he imports as a ton of tiny objects) The same happens with the drone mode;.


Interestingly enough, Blender export works by default, without any setup. There are no more scale ******** to deal with as with FBX, and also it will use the correct axis by default, so no flipped models or badly scaled models. Great improvement over FBX. It "Just Works"


All objects in the scene will import as static meshes, with their scale and position reset. If you have any scale or position at "object" level in blender, when importing into unreal this will be reset. An option to apply the scale/position would be great, but working around it is absolutely trivial.


Smooth groups export perfectly by default, exactly as they are with blender (no more import normals or not as with FBX). Another great improvement over FBX
Whole scenes cant be imported well, as every object will just become a separated static mesh centered at origin, but without the "scene hierarchy". The importer having the option to create a blueprint that holds the scene information would be a huge plus, and would allow one to create a whole scene in blender and import it as 1 object into ue4.


The material/texture import is a lot better than i expected, and its what makes this a superior format and workflow over FBX (for static meshes) right now. A blender cycles node tree will get completely translated to UE4, as long as it follows the roughness/metallic workflow. The fact that the importer already supports textures and recreates the material is awesome.


Do keep in mind, this is very much an experimental feature, but for many Blender artists, it’s already sounding like a superior experience.  Let’s hope skeletal animations get added soon!

GameDev News

23. January 2018


Epic just released a pretty awesome pair of assets packs completely free for Unreal Engine developers.  Soul:City and Soul:Cave are both AAA quality packs containing maps, models, textures, blueprints and more for creating a futuristic city as well as a cave environment.  The only real catch is the license requires the assets be used only in Unreal Engine projects, which seems reasonable enough all things considered!

Details of the two packs:

Soul City
Texture Sizes: 256, 512, 1024, 2048UE4Ass
Collision: Yes
LODs: No
Number of Meshes: 419
Number of Materials and Material Instances: 234
Number of Textures: 198
Supported Target Build Platforms: Desktop, Mobile
Usage: Licensed for use with the Unreal Engine only.


Soul Cave
Texture Sizes: 256, 512, 1024, 2048
Collision: Yes
LODs: No
Number of Meshes: 173
Number of Materials and Material Instances: 167
Number of Textures: 171
Supported Target Build Platforms: Desktop, Mobile
Usage: Licensed for use with the Unreal Engine only.


You can read more about the release and download both packs from this link.  For a quick video showing the assets in action check here or the video embedded below.

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