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27. April 2016

 

Epic have released another Unreal Engine preview, this time 4.12 preview 2.  Unlike hotfixes, these releases introduce new features and are expected to be quite buggy, so buyer beware!  The biggest feature of this release is the Sequencer, which is an NLE (non-linear editor) enabling you to create in-game cinematics.  Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this release.  The Unreal Engine updates at a pretty staggering rate over all.  Other new features in Unreal Engine 4.12 Preview 2 include:

  • Editor/Tools Updates:
    • Sequencer is now a supported feature that combines the power of a non­linear editor with 3d animation editing to allow you to produce in-­game cinematics as well as a sequence of shots for film, tv, and previsualization. It’s also designed so that multiple artists can work on a shot together or across multiple shots.
      • Rearrange shots like a traditional non­linear editing package
      • Create alternate takes of a shot and rollback with ease
      • Make per shot tweaks and spawn shot specific actors
      • Designed for collaboration
      • Automatic track creation based on actor type
      • Standardized keyboard shortcuts
      • Auto­keyframing
      • Embedded track and key editing/creation widgets
      • User­definable track coloring
      • Keyframe shapes and colors defined by interpolation behavior
      • Folders and labels for organization
    • Cinematic Camera Actors coupled with new Camera Rig Actors provide filmmakers as well as novices with the ability to create realistic camera shots with ease.
      • Customizable lenses and filmback settings
      • Focal length
      • Look at tracking
    • Cinematic Viewport is new, streamlined and allows you to view a sequence of shots for dailies in filmmaking.
      • Embedded timeline and transport controls
      • Frame numbers indicating shot in and out cut points
      • Overlays and framing helpers for composition
    • Sequence Recording allows you to record gameplay and immediately place the recorded elements into your shot. You can even make a recording while playing back a previous recording.
      • Record gameplay into skeletal animation, transform, event, and audio tracks
      • Automatic track generation for re­editing the recording
    • Audio Localization (Preview) - 4.12 improves our built-­in support for audio localization (via dialogue wave and dialogue voice assets) to the point where you’re now encouraged to try and it out and provide feedback.
      • Spoken text is now gathered from dialogue wave assets and included in your PO files for translation along with your other asset based text.
      • Several new commandlets have been added to facilitate the recording and importing of audio for your dialogue wave assets (these are also integrated into the Localization Dashboard).
        • ExportDialogueScript ­- Exports a per­culture CSV file containing each line of dialogue and its associated filename.
        • ImportDialogueScript -­ Imports a copy­edited per­culture CSV file and updates any translations with the recorded dialogue.
        • ImportLocalizedDialogue -­ Imports per­culture recorded WAV files and generates localized dialogue and sound wave assets.
    • Unreal Editor in VR (Preview)
  • Platform Updates:
    • Xbox One
      • Async compute is now supported. This allows the GPU to use spare resources during drawing to do other work, resulting in faster overall frame times on GPU. This is currently used by the reflection environment and SSAO passes with more coming in future.
      • DX11.x Fast Semantics is now turned on by default which saves CPU time. DX11.x Legacy is now deprecated. We anticipate moving to DX12.x by default in a future release and removing DX11.x entirely.
    • PS4
      • Support for SDK 3.508.031
  • VR Updates:
    • Improved Stereo Layers Support - Layer support now works on all platforms, and has been improved to be more user friendly
    • VR Loading Movies - You can now have framerate-­independent loading movie support.
    • OSVR Support UE4 will now ship with OSVR support out of the box. For more information, visit http://www.osvr.org/
  • Framework Updates:
    • Added ability to use lower LODs for StaticMesh collison
    • Default collision from static mesh asset
    • Animation Node: Twist Corrective can apply a MorphTarget curve value when a twist is overdone
    • Dynamic SoundClass adjustment overrides in sound mixes
    • AnimComposite can be used in AnimMontage or AnimComposite. With this change, now AnimSequenceBase (previously only AnimSequence) is supported through montages or composite. If you’d like to create your own AnimSequenceBase, it should be easier to support with this.
  • Rendering Updates:
    • High Quality Reflections
      • High Precision Static Mesh Vertex Normal/Tangent Encoding
      • Custom Resolutions for Sky Cubemaps and Reflection Probes
      • Custom Cubemaps for Reflection Probes
      • High Precision GBuffer Normal Encoding
  • Blueprints Updates:
    • Cooking Blueprints into C++ (Experimental Beta) allows you to package Blueprints into native source code.
      • Enabled in editor, through your project’s Packaging Settings: Experimental => Nativize Blueprint Assets. Can also be invoked by passing -NativizeAssets as a param to the UAT BuildCookRun script
      • Generated source is saved as a plugin in your project’s intermediate folder, under: …\Intermediate\<PLATFORM>\NativizedAssets\
      • Can exclude certain Blueprints from the process in your game���s DefaultEditor.ini file (under [BlueprintNativizationSettings]). General “types” of Blueprints can be excluded: +ExcludedBlueprintTypes=/Script/UMGEditor.WidgetBlueprint. Specific assets can also be excluded: +ExcludedAssets=/Game/Blueprints/MyBlueprint
    • Mask Field Variables - Integer properties can now be declared as being a bitmask, and optionally associated with an enum which encapsulates bitflag values.
  • Mobile Updates:
    • Vulkan Mobile Renderer (Experimental) as shown in the ProtoStar demo shown at the Samsung Galaxy S7 Unpacked event in Barcelona
    • High Quality Mobile Post Processing
      • Improved Depth of Field quality
      • Filmic Tonemapper
    • More Shadowing Options for Mobile
      • CSM shadows for dynamic objects blended with precomputed Lightmass shadows
      • Planar reflections
    • GPU Particles on High-end Android and iOS devices
      • Apple devices with A8+
      • Android 6.0 with Adreno 4xx and Mali-T7xx (Galaxy Note 4, Note 5, S6, S7, Nexus 6P and others)
    • Web Browser UMG Widget on iOS
  • Mobile Landscape & Foliage Updates:
    • Grass and Foliage Scalability
      • Ability to reduce grass and foliage density based on quality levels
    • New Scaling and Alignment Options for Landscape Grass
    • Landscape Collision Improvements
      • Simplified Player Collision for Landscape
      • Collision support for spline meshes created at runtime (GitHub contribution)

As always, you can download the new preview release using the Epic Game Launcher.

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