Unreal Engine 5, the newest version of Epic’s game engine, was released on April 5th 2022. The improvements to the engine have been much anticipated by those within the gaming, film and entertainment industries. It is the first major update to the engine for 8 years, and the new features are specifically designed to help develop the best video games, movies, and metaverse experiences.
A user's ability to operate in real-time whilst creating exciting visuals is largely what makes Unreal such an exciting tool for creators. The introduction of features such as Lumen, MetaHuman, Nanite, World Partition, Control Ride & MetaSounds, offers users an array of tools - whether it be in lighting, sound, geometry systems, or the engine's 3D and facial realism technology.
The engine has already powered huge video games in the form of Fornite and Valorant, the next test will be whether it can have the same influence on TV and film. UE has been used in the industry successfully before, notably with its use in The Mandalorian where it helped build entire on set 3D environments. The Matrix Resurrections was another high profile film that used the engine, specifically in the scene where Morpheus introduces kung-fu abilities to Neo. It was DNEG’s first time using the engine for a full sequence in one of their films and we saw them take advantage of the engine to integrate live-action and three-dimensional sets, whilst also rendering out environments and digital scenes.
It is almost certain that UE5’s improvements will prove to be a huge deal for film production and its use within the industry is likely to grow quickly once studios fully understand the engine's capabilities. It should not only save time and money, but it will allow studios to be more creative and less restricted within their work. Epic’s expansion from gaming into visual effects studios is clear to see, but their reach will now go much further with UE5, as we see the need for 3D and virtual simulation grow across numerous industries and platforms.