4 min read

Last week, Epic released the stable version of Unreal Engine 4.23 with a whopping 192 improvements. The major features include beta varieties like Chaos – Destruction, Multi-Bounce Reflection fallback in Real-Time Ray Tracing, Virtual Texturing, Unreal Insights, HoloLens 2 native support, Niagara improvements and many more. Unreal Engine 4.23 will no longer support iOS 10, as iOS 11 is now the minimum required version.

What’s new in Unreal Engine 4.23?

Chaos – Destruction

Labelled as “Unreal Engine’s new high-performance physics and destruction system” Chaos is available in beta for users to attain cinematic-quality visuals in real-time scenes. It also supports high level artist control over content creation and destruction.

Chaos supports many distinct characteristics like-

Geometry Collections: It is a new type of asset in Unreal for short-lived objects. The Geometry assets can be built using one or more Static Meshes. It offers flexibility to the artist on choosing what to simulate, how to organize and author the destruction.

Fracturing: A Geometry Collection can be broken into pieces either individually, or by applying one pattern across multiple pieces using the Fracturing tools.

Clustering: Sub-fracturing is used by artists to increase optimization. Every sub-fracture is an extra level added to the Geometry Collection. The Chaos system keeps track of the extra levels and stores the information in a Cluster, to be controlled by the artist.

Fields: It can be used to control simulation and other attributes of the Geometry Collection. Fields enable users to vary the mass, make something static, to make the corner more breakable than the middle, and others.

Unreal Insights

Currently in beta, Unreal Insights enable developers to collect and analyze data about Unreal Engine’s behavior in a fixed way. The Trace System API system is one of its components and is used to collect information from runtime systems consistently. Another component of Unreal Insights is called the Unreal Insights Tool. It supplies interactive visualization of data through the Analysis API.

For in-depth details about Unreal Insights and other features, you can also check out the first preview release of Unreal Engine 4.23.

Virtual Production Pipeline Improvements

Unreal Engine 4.23 explores advancements in virtual production pipeline by improving virtually scout environments and compose shots by connecting live broadcast elements with digital representations and more.

In-Camera VFX: With improvements in-Camera VFX, users can achieve final shots live on set by combining real-world actors and props with Unreal Engine environment backgrounds.

VR Scouting for Filmmakers: The new VR Scouting tools can be used by filmmakers to navigate and interact with the virtual world in VR. Controllers and settings can also be customized in Blueprints,rather than rebuilding the engine in C++.

Live Link Datatypes and UX Improvements: The Live Link Plugin be used to drive character animation, camera, lights, and basic 3D transforms dynamically from other applications and data sources in the production pipeline. Other improvements include save and load presets for Live Link setups, better status indicators to show the current Live Link sources, and more.

Remote Control over HTTP: Unreal Engine 4.23 users can send commands to Unreal Engine and Unreal Editor remotely over HTTP. This makes it possible for users to create customized web user interfaces to trigger changes in the project’s content.

Read Also: Epic releases Unreal Engine 4.22, focuses on adding “photorealism in real-time environments”

Real-Time Ray tracing Improvements

Performance and Stability

  • Expanded DirectX 12 Support
  • Improved Denoiser quality
  • Increased Ray Traced Global Illumination (RTGI) quality

Additional Geometry and Material Support

  • Landscape Terrain
  • Hierarchical Instanced Static Meshes (HISM) and Instanced Static Meshes (ISM)
  • Procedural Meshes
  • Transmission with SubSurface Materials
  • World Position Offset (WPO) support for Landscape and Skeletal Mesh geometries

Multi-Bounce Reflection Fallback

Unreal Engine 4.23 provides improved support for multi-bounce Ray Traced Reflections (RTR) by using Reflection Captures. This will increase the performance of all types of intra-reflections.

Virtual Texturing

The beta version of Virtual Texturing in Unreal Engine 4.23 enables users to create and use large textures for a lower and more constant memory footprint at runtime.

Streaming Virtual Texturing: The Streaming Virtual Texturing uses the Virtual Texture assets to present an option to stream textures from disk rather than the existing Mip-based streaming. It minimizes the texture memory overhead and increases performance when using very large textures.

Runtime Virtual Texturing: The Runtime Virtual Texturing avails a Runtime Virtual Texture asset. It can be used to supply shading data over large areas, thus making it suitable for Landscape shading.

Unreal Engine 4.23 also presents new features like Skin Weight Profiles, Animation Streaming, Dynamic Animation Graphs, Open Sound Control, Sequencer Curve Editor Improvements, and more.

As expected, users love the new features in Unreal Engine 4.23, especially Chaos.

To know about the full updates in Unreal Engine 4.23, users can head over to the Unreal Engine blog.

Other news in Game Development

Japanese Anime studio Khara is switching its primary 3D CG tools to Blender

Following Epic Games, Ubisoft joins Blender Development fund; adopts Blender as its main DCC tool

Epic Games grants Blender $1.2 million in cash to improve the quality of their software development projects

A born storyteller turned writer!