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UDK May beta update, brings Steam

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Big updates today for UDK:

  • Steam
  • Colour grading
  • Updated heightfog
  • much more

Click through to see the entire list of updates for the May UDK.

One of the more noteable releases is a showcase on some titles being created with the UDK. Here's the list released today from Epic.

  • Angels Fall First: Planetstorm, a multiplayer sci-fi war game fought in space and on the ground. Crew gigantic capital ships in first person, pilot fighters and launch dropships to board other vessels, or wield advanced ground assault vehicles, infantry and aero-craft to achieve victory.
  • Bounty Arms, a classic 3D side-scrolling action game. Battle a range of enemies across the galaxy, join up with comrades, unlock hidden doors to secrets and collect power-ups that alter your character and weapons.
  • Hazard: The Journey of Life, a philosophical first-person, single-player exploration puzzle art game. The game presents no goals directly; rather, it is up to players to create goals based on what they know of the world.


[caption id="attachment_526" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Colour grading, one of the many updates to the May UDK"][/caption]


In addition to those games, there's a huge list of changes to the UDK, which we'll list for you below. I'm especially fond of the colour grading addition, I can't wait to get my hands on that one.

Scaleform GFx


  • Steam is now the default OnlineSubsystem for UDKGame Win32
  • Steam handles all online services, including matchmaking, friends and server browsing

Light Shafts


[caption id="attachment_533" align="aligncenter" width="639" caption="UDK May update, Lightshafts"][/caption]


Exponential Height Fog (screenshot)

  • New kind of global fog with density that decreases with height
  • Never creates a hard line (unlike standard fog); supports one layer
  • Can specify both "towards the light" and "away from the light" colors
  • Rendering cost similar to two layers of constant density height fog
  • Can now use different colors for the hemisphere facing the light and vice versa

Color Grading Blending


  • UDK now supports running 64-bit binaries for the editor
  • Added ‘search by object’ type to Kismet
  • New mesh emitter camera facing option: "Apply Particle Rotation As Spin"
  • Editor now shows up in system tray while starting up (and Alt+Tab works!)
  • Can now capture content browser thumbnails from PIE viewports
  • Added ability to tint editor icons similar to Point Lights
  • PNGs can now be imported as textures; RGB and RGBA formats are supported
  • Viewports
    • New Alt+F/G/H/J shortcuts to switch between viewport types
    • Greatly reduced the time it takes for volume visibility updates


  • Now being localized for
    • INT - English
    • FRA - French
    • ITA - Italian
    • DEU - German
    • ESN - European Spanish
    • ESM - Latin American Spanish
    • RUS - Russian
    • HUN - Hungarian
    • CZE - Czech
    • SLO - Slovakian
    • POL - Polish
    • JPN - Japanese
    • CHN - Simplified Chinese
    • KOR - Korean

Editor Fixes

  • Materials can no longer be placed as decals unless the decal usage flag is set
  • Fixed fog volumes being created when dropping materials sometimes
  • Fixed support for non-standard languages

FBX Importer

  • Added support for rigid animation!
  • FBX import settings are now remembered between sessions
  • Importer will detect the type of asset to import by peeking at the FBX file
  • New import option to override naming of imported assets
  • Textures can now be imported (with or without a material being created)
  • The FBX import dialog has been improved
  • Updated to the latest FBX SDK (2011.2)
  • Can now re-import skeletal meshes from FBX files
  • Fixed smoothing group warning dialog spam on mesh import


  • Scaleform / UI
    • Added (prototype) Scaleform-based front end and HUD to UDKGame
    • Added GFx example content to ExampleMap
    • Scaleform implementations of HUD, Pause Menu, Scoreboard
  • Code clean-up
    • Moved UT-specific functionality from Weapon to UTWeapon
    • Moved HUDIcons and HUDCoords properties from UDKVehicleBase to UTVehicle
    • Cleaned up UDK default engine.inis down to two
    • Moved DeathTime from UDKPawn to UTPawn
    • Removed unused UDKPawn property LookYaw
    • Removed PlayFiringSound() call from Weapon.FireAmmunition() (not implemented for any game except UTGame)
    • Moved bio death material effect system from UDKPawn to UTPawn
  • Enabled tone mapping and color grading support to UDK
    • Enabled by default now so all scenes will receive contrast-enhancing tone mapping
  • Misc
    • Changed input handling of controller demo to not recurse, therefore stopping the CLIK button from swallowing the GAMEPAD_A event
    • Spawn player as spectator if ?causeevent=flythrough is passed on the commandline
    • Set bFixedPlayerStart=true, bForceRespawn=true, and bQuickStat=true if ?causeevent=flythrough is passed on the commandline


  • Fixed several issues related to version numbers and matching Agents to Jobs
  • Change usage of "localhost" to using the localhost IP address ( instead

Gameplay Profiler

Attachment Editor

  • Draw bone/socket label on connector for actors attached to skeletal meshes
  • Allow nodes to be manually moved around
  • Allow attachments to be made in a more 'Kismet like' way


  • Lots of runtime navmesh optimizations (mostly related to dynamic submesh builds)
    • Huge speed gains

AnimSet Viewer

  • Added copy and paste animations to the AnimSet browser
  • New options for calculating Bone Break
    • Default: Both meshes have to influence to use rigid
    • Auto Detect Rigid: Detects rigid when soft body misses the weight
    • Alternate weight preferred: Second weight has more priority
  • Added "Delete selected bone weighting" option
  • "Toggle Mesh Weights" option
    • Displayed if there is a valid set of weights for the current LOD
    • Otherwise, the option is disabled
  • Added info to display chunks/sections when swapping vertex weights

Max Quality Mode

  • Added MaxQualityMode option for taking high-resolution screenshots
  • Increases texture res and shadow quality regardless of performance

Property Multi-Select and Cut-Paste

  • Control-Click on properties to add to selection
  • Control-C, Control-V or right click to copy and paste!

Lighting Changes

  • Improved unbuilt lighting performance
  • Changed bUseBooleanEnvironmentShadowing to default to TRUE for best performance
    • Light environments will not receive dynamic shadows from the static environment unless bUseBooleanEnvironmentShadowing is changed back to false!
  • Primitives with bShadowIndirectOnly=true no longer cast dynamic shadows
  • Added bForceNoPrecomputedLighting to WorldInfo, allowing maps with fully dynamic lighting to skip time-consuming light building during a full rebuild
  • Hid light environment settings that are rarely used, edge cases, or only set by gameplay code to simplify the interface

Scene Capture Optimizations

  • 'Max View Distance Override': Set a culling distance for objects rendered into the reflection
  • 'Skip Update If Owner Occluded': Skip rendering to the scene capture entirely if it's not going to be visible
  • 'Skip Rendering Depth Prepass': Controls whether a depth prepass is performed when rendering the scene capture
  • Capture will be culled if last-bound time of the render target texture is more than a second ago


  • Added map check warning for large shadow casters unless they have bAcceptsDynamicDominantLightShadows=false
  • New mesh emitter camera facing option: bApplyParticleRotationAsSpin
  • Changed bRenderAsVelocity to default to TRUE for RadialBlurComponents as they are much faster to render this way
  • Mesh area lights now affect dynamic objects!
    • UE3 creates a spotlight at the center of the emissive area which is applied to dynamic objects
  • Added a new volume type: LightmassCharacterIndirectDetailVolume
    • Lightmass generates higher density indirect character lighting samples inside these volumes
    • Useful for sections where characters are not over static ground, e.g., elevators

UDN Documentation


  • Exporting TGAs is temporarily broken and results in weird interlaced images

Upcoming changes (as of the next UDK build)

  • SM2 support will be removed

Additional notes, code samples and more are available at the Unreal Developer Network (UDN):

Community links:
UDK LinkedIn user group: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2493123
UDK on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/UDK/183744733429
Epic Games on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EpicGames



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