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Unreal Engine 5 - Epic Games Announces New Engine

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  • Obscura
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    Obscura godlike master sticky
    So far, it seems like you can only use it for static stuff. Based on the nature of the tech (if its actually what we are thinking it is), not a big surprise. If its actually micropolygons, then lod is automatic. There is no vertex index buffer and such. But a position map and a vertex normal map. Lod can be done by mipmapping these - less pixels, less polygons to spawn. Also, I believe a displacement map doesn't make sense in this context.

    Check this out:
    http://hhoppe.com/gim.pdf
    And this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reyes_rendering
    And this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micropolygon

    This actually makes a lot of sense. Sound like a more gpu friendly way to do such things.
  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    oglu said:
    You have to animate them. Clean topo is still needed. 
    What do they say does the vertex transformation cost?

    Edit: oh well @Obscura.. 
  • Obscura
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    Obscura godlike master sticky
    If you put virtual texturing under this tech, it makes even more sense and starts to not sound that bad memory wise either.
  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    Obscura said:
    If you put virtual texturing under this tech, it makes even more sense and starts to not sound that bad memory wise either.
    Still.. you have to download it and put it somewhere first ;)
  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan greentooth
    Maybe they have some new next-gen compression algorithms to go along with the jump up to 20 terabyte game files. They just didn't talk about that part because it's not as sexy in a graphics demo.
  • Obscura
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    Obscura godlike master sticky
    Actually, it should be possible to use this on animated meshes, but it would be pretty much like alembic.  It would be a simple texture swap per frame. Not worse than alembic, and you can stream it.  So there is no vertex transform in a way that we are used to.

    I'm just thinking loud though.
  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    Maybe they have some new next-gen compression algorithms to go along with the jump up to 20 terabyte game files. They just didn't talk about that part because it's not as sexy in a graphics demo.
    I doubt something of enough magnitude. No, I think they are really planing for the future.. I meant to be impressed by my 2GB hard drive where I didn't have to uninstall my old games when new ones arrived.
    Now.. find a modern game that fits on 2 GB
  • poopipe
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    poopipe hero character
    Obscura said:
    Actually, it should be possible to use this on animated meshes, but it would be pretty much like alembic.  It would be a simple texture swap per frame. Not worse than alembic, and you can stream it.  So there is no vertex transform in a way that we are used to.

    I'm just thinking loud though.

    I  think it's more likely to be a set of transforms from a base mesh(ie vector displacement) than to be a pseudo volumetric object defined entirely by a texture(position/normal combo) 

    You lose an awful lot of flexibility by not having UVs to play with (tileables, shader animation etc..)  not to mention parity with vfx pipelines which is clearly where they're looking. 


  • Obscura
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    Obscura godlike master sticky
    I mean. You can store the uvs of the original mesh too alongside the position and normals. In that case, the data types would be almost identical to the current ones. The only difference is that its in a more gpu friendly format.
  • Obscura
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    Obscura godlike master sticky
    Not sure if you guys have seen this. They go into details about pretty much everything.
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2020-unreal-engine-5-playstation-5-tech-demo-analysis
    So yeah its micropolygons and the lighting is hardware independent ray tracing, using a more advanced distance fields implementation, and some other techniques. So basically ray marching...
  • Blond
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    Blond polycounter lvl 6
    You guys think my 1080 ti will sustain this?
  • melviso
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    melviso polycounter lvl 8
    Since optimisation won't be an issue anymore, the texturing might move towards something like PTEX, maybe a better technique or evolved form of it? No need for uvs and with Ptex, u can have high resolution textures., That's what Disney has been using for their cinematic animations because they haven't been a fan of Uv texturing.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    On this occasion, it's probably fair to say that this tech truly deserves the nomenclature, *Disruptive*

    "To be fair Epic is partly to blame on this as they framed this demo the perfect way to confuse the average youtube gaming expert into thinking "OMG infinite detail"

    ...indeed, like their reaction over the whole euclideon engine hullabaloo, a ways back. 
  • pior
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    pior high dynamic range
    Haha exactly yup, that vid above is pretty much my point summarized in a way more practical manner :) 
  • Mehran Khan
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    Mehran Khan polycounter lvl 6
    @oglu hahaah  man the dreams fanbase is crazy talented. The reddit is full of awesome stuff.
  • littleclaude
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    littleclaude sublime tool
    Obscura said:
    Not sure if you guys have seen this. They go into details about pretty much everything.
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2020-unreal-engine-5-playstation-5-tech-demo-analysis
    So yeah its micropolygons and the lighting is hardware independent ray tracing, using a more advanced distance fields implementation, and some other techniques. So basically ray marching...
    Thanks, the video inside the article from Digital Foundry also gives a very good break down. 


  • Finnn
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    Finnn polycounter lvl 3
    1 TB Ram Sticks incoming
  • littleclaude
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    littleclaude sublime tool

    Keep in mind 5G networking, they are starting to roll out across the world and it now runs at 10GB per second so it wouldn’t be inconceivable to stream such a game from a remote server at low latency.  Its looking like good news for Google Stadia in the long run. 

  • J4yst3r
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    J4yst3r polycounter lvl 6
    pior said:
    Because besides local color, these fancy stone statues, envirenment rocks and metal pans still need at the very least AO and roughness data to look the way they do
    This doesn't seem right.. Roughness sure, but this scene was built almost entirely out of Megascans stuff, and none of their photogrammetry models come with AO maps. The surface scans do, but I thought that was because those textures are used on surfaces with minimal geometry. If the model has all the silhouette information and you combine it with this upgraded lighting system, do you really need AO?

    pior said:
    but no, this tech will not magically replace any bake-centric pipeline with a bloated mesh/vertex color pipeline.
    And this seems to be a misconception a few people have. They never said UVs were going away, or that this was some kind of vertex colour pipeline. In the Eurogamer article, they talk about still having all the maps you're used to, except now you don't need AO, and that normal maps are small, tiling detail maps. As oglu said on the first page of this thread, how bad would it be to unwrap a base model, presumably once you reach a stage where the silhouette won't change and you're just adding surface details, then keep subdividing over that?

    pior said:
    never in the history of CG has "more detail" meant "faster creation time for a project"
    I'll admit this is where I could be very naive, but don't artists at AAA studios already make these super detailed models that just get baked down? If you take out the optimising LODs and making sure all the details you need are accurately captured in the bakes, surely that's time saved? Of course that time might be used to make more props or something, in which case, yes, more work. But at least that would be artistic work, not a technical requirement.
  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    I have to say I'm with pior about the necessary workflow. You might save some time with skipping over LODs but you still need to make LOD0. Which is now having a even higher details resolution. You still need proper UVs and you still need proper topology. 
    The biggest impact I would see is getting rid of necessary steps making sure you get proper (normal) bakes via cages, UV-splits, etc.

    So you gain a bit but you most likely also have to pay a bit.

    However.. when I understand this right, this will be just another workflow you add to the already existing one. So e.g. for animated characters you have to good old baking times + LODs. 
     
    On another page: I could imagine this becomes a bit nerve wrecking at the beginning as your asset resolutions grows but maybe not your workstation RAM ;)
  • thomasp
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    thomasp ngon master
    J4yst3r said:

    pior said:
    never in the history of CG has "more detail" meant "faster creation time for a project"
    I'll admit this is where I could be very naive, but don't artists at AAA studios already make these super detailed models that just get baked down? If you take out the optimising LODs and making sure all the details you need are accurately captured in the bakes, surely that's time saved? Of course that time might be used to make more props or something, in which case, yes, more work. But at least that would be artistic work, not a technical requirement.
    The highres sculpts aren't really in a format you could just stick into a game. A ton of subtools and cheap cheats to achieve the look, uneven mesh density between subtools - or for the folks who go crazy with dynamesh and the sort - uneven density within a highres mesh, really unotimized or broken up UVs...

    And if you for some reason need multiple UV or vertex color channels or custom normals then you will have to deal with the DCC software commonly available. Which simply cannot handle high polygon counts (reliably). It's not even a question of buying a faster machine, the software internals aren't built for this.

    So even just from a workflow perspective it's not going to be a general solution (any time soon).

  • J4yst3r
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    J4yst3r polycounter lvl 6
    thomasp said:
    The highres sculpts aren't really in a format you could just stick into a game. A ton of subtools and cheap cheats to achieve the look, uneven mesh density between subtools - or for the folks who go crazy with dynamesh and the sort - uneven density within a highres mesh, really unotimized or broken up UVs...

    Okay, so here's where I prove I don't have a clue what I'm talking about haha (if I hadn't already...)

    How would you normally bake sculpts like that? If you can bake textures from sculpts with uneven mesh density etc without it being noticeable on the resulting textures, why would it be noticeable if you just used that sculpt as is? As for UVs, would they really fall apart if you unwrapped at a "mid-poly" stage when the silhouette is defined and the shapes are manageable, before subdividing further for the surface details?
  • huffer
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    huffer interpolator

    thomasp said:
    The highres sculpts aren't really in a format you could just stick into a game. A ton of subtools and cheap cheats to achieve the look, uneven mesh density between subtools
    Does that matter though, with their micropolygon engine? Aren't  the meshes retesselated at render times?
    J4yst3r said:
    And this seems to be a misconception a few people have. They never said UVs were going away, or that this was some kind of vertex colour pipeline.
    I think they said they use the full 8K maps with virtual texturing. So the high res models still need UVs and the usual texturing process. I imagine if it's the case, after some performance updates to support such geometry - bringing a zbrush model in Substance Painter, auto-unwrapping, baking curvature or AO or whatever else you need directly from the mesh. Think you could also make use of the displacement and use height maps to add geometric details to a mid-poly model, then just export the mesh with the displacement subdivision on.

  • DanDickheiser
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    DanDickheiser polycounter lvl 7
    Any thoughts on what this could mean for vegetation in games? If we could start using geometry for twigs and leaves instead of billboards it would be a dramatic visual improvement, however  I imagine that there's no feasible performant way to actually deform/animate that much geometry?  They would obviously still have to be authored with proper topology and uv sets.
  • Jerc
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    Jerc interpolator
    Even if using high poly meshes for everything was technically feasible with this new tech, we're not getting any of that on anything else than hero assets for a long time still.
    This tech demo likely already weighs in the dozens of GB. Having a game full of high poly meshes and 8k textures is simply not feasible with today's storage and bandwidth limitations even if the hardware could theoretically run it. It would be a logistical nightmare from the authoring to the storing, versioning all the way to shipping a 1TB game.

    Even the VFX industry typically doesn't use high poly meshes because DCCs and pipelines in general can't handle them, it's much more efficient to use simpler topology, subdivision and displacement.
  • Udjani
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    Udjani polycounter lvl 3
    Hope they change the interface.
  • bitinn
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    bitinn polycounter lvl 3
    Obscura said:
    Not sure if you guys have seen this. They go into details about pretty much everything.
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2020-unreal-engine-5-playstation-5-tech-demo-analysis
    So yeah its micropolygons and the lighting is hardware independent ray tracing, using a more advanced distance fields implementation, and some other techniques. So basically ray marching...
    I know Polycount is not huge on the engine side of things, but I expect a few things with this tech:

    - If you worry about shipping a game with full res source asset, which cause both runtime memory, storage and content security concerns, then Epic is likely storing the source asset in a pre-processed compressed way: like a voxel representation of the source asset, but allow fast rasterization at runtime.

    - The key benefit doesn't appear to be "no more LOD" or "20 mil micro polygon on screen", the hardware limit is still the same, but rather the by-product from this tech: High-res Real-time Shadow maps. This can't be easily emulated in a traditional pipeline.

    - This tech won't solve the texture limit, which is again imposed by hardware. But for scenes like the demo, with tiling textures and only a few hero asset textures, you can use 8K without breaking PS5.

    - The Dynamic GI is also SDF / voxel-based, which is a more "traditional" solution if you compare it to static GI baking; I guess it will require more computation at runtime, thus can only be done on PS5-level hardware; previously I wonder if it depends on the special pre-processed mesh data from Nanite, from the article I guess not.

    - Things like foliage and transparency will be very hard to do, not sure they can make it even with another 6-12 months of R&D.
  • Obscura
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    Obscura godlike master sticky
    "- If you worry about shipping a game with full res source asset, which cause both runtime memory, storage and content security concerns, then Epic is likely storing the source asset in a pre-processed compressed way: like a voxel representation of the source asset, but allow fast rasterization at runtime."

    -Voxel representation needs to be stored for the sdf system anyways. The virtual texturing feature compresses textures like crazy. Some textures can show 10x smaller memory footprint and storage size than a standard texture.

    "- This tech won't solve the texture limit, which is again imposed by hardware. But for scenes like the demo, with tiling textures and only a few hero asset textures, you can use 8K without breaking PS5."

    - Again, virtual texturing is the key.

    "- The Dynamic GI is also SDF / voxel-based, which is a more "traditional" solution if you compare it to static GI baking; I guess it will require more computation at runtime, thus can only be done on PS5-level hardware; previously I wonder if it depends on the special pre-processed mesh data from Nanite, from the article I guess not."

    -Yes it needs some pre-process. Much like the current distance field shadowing system. Each mesh needs to have its sdf counterpart, which gets created and stored upon importing the mesh. SDF serves as a scene representation and "acceleration structure (instead of a bounding volume hierarchy for triangle ray tracing). If sdf exist, ray marching it is faster. But to put simple, the stored sdf is already a voxel representation - Distance to the nearest non-empty voxel. By voxels, they most likely mean that the sdf has a color channel too. The color channels are needed in order to be able to gather color information from the surrounding  of the given pixel. 
  • Eric Chadwick
    can't wait to play this on my phone!
  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz sublime tool
    Seems devs are beginning to try and recreate UE5's lighting in other engines:


  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    It is probably worth thinking about what this new tech is aiming for. Which gab it fills.
    Practically focusing on one of the areas which imo always lacked in terms of visual quality: natural organic structures.
    These unique rock, sand and mud surfaces can now be replaced by scanned or sculpted high res assets without LOD popping. and proper contact shadows.

    Imagine the Unreal 5 Demo in a clean sci-fi environment...
    I guess it's safe to assume that choosing this kind of theme for the demo had a reason.


    tl;dr: imo the demo showcases a best case scenario for the new tech.
  • littleclaude
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    littleclaude sublime tool
    The Unreal Engine's pipeline with virtual film production techniques will become much less seamless with the release of UE5. Not just in asset creation but also materials, lighting, cameras and much more, especially with tools like material X and Universal Scene Description (USD) and what ever else is in the pipeline. It all makes for very interesting times ahead. 

    This is all great news for all industries, AKA, as the "Real-time for Everyone"  descriptor points out on Epic's website. 





  • pior
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    pior high dynamic range
    Well, I hate to be a downer again but some of these pipeline reports are also littered with over-inflated PR talk. Anyone who's worked with UE4 knows that even though the engine is fantastic, it is far from being as snappy as these spotlight videos make it look. Like how editing any material that isn't an MI causes hundreds (or even thousands) of shaders to recompile. Or the way it hangs for seconds on asset delete. Or the asset redirectors. Oh, the asset redirectors.

    For some reason the people talking about how revolutionary these processes are for fast iteration ... are almost never the ones actually working on creating/implementing the assets and virtual sets. Of course everything is fast once compiled or in PIE, but getting there is absolutely not that smooth of a ride.
  • Eric Chadwick
    The Unreal Engine's pipeline with virtual film production techniques will become much less seamless with the release of UE5. 

    I think you meant to say the opposite there.
  • garciiia
    sorry for my noob question but did they create everything you can see or do they use sculpting-software like zbrush and just render it with the engine?
  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d greentooth
    @garciiia
    the latter - they haven't incorporated an all-in-one production software. Pretty sure the narrator even mentions "this statue was 32 million polygons inside of zBrush and brought into unreal".
  • Doxturtle
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    Doxturtle polycounter lvl 5
    So im terms of changes to a general asset pipeline, what can we be reasonbly expecting?

    My impression was that you could basically do game's props as you would for something like a pre-rendered scene, create a base mesh, unwrap and texture it, subdivide as needed with displacements and detail normals?

    Is this something we can be expecting or will there still be a broad need for proper low poly baking?



  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    Doxturtle said:
    So im terms of changes to a general asset pipeline, what can we be reasonbly expecting?

    My impression was that you could basically do game's props as you would for something like a pre-rendered scene, create a base mesh, unwrap and texture it, subdivide as needed with displacements and detail normals?

    Is this something we can be expecting or will there still be a broad need for proper low poly baking?



    I think baking is not going away anytime soon
  • Udjani
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    Udjani polycounter lvl 3
  • Doxturtle
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    Doxturtle polycounter lvl 5
    so for now will we just see low-polys that are higher res, or do you think that not much will change there?

    I'm not sure what this actually changes if you still have to bake down most assets to low polys as usual
  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    Doxturtle said:
    so for now will we just see low-polys that are higher res, or do you think that not much will change there?

    I'm not sure what this actually changes if you still have to bake down most assets to low polys as usual
    As @Jerc mentioned this will be an additional workflow for important and / or specific assets. 

    The point some people are missing is that you already gain a lot if you just do LOD0 the usual way and then just skip the LOD creation process. And skipping prebaked lights. This all frees up memory you can use to make stuff look better and not 'just' faster. Nobody says "wow look how awesome these LODs look like" 

    Though, we have to see how the pipeline will look like at the end of the new console generation.

  • Eric Chadwick
    pior I want to have your babies :D
  • oglu
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    oglu ngon master
    Nonono i want the babies. 
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