This release includes 79 improvements submitted by the incredible community of Unreal Engine developers on GitHub! Thanks to each of these contributors to Unreal Engine 4.15:
Unreal Engine 4.15 includes significant gains in overall stability, enhancements to developer workflows, and improvements to runtime performance resulting in greater efficiency during development and superior end user experiences after release.
Compile times for programmers are drastically reduced - by as much as 50%! Reloading content while Unreal Editor is running, Reroute nodes in Materials, a new Blendspace Editor, new mathematics Blueprint nodes, and more contribute to an even more streamlined development process in this release.
For those looking to squeeze out every drop of performance, Cooking Blueprints to C++ native code is no longer an experimental feature, the Texture Streaming system has gotten an overhaul, and Alternate Frame Rendering with NVIDIA SLI gives a boost on high end systems.
The Cinematics and Animation pipelines continue to strengthen with Animation blending now possible in Sequencer, linking Animation Curves to bones for culling in LODs, and modifying curves in Animation Blueprints with the Modify Curve node. Level Sequences can now be embedded in Actor Blueprints, and early support for Level Sequence Components is available for early adopters.
Developing for Nintendo Switch is available as experimental as part of the platform improvements. GPS data is now accessible on iOS and Android using the new Location Services. Also on iOS, streaming audio and remote notifications are fully supported. Monoscopic Far Field Rendering is an option for mobile VR platforms, HDR display output is available in an experimental state, and the ability to use Playstation VR Aim Controllers is also added.
NEW: NINTENDO SWITCH SUPPORT
We have partnered with Nintendo to help Unreal Engine 4 developers bring their games to Nintendo Switch!
We have added early support for developing games for the Nintendo Switch console. It is still considered experimental in this release. We plan for it to be in a shippable state in the next release.
NEW: PHYSICALLY BASED DEFAULT POST-PROCESSING SETTINGS
The default tonemapper now provides a more film-like color and tone response!
The filmic tonemapper matching the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) is now on by default. This tonemapper also enables the engine to target multiple display types including HDR displays. Bloom settings have been updated to provide a more physically correct result by default.
The filmic tonemapper will look different than the tonemapper in previous versions of the engine. You can switch the tonemapper back by adding r.TonemapperFilm=0 to the SystemSettings section of your project's DefaultEngine.ini. We intend to remove the old tonemapper in a future version of the engine.
NEW: IMPROVED TEXTURE STREAMING
The Texture Streaming system has been optimized to reduce CPU usage, memory usage, and load times while eliminating low resolution artifacts and automatically handling limitations of varying memory budgets of different platforms.
Texture Memory Usage Improvements - The texture streaming system now handles per component visibility and computes (smaller) per material bounds for static geometry resulting in as much as a 40% reduction in texture memory usage.
Texture Loading Time Improvements - Texture load times are 2 to 3 times faster due to tracking visible mips, enabling the streamer to focus on visible textures followed by prefetch data and forced load data.
CPU Time Reduction
Game thread update time is reduced by 50% by moving dynamic component processing and other tasks to the async texture streaming task, enabling them to occur in parallel with other game thread tasks.
Texture processing stalls for streaming levels are reduced up to 98% due to amortized processing.
Low Resolution Artifacts Reduction - Mesh UV densities are now computed per material instead of per mesh and take into account LODs. Texture streaming is also now supported on a wider variety of Component types, including Particle Systems and Instanced Static Meshes.
Automatic Memory Budgeting - The Texture Streaming system now automatically adjust its behavior to deal with varying memory budgets without making manual tweaks. The system selects which textures need to be reduced using a variety of heuristics to maintain visual quality.
...and much more
You can read the full release notes at unrealengine.com