Epic Games released Unreal Engine 4.22, including new features to push the boundaries of photorealistic and cinematic quality for real-time experiences, according to a press release from April 2.
With features including real-time ray tracing, and improved build times of up to 165%, UE4 workflows continue to help game developers, enterprise users, and content creators produce world-class results on any platform.
Key new features and updates available in Unreal Engine 4.22 include:
Real-Time ray tracing (Early Access): Selectively ray trace just the passes that benefit from it, to achieve subtle, accurate effects that contribute to the realism of your scene, like true reflections and refractions, soft area shadows, and ambient occlusion--at blazingly fast speeds. Watch the 90-second "Troll" short film to view unprecedented cinematic-quality lighting using UE 4.22 ray tracing features.
Simultaneous multi-user editing (Early Access): Collaborative editing allows multiple developers to simultaneously make and view changes to the same Unreal Engine project, facilitating effective collaboration that eliminates bottlenecks and inspires creativity.
Faster mesh drawing: UE 4.22’s rendering code refactor significantly improves mesh drawing performance, with more aggressive caching of drawing information for static scene elements, and automatic instancing to merge draw calls where possible.
Faster C++ iterations: Unreal has licensed Molecular Matters' Live++, and integrated it as a new Live Coding feature (Experimental). UE 4.22 also optimizes UnrealBuildTool and UnrealHeaderTool, drastically reducing build times and resulting in up to 3x faster iterations when making C++ code changes.
Enhanced sound design: Among the new tools for creative sound design are TimeSynth (Early Access) for sample-accurate audio clip management; a spectral analyzer for Submixes; layered sound concurrency for better control of how many sounds will play simultaneously; and spectral analysis baking.
Virtual production tools:
Animation Sharing: This new plugin reduces the overall amount of animation work required for a crowd of actors. It is based upon the Master-Pose Component system, while adding blending and additive Animation States. The Animation states are buckets for which animation instances are evaluated. The resulting poses are then transferred to all child components part of the bucket.
Microsoft HoloLens remote streaming support: UE 4.22 supports streaming to HoleLens, with full support coming to HoloLens 2 coming in May 2019. Read more here: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/epic-games-announces-unreal-engine-support-for-microsoft-hololens-2
Google Stadia support: Unreal Engine supports Google’s new game streaming platform, Stadia. With Unreal’s cross-platform capabilities, developers can access Stadia features through familiar interfaces for consistent workflows across any device. Read more here: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-support-for-google-stadia-now-available
For a full feature list and additional details, visit: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-22-released
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