Monday, July 11, 2011

Tru Next Gen: Unreal Engine 4

All aboard! The next generation graphic engines are on their way. The jaw-dropping demo of Epic Game’s new Unreal Engine is a preview of what gamers can expect from the next generation of consoles.

Epic Games showed of their new tech in a demo at the Game Developers Conference this year which featured incredible-looking futuristic fight scene that pushed the boundaries of in-game lighting effects and 3D graphics. Epic Games confirmed the demo was running in real time and none of the images were pre-rendered.
“This next-generation technology preview is what we would like to see from the next-generation of gaming hardware,” said Alan Willard of Epic Games.
The scene features a very detailed city that highlights the company’s new effects in the form of a glowing blow torch, the smoke rising from a cigarette, the detailed facial hair and wrinkles, and the morphing of the man’s skin. During a fight scene the demo goes into slow motion and allows all of the immense details to be seen that would otherwise be a blur.
Willard said that one of the demo’s new effects is called bouquet depth of field, where no part of the image is blurred in order to save processing power. You can see reflections on all surfaces, such as the water on the streets reflecting light from the street lamps.
Another new technique is called sub-surface scattering. When the light hits the human face in the demo, light penetrates through the layers of skin and makes the skin glow as the light bounces around inside the skin. You can also see the water trickling down the man’s face in immaculate detail. Thanks to a new process called Nvidia clothing rendering technology, clothing sways more lifelike than ever.
The demo ran on a PC with an Intel Core i9 microprocessor with three Nvidia GeForce 580 GTX graphics cards connected through SLI technology. The demo took about three months for 12 programmers and artists to build. Mark Rein, the vice-president of Epic Games, revealed on August 18, 2005 that Unreal Engine 4 had been in development since 2003, according to CVG. TG Daily reported that Tim Sweeney, technical director and founder of Epic Games, implied that it would be aimed predominantly at the next generation of consoles rather than PC. However, Rein later confirmed Unreal Engine 4 was coming to PC first.
When people say "how much better graphic can they make?" This is a sneak peak of the future. -TNGG

Retrospect: How far video games have come

Unreal Engine 1 (1998)

Unreal Engine 2 beta test (2000):

Unreal Engine 3 (2008)


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