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Fornite Battle Royale Chapter 4 arrived today and uses Unreal Engine 5.1, Epic Games announced.
The debut shows how closely Epic Games ties together its overall strategy. Fortnite is the company’s primary revenue generator, reaching tens of millions of players who purchase in-game items. And Unreal Engine is the game development tool that makes Chapter 4 advancements available. developers on the engine, Epic is eating its own dog food by building Fortnite with Unreal to show what it can do.
Unreal Engine 5.1 delivers new features that improve the look and feel of the game. Unreal Engine 5 itself debuted earlier this year, and Unreal Engine 5 ushers in a generational leap in visual fidelity, bringing a new level of detail to game worlds like Battle Royale Island.
Next-gen Unreal Engine 5 features like Nanite, Lumen, Virtual Shadow Maps and Temporal Super Resolution – all features that can make Fortnite Battle Royale shine on next-gen systems like PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, PC and cloud games.
Epic Games said more than half of all announced next-gen games are made with Unreal Engine. And he said developers can now take advantage of updates to the Lumen dynamic global lighting and reflection system. This is an important element if you are a game developer or planning to build the metaverse.
Epic has updated the Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry system and virtual shadow maps that lay the foundation for games and experiences running at 60 frames per second (fps) on next-gen consoles and compatible PCs. These improvements will enable fast competition and detailed simulations without latency, Epic said.
Additionally, Nanite has also added a programmable rasterizer to enable material-based animations and deformations via world position offset, as well as opacity masks. This development paves the way for artists to use Nanite to program the behavior of specific objects, such as Nanite-based foliage with leaves blowing in the wind.
Nanite provides highly detailed architectural geometry. Specifically, buildings are rendered from millions of polygons in real time, and every brick, stone, plank of wood, and wall trim is modeled. The natural landscapes are also very detailed. Individual trees have about 300,000 polygons, and every stone, flower, and blade of grass is modeled.
On top of that, Lumen reflections provide high quality reflections off shiny materials and water.
Additionally, Lumen provides real-time global illumination at 60 frames per second (FPS). You’ll see beautiful interior spaces with indirect lighting, as well as characters reacting to the lighting in their surroundings. (For example, red carpets can reflect red light onto your outfit.) Additionally, outfits that have emissive (i.e., shiny) qualities will scatter light onto nearby objects and surfaces.
Virtual shade maps allow for very detailed shading. Every modeled brick, leaf, and detail will cast a shadow, and the characters’ self-shading is extremely accurate. This means that things like hats and other small character details will also cast shadows.
Temporal Super Resolution is an upgrade over Temporal Anti-Aliasing in Fortnite and enables high quality visuals at a high frame rate.
With the introduction of these UE5 features in Fortnite Battle Royale, Fortnite video settings have changed on PC. You can see them here.
To run Nanite, the minimum hardware requirements are Nvidia Maxwell or newer generation cards or AMD GCN or newer generation cards.
For Nanite, Lumen, Virtual Shadow Maps, and Temporal Super Resolution to be available in Fortnite on your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S, ensure that the “120 FPS Mode” setting (in the “Graphics” section of Video Settings) is disabled.
Unreal’s reach has extended far beyond games. Unreal Engine has now been used on over 425 film and television productions and is integrated into over 300 virtual production stages worldwide. The use of Unreal Engine in animation has grown exponentially, from 15 productions between 2015 and 2019 to over 160 productions from 2020 to 2022.
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