Unreal Engine 4.14 released

Press release 2016-11-16 10:33 article  > Software

Unreal Engine 4.14 introduces a new forward shading renderer optimized for VR.

Other features: the new Contact Shadows feature renders beautifully detailed shadows for intricate objects. Developers also introduced a new automatic LOD generation feature for static meshes that does not require a third-party library.

Unreal Engine has now more streamlined the animation tools to help you be more productive, and added many new features to Sequencer (UE4’s non-linear cinematic tool), as well as improvements to vehicles, clothing and animation Blueprints.

Major features

  • The new forward shading renderer combines high-quality UE4 lighting features with Multisample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) support! MSAA and the option to enable per-material optimizations make the forward renderer well suited for VR.
  • Supported forward rendering features include:

    • Full support for stationary lights, including dynamic shadows from movable objects which blend together with precomputed environment shadows
    • Multiple reflection captures blended together with parallax correction
    • Planar reflections of a partial scene, composited into reflection captures
    • D-Buffer decals
    • Precomputed lighting and skylights
    • Unshadowed movable lights
    • Capsule shadows
    • Instanced stereo compatible

    Some features are not yet supported with Forward Shading:

    • Screen space techniques (SSR, SSAO, Contact Shadows)
    • Shadow casting Movable Lights
    • Dynamically shadowed translucency
    • Translucency receiving environment shadows from a stationary light
    • Light functions and IES profiles
    • Alpha to Coverage
    • MSAA on D-Buffer decals, motion blur, dynamic shadows and capsule shadows\
  • New Contact Shadows. Contact shadows allow for highly detailed dynamic shadows on objects. The Contact Shadows feature adds a short ray cast in screen space against the depth buffer to know whether a pixel is occluded from a given light or not. This helps provide sharp detailed shadows at the contact point of geometry.



New: automatic LOD generation. Unreal Engine now automatically reduces the polygon count of your static meshes to create LODs!



  • Automatic LOD generation uses what is called quadric mesh simplification. The mesh simplifier will calculate the amount of visual difference that collapsing an edge by merging two vertices would generate. It then picks the edge with the least amount of visual impact and collapses it. When it does, it picks the best place to put the newly merged vertex and removes any triangles which have also collapsed along with the edge. It will continue to collapse edges like this until it reaches the requested target number of triangles.

    This mesh simplifier maintains UVs including generated lightmap UVs, normals, tangents, and vertex colors. Because UVs are maintained the same materials can be used as well as all LODs can share the same lightmap.

  • New: precomputed lighting scenarios. Ureal Engine now supports precomputing lighting for multiple lighting setups with the same geometry! This is especially important for use cases such as VR and architectural visualization where you need the highest possible quality at the fastest possible performance.





Author: Press release Editor: Michał Franczak
Tags: unreal unrealengine
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