Unreal Engine 4.25 preview available

Press release 2020-03-09 11:38 article  > Software

Preview 1 of the upcoming 4.25 release is available now on the Launcher and GitHub. 

We selected some features from a long list that can be interesting for creators of real-time CG animations.

  • Animation Timeline Refactor (Beta). Asset editors for animation assets now use a Sequencer-like timeline that provides a more consistent look and feel when dealing with animation data. Editing of Animation Montage sections is now done in a dedicated tab with breadcrumb trails and dropdown menus. Additionally, Animation Curves now use a fully-featured Sequencer-like Curve Editor.
  • Unreal Engine now offers native support for the most popular point cloud formats. developers have taken the LiDAR Point Clouds Plugin from the Marketplace, made major improvements to its performance and scalability, added new settings and features including the option to delete hidden points, and made the Plugin available directly in the Plugins window of the Unreal Editor.
  • Rhino: You can now choose on import whether to have Datasmith tessellate all parametric surfaces for you, or whether you want to reuse triangular meshes previously created by Rhino and stored in your Rhino scene. In addition, Datasmith now imports Rhino points as empty Actors, and it imports technical metadata about Rhino objects as Tags on the Actors.
  • Revit: The Datasmith Export Plugin for Revit now includes a plugin for Dynamo: DatasmithDynamoNode.dll. It contains a new DatasmithDynamoNode.Export3DViewsToDatasmith node that you can use to batch export multiple 3D views from Revit to .udatasmith files.
  • Developers have also made many fixes and improvements in handling pivot points, importing families and hierarchies, converting PBR materials, and naming Static Mesh Components and Texture Assets.
  • Editor/Paint Mode Refactor. The Mesh Paint Mode has been upgraded. The update preserves the functionality of the original tool, but provides a smoother workflow and UI.
  • Audio Data Interface. The Audio Oscilloscope and Audio Spectrum data interface modules give you the tools to create audio visualizations using Niagara in UE4.
  • Direct Reads. The Particle Attribute Reader data interface module gives you the ability to directly read parameter data from other parts of the source emitter, or to target other emitters and get parameter data from them.
  • Auto Exposure improvements. Different metering modes have had their settings unified so that it is easier to work. There are several new features and changes that go along with this update. Also, with these changes means that we have also broken backwards compatibility and provide an upgrade path. However, you will want to take these changes into consideration for your project. 
  • Shader Model Improvements for Anisotropic, Clear Coat, and Transparency. Improvements include:
    - Anisotropic Materials (Beta). UE4 now supports anisotropic material properties. It can be enabled in the Project Settings under the Rendering section and use the Anisotropic input on the main material node to control its strength.
    - Clear Coat Improvements. The clear coat BRDF has been improved to be more physically accurate with punctual lights. Use the Clear Coat Shading Model and enable the Dual Normal settings in the Project Settings under the Rendering section.
    - Thin Transparency. We have a new Shading Model for Thin Transparency that enables you to achieve PBR tinted and colored transparent objects, such as tinted glass. Use the Thin Transparency shading model and the Thin Transparency expression in the Material graph to set up and use this type of material.
  • Ray Tracing Updates. Includes:
    - Niagara Mesh Emitter support for GPU and CPU
    - Supports the Anisotropic and Clear Coat Shading models
    - The Path Tracer now supports Clear Coat materials for ground truth reference image comparison.
  • Hair Rendering and Simulation Improvements (Beta). Improvements include:
    - No longer need to use a Niagara asset with your Groom Assets. These properties are exposed directly to the Groom asset now.
    - Additional options added to the Groom Asset to control the Tip, Root, and Hair Clip length.
  • Sky Atmosphere Updates. Includes:
    - Transmittance is now evaluated per pixel ensuring luminance on planet surfaces viewed from space looks correct.
    - Planetary atmospheres can cast a shadow on nearby moons.
    - Opaque meshes can cast shadows within the atmosphere.
  • Material Layers (Beta). Improvements include:
    - Blueprint functions to modify material layer parameters at runtime.
    - Improved behavior for base materials that makes layer changes to be propagated to any child instances.
  • Sequencer Updates:
    - Camera Cut Blending. The Camera Cut track now supports blending. This allows you to easily blend in and out of a cinematic or blend between different cinematic cuts.
    Improved Camera Shakes: Spatialized camera shakes are now improved for ease of use and creating more realistic shakes, and eliminates the need to use Blueprints to setup the shakes.
    Take Recorder Enhancements. There are several quality of life enhancements to streamline using Take Recorder and improving the overall user experience, such as specifying the frame rate of a recorded sequence and recording keyframes.
    Template Sequences (Beta). Template Sequences allow you to easily reuse an animation sequence on multiple objects and cinematics, such as dynamically playing cinematics on arbitrary characters and props. They also reduce asset duplication and saves time overall.
  • Introducing Movie Render Manager for Exporting Media (Experimental). The new Movie Render Manager focuses on improved quality, ease of use, and streamlined integration into production pipelines, and is perfect for non-real time situations, such as creating game trailers.
  • Animating Rigged Characters in Level Editor with Control Rig (Experimental). Using Control Rigs, you can animate rigged characters in the Level Editor, and then export them as animation sequences to use game.
  • Virtual Production Updates:
    - Ability to specify a collection of layers to hide from wall rendering.
    - Improved stability of greenscreen tracking markers using the UVs of the warp mesh or screen space for mapping.
  • 3D Text Improvements:
    - The Text 3D Actor now supports native True Type Fonts (.ttf) or Open Type fonts (.otf).
    - 3D Text meshes are now cached for better performance.
    - Procedural animations can be applied to 3D Text using the Text3DCharacterTransform component.
  • 3D Text can be extruded and beveled.
Author: Press release Editor: Michał Franczak
Tags: unreal rtx real-time engine preview released game
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