Demo of new Unreal game engine is unreal

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Amazing how it went from an almost cinemascope framing to a extreme close-up when she climbed thru the crack in the wall, seamlessly. Very impressive.


There are some serious uncanny valley moments, not with how the virtual actress looked, but how she interacted with the world. The soft-body physics interaction between her fingers and the ultra-detailed cliffs, for instance, was off, and there was some obvious clipping of her fingers there. Also, for all the work they did with liquids, the water still didn’t flow right when she walked through it, enough that I’d not have highlighted it as something good. Also, the scarf, for all that it flowed great in the wind, didn’t interact with the model of the virtual actress’ clothing very well, sliding over the surface nearly frictionlessly, rather than interacting properly.

So, the world looks awesome, but that awesome world highlights the issues with the quality of the virtual actress model they used.


It has been amazing to watch computer graphics go from Pong to this in my lifetime.


This is amazing. Unreal 4 was already good enough for The Mandalorian to use it for virtual sets. This is going to bring gaming up to that level.

I am so excited for where this is going to take multiple forms of entertainment!


Looks like it’s almost time for a new graphics card…


Pretty staggering. That PS5 must have some intense gpu power (and plenty of cooling I’d expect).


well, maybe by 2021 it will meet your specs

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RDNA 2 card from AMD. Pretty good break down on the gpu at Tom’s:

EDIT: And note that PC versions of the card will likely be available late this year. Might be time for me to consider an upgrade, those are pretty astounding lighting and scenery boosts. As someone said, we’ve gone from Pong to this in our lifetime. Blown away.


This will probably make some current graphics cards obsolete, so buying closer to the release date is likely to save you a ton of cash.

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This is pretty insane. Importing high-polygon-count models with super-high-resolution textures directly into the engine, without having to turn geometry into normal maps, or worry about level-of-detail is pretty amazing, and potentially quite a time-saver. Better get ready for games that take up 100+ gigs of your hard drive.

It feels like not so long ago that I working on 3D game models using a primitive 3D modeling program and texturing them with a simple paint program. Now, you can’t even make things like this environment by hand - you use massive photographs, photogrammetry and/or sophisticated procedural generation software to create those kinds of details.

I don’t even want to think about what this will do to the labor requirements for AAA games.

That’s just the unavoidable nature of graphical realism in modern gaming. A couple generations ago, you’d not notice that everything clipped through everything else, that cloth didn’t behave like cloth at all, that water wasn’t even interactive, etc. because the graphics were primitive enough that you didn’t - and couldn’t - expect it. Now, when one thing becomes realistic, it makes the fact that everything else isn’t fully realistic stand out. There’s a reason why they made the character cartoonish here - in such a photorealistic environment, the deficiencies in modeling/texturing/rendering a human figure would stand out more.


It’s interesting how the closer graphics gets to reality, the more obvious and intolerable the remaining flaws are


Any estimate of the size (in GB) of the assets needed for this demo?

I don’t think you’ll notice that at all when playing the game, because the sum of all that is present will overwhelm your senses anyway.


We live in a simulation. That is all.


It’s getting to the point where you can judge gaming engines by rendered CG standards. It used to be you’d see the game ads where they’d show rendered cut scenes and the game looked nothing like that “live”…now there’s not much difference

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Christ, I have no idea. It hurts to think about it. It’d be interesting to know, even though this doesn’t represent how something would be put together for an actual game.

In that one introductory cave scene, they talk about how each asset has a million triangles and an 8K texture. (I’ve seen photogrammetry assets with half-a-million polygons and 8K textures come in at around 200 megs with just diffuse, normal, and ambient occlusion maps.) But I have no idea how many assets are just in that one cave room. They talk about having over a billion triangles of source geometry visible in each frame, but that may include instanced assets, which would count towards rendered triangles but not stored data. Later, a statue is 33 million triangles by itself, brought in from Zbrush, where the file might be around a gig.

It’s not just the size of the assets that are imported, though. A lot depends on how the data gets treated - if the high-poly assets that are imported directly into the engine actually get kept for runtime, or if they’re replaced by some of the lower-poly models that are generated for LODs along with their texture and lighting maps and whatever other pre-rendered data they’re using for lighting, etc. (I don’t really imagine there’s a situation where you actually want that statue to have all 33 million triangles stored in the game, because you could get rid of most of them and you wouldn’t be able to see the difference.) Data can be compressed, but there’s going to be a lot of secondary data pre-generated and stored so that all those pretty assets and shiny lighting will look good in run-time conditions.

So… yeah, it’s up to who knows how many gigs worth of data for that demo, burned through in less than 10 minutes of gameplay. Which is why this isn’t representative of games that will be made with the engine - if you scaled this up to a AAA game length/complexity, it’d be quite a bit more than 100 gigs.


I found this amusing.

The high polygon count is only achieved through by simulating a field of sunflowers. For some reason, they surround the statue of liberty-- which may not reflect real life.

As for real time-- there is a fps counter in this demo…

I get the impression that prematurely optimizing a game interferes with the creative process.


I just want a remake of Unreal 1 with graphics this good. In college, I recall a drunk girl calling me up to flirtatiously invite me to a party, and I opted to stay home and play the single player campaign. Good times.


I’m asymptotically becoming more certain that we live in a simulation designed by a simulation.

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