Friday, 17 October 2014

Updating to Unreal Engine 4.5

A couple days ago, Epic Games released the 4.5 version of UE which features several goodies. So, I decided to update.

This time I decided to use the installer version of the editor instead of compiling my UE4 from the source code in GitHub. The first thing that catch my attention even without looking at the release notes was that the whole editor was now translated to Spanish (which is my mother language if you didn't notice).

This translation in my opinion was barely unnecessary besides, some technical terms as "Specular" or "Displacement" shouldn't be translated at all in my opinion. ("Desplazamiento del mundo" sounds terrible even in spanish).

So right after loading a random project, and writing theses words, I have setted it back to English..
Also it seems there are some new built-in tutorials, which explains the very basic aspects of UE4 in a very visual way, although they don't teach you anything in depth.

One of the big features of this version are the new UIWidget which were available as an experimental feature in the precedent version. It seems that Epic won't be currently suporting Scaleform as they did in UE3 anymore, because it's quite obvious they are looking to do their own GUI designer tools in their Engine.

Though the new UIWidgets are awesome compared to the Slate UI which required to do draws through C++ code, it's still pretty raw and incomplete. Right now there are some UI plugins, both paid and free, that are still better solutions for UI design in my opinion. (Special mention to VaQuoleUI which allow you to do whole UI items done in HTML5 with blueprint support, though it needs to be updated for 4.5)

There is also a new raytraced shadows feature which IMHO is the the best feature of this patch. Ray trace shadow are actually dynamic shadow that are,in fact, faster and better than cascade shadows. Just test it out in your project and see the difference by yourself.
The bad side of this is that this kind of shadows needs to do build some mesh distance fields in order to work.,,which may take some time (but not as much as baking your scene lightning with Lightmass)

Alongside in the the rendering field, we also have SSSS (Screen SubSurface Scattering) which I haven't tested out yet but seems pretty good.

There are lots of mini fixes and changes but that's something you should check by yourself instead of reading all this mumbo jumbo from a random spanish guy like me :P.

As a wish list, Epic should address some rendering issues regarding their translucent material shader which have actually issues with specular reflections as we checked while attempting to do a water material.


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