A video has been circulating the web for a few days. Created under Unreal Engine 5, it shows a level of realism that video games could soon touch.
Since its announcement in 2020, the Unreal Engine 5 does not know how to bluff us. This engine offers new tools to creators to develop their ideas, whether in video games or in cinema. Now, Unreal Engine 5 has been made available by its publisher, Epic Games. All developers can download and use it for free, enough to allow some to get their hands on the new engine. This is the case of Lorenzo Drago, 3D artist in Milan and specialist in working with 3D environments.
In just one month, he was able to create a small demo with Unreal Engine with photorealistic rendering. We let you be the judge.
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Too good to be true ?
In commentary to his video, Lorenzo Drago gives several important information to understand what we are looking at. This is to reproduce a small train station in Toyama, Japan, using the Unreal Engine 5 Lumen lighting engine, but without Nanite. Lunite is a dynamic and realistic Global Illumination (GI) system developed by Epic Games. Lorenzo Drago indicates that he worked on the modeling, textures, lighting and animation, but not the vegetation directly taken from Quixel Megascans.
Plunged into darkness, the scene loses a bit of realism and the grain gives a glimpse of a computer-generated image. However, the atmosphere lets dream of a horror game capable of making us shiver.
Be careful all the same, Lorenzo Drago specifies that the production of this video is not yet possible in real time. With a PC equipped with a GeForce RTX 2080 and an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor, the rendering is done at around seven frames per second in very high definition. On the daytime scene and at 2560 x 1440 pixels, performance is better at 30-50 frames per second, but this comes at the expense of image quality. He specifies all the same that he did not seek to work on the optimization of the rendering.
It should also be taken into account that this is not a video game. The system therefore has no AI to manage, no gameplay, scripts or synchronization with multiplayer. So many elements that can also be greedy in a modern game.
Still, we are in front of a scene made by a single person, in just one month, on a new engine. When you keep in mind the gigantic leap in performance that could be offered by the next generation of hardware, it is breathtaking.
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