Recently Epic games, the developers of Fortnite, one of the most successful games, released the version 5 of their Unreal Engine (UE5). The weltfern team has worked with this game engine from the beginning. Even now, we are creating high-end software and simulations for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Back in the days, before it was the hype, we used Unreal, to create our own metaverse "white-plane". Today more and more companies create applications and "metaverses" with Unreal Engine. But why Unreal Engine and what is it all about?
The ideal way to real-time
If the idea is, to create something, which can react and render anything directly as it is happening, we are talking about realtime. Oftentimes we are used to beautiful imagery, animations and presentations, that are set up and rendered for a long time. Using realtime, we build a scene and then can move through and manipluate it instantely. It does not matter whether its for the B2B area or directly B2C in sales, realtime offers an intense opportunity for interaction. Realtime applications give direct access to worlds and assets, using either complex avatars (metahumans) or as an interface let users percieve them through their own point of view. When talking about realtime, there is no getting around talking about game engines either. They are, what is most commonly used, for the creation of realtime applications.
Getting started with game engines
The concept is ready, the content research successful, the client on board and the budget is there. Together with a team of interface designers, realtime 3D artists and developers we start creating a level, an MVP or directly the first beta version. But beware, development and especially bugs can become time killers.
Focus on production
The most important thing in the production of real-time content is not to lose contact with the product. Whether in the agency, at client site, or directly on the set, the awareness of how content interacts with the asset is essential.
Advantages of Unreal Engine / UE5
There definitely is an ideal scenario, but it requires consideration of all the parameters (Input, file size and prefered output). A client that wants to shoot a commercial and already has planned a fixed budget for it, being able to quickly recieve a final product sounds perfect. For companies or teams that deal in one product exclusively, the choice of developing it completely with only one engine is surely tempting.
In the beginning, nothing is easy, especially not with game engines. These engines are basically always work through the use of logical connections. So there is always coding / software developer work required! In the case of UE, the beginning is made significantly easier by the visual scripting possibilities through blueprints. Nevertheless, solid basic knowledge in 3D is recommended, not to mention C++ knowledge, at least, if you plan to program anything serious.
How to use Unreal Engine 5 (UE5)
Our expert team of experienced developers has summarized these key features about programming in Unreal Engine:
- Blueprints are a great tool for rapid prototyping. It is extremely flexible and powerful as it provides the ability for designers to use virtually the full range of concepts and tools generally only available to programmers. Even our most experienced C++ developers like to use them.
- Blueprint-specific markup available in Unreal Engine's C++ implementation enables programmers to create baseline systems that can be extended by designers. (Unreal Engine Documentation)
Serious development of applications and games
- As soon as we get deeper into the developement of high-performance applications, it is crucial to understand the workings behind the engine.
- An understanding of C++ is the only way we can understand exactly what is going on and intervene in case of doubt.
Do not forget: Blueprints are also C++ code, visualized using a node-based interface though.
The most significant features in UE5
Get Realtime skills with a Game Engine workshop
Take the chance to build simple content creation skills in your team! Everything necessary to implement high-end environments in UE4 and UE5 or other engines like Unity. We at weltfern offer beginner and advanced courses that will leave a lasting impression and worthwhile experiences.
The unreal dream of UE5
Limitless polycounts allow you to use models of any complexity level in your scene. This of course is very tempting for many productions and therefore already in use today! Always be aware that all efforts, pipelines and integrations that make Epic exceptional are driven by the goal of using Unreal Engine as the "end goal".
What does this mean for CAD conversion?
No limit on polygons in UE5, datasmith importers and many other improvements, could sound like solution for the most issues with CAD conversion. Nothing is ever without issues or questions, so we dedicated a whole article talking about whether UE5 is a gamechanger for CAD. In short, every conversion, no matter how good and precise has its weaknesses and opens up new pathways and questions. Not only does the CAD model need to be flawless, there still has to be done some preperation.
Disadvantages using Unreal Engine / UE5
Especially in the exchanges with customers, we often meet mistakes and flaws in the ressources delivered. These flaws can not only be time consuming but also budget intensive. Make sure to properly inform all parties involved of any possible complications.
Multiple formats are essential
Thanks to the Internet, today's concept and advertising has to be multimedia. Therefore companies have to cover multiple formats, which means a multitude of prepared sources are necessary.
But wait, if we use high-poly models in UE, how do we get them out of the engine? At latest this step makes it obvious, that a whole new area of problems arises. While this makes one workflow simpler than before, it creates another at the same time.
Large files could prove to be just as big of a problem, as they make the application quite huge as well. No customer likes to wait for several hours for a download, so you have to find a solution from this point on.
How about UE5 for your own metaverse?
If you have the budget for massive and expensive servers and pixel streaming, go ahead. Otherwise the problem lays not within UE5 itself, but rather the missing interfaces. The engine offers you a boatload of possibilities to create attractive metaverse applications and assets. It even comes with a lot of starter content, with which you can easily build your own world. Yet the real question is, how do we get our creation online and running?
Use UE5 and profit?
Anything new always gives hope for improvement and the chance to profit. As for UE5, calculating the key factors in your production and accurately evaluating the costs, will probably save you a lot of time, which equals money. The ability to use a pipeline where the number of polygons and the complexity of the geometry are practically irrelevant is an incredible opportunity! Even if some features might not be ready yet, they are sure to evolve, so be patient and stay informed.
What to do now?
I'd recommend you go ahead and experience UE5 for yourself. The engine delivers improvements and new possibilities that are worth it. If you are either missing experience or time, it might even be a great idea to contact us at weltfern to get an insight through our expertise. A lot is possible with UE5 and an expert at your hands, don't hestitate to get in touch with us for any question.
Unreal Engine 5
All images and screenshots were taken for research purposes only, neither them nor the projects are for comercial use.