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Recap: In 2015, Epic founder Tim Sweeney predicted that within a decade, it would be hard to tell the difference between virtual reality and the real world. We're only a couple years away from 2025 and judging by what we're seeing from the very early days of UE5, Sweeney's prediction could very well come to fruition.
One of my top talking points when campaigning for a new game console was graphics quality. "It looks so real," I'd profess to my parents regarding the next-gen console I wanted for my birthday or Christmas.
In actuality, those 16-bit games looked nothing like real life. Neither did their 32-bit and 64-bit successors, or anything that has come since. They were all simply the best we had seen up to that point and with a bit of imagination and good storytelling, one could effectively suspend belief and have fun.
Epic's Unreal Engine 5, however, could be a paradigm shift. Have a look at this clip from YouTube user subjectn.
At first glance, it looks to be little more than an empty train station filmed on a smartphone camera. Most won't spot anything out of the ordinary until just over a minute in when day suddenly turns to night and the "videographer" whips out a flashlight.
Incredibly enough, the entire scene was generated using Unreal Engine 5. It is based on a real-life train station in Toyama, Japan, and was lit with Lumen, a fully dynamic real-time global illumination solution. Nanite, the virtualized micro polygon geometry system in UE5, was not utilized in the project.
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