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Bottom line: Gears of War developer The Coalition during the recent virtual Game Developers Conference showcased Alpha Point, a technical demo built using Unreal Engine 5. While stunning in its own right, a separate character rendering test is arguably even more breathtaking.
Whereas the Alpha Point demo features real-time lighting and reflections alongside more than 100 million triangles, the character rendering test features 170,000 triangles on the man’s body in addition to 31,000 triangles on the face and 3.5 million on the groom (hair and facial hair).
The test asset is absolutely ravishing and perfectly highlights what we can expect from the upcoming engine. Both the Alpha Point demo and the character rendering test were run on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
Epic announced Unreal Engine 5 in May 2020 before releasing it in early access a full year later. UE5 is comprised of two key components – Nanite and Lumen. The former is a virtualized micro polygon geometry system that lets artists create as much detail as the eye can see without compromising speed while the latter is a fully dynamic real-time global illumination solution that reacts to scene and light changes.
When combined, the two can generate photorealistic environments as seen in the Alpha Point demo.
Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 is expected to ship in early 2022.
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