On June 22, Epic Games Korea held a press interview to celebrate the early access release of Unreal Engine 5. At this meeting, Epic answered the concerns about porting (from 4 to 5) and the accessibility problem of high specifications that the developer community has.
In Unreal Engine 5, various functions have been added, such as ‘Nanite’, a virtual micro-polygon geometry function that can be easily applied, and ‘Lumen’, a dynamic light effect solution that responds in real time.
The currently released Unreal Engine 5 Early Access version can be downloaded and tested for free by anyone. In the introduction before the interview, Shin Kwang-seop, manager of Epic Korea, introduced, “We are developing with the philosophy of creative freedom that Epic has.”
The interview was attended by Park Seong-cheol, CEO of Epic Games Korea, and Shin Kwang-seop, manager. The event was broadcast on YouTube as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.
# “Are you worried about porting? Epic will try it first and let you know”… Epic Games claims to be skeptical
Q. Many developers are concerned about porting. When Unreal Engine 5 is officially released, naturally will be the first to use Unreal Engine 5, are you planning to disclose porting know-how in this regard?
A. Gwangseop Shin (hereafter Shin): When porting from 4 to 5, we plan to check what features are required and include related features at the time of official release. Depending on the game, it is not only a function, but there are also how to change it internally, so we plan to provide a guide.
Q. You said you paid a lot of attention to compatibility. Can you share what issues were encountered during the compatibility work and how you are improving these issues?
A. CEO Park Seong-cheol (hereinafter referred to as Park): There is only one thing I can say, but should we call it a stigma? (Laughs). One thing is for sure, we will try porting first, and after going through a lot of errors and trial and error, we will share it as a reference with others to minimize repeating those errors.
is a meaningful reference in Korea in terms of F2P and online multiplayer. It has mobile support, can accommodate a large number of people, and doesn’t it support cross-play on consoles? From the developer’s point of view, they are undergoing tests several times through these verified references, so I think it would be okay to check them after they are finished.
Q. Aside from replacing the engine, when will I be able to enjoy games developed with Unreal Engine 5?
A. Park: Before Unreal Engine 5 is officially launched, I think it might be possible to replace the engine sometime this year. Whenever a new version of the engine is released, it usually takes a year or two before a game using the engine is released. I wonder if we will be able to see the Unreal Engine 5 version around 2023, a year after the release next year.
Park Seong-cheol, CEO of Epic Games Korea
# Can mobile use new technology? GPU is the key
Q. Unreal Engine 5 has high requirements. There is an opinion that it will take some time to popularize. When do you think it will be popularized?
A. Park: Since it fully supports the next-generation console, it is expected that Unreal Engine 5 will be popularized among console developers immediately. In game development for PC, it seems that high-quality graphics-related functions using Nanite and Lumen will be provided as an option.
On mobile, it may be difficult to use functions such as Nanite and Lumen according to the device specifications. But aren’t there a lot of open world games coming out on mobile too? As Unreal Engine 5 makes it easier to create vast terrains of the open world, I think it will be studied and applied in the development process after release next year.
Q. I heard that it is difficult to use new technologies of Unreal Engine 5 such as Nanite and Lumen on mobile platforms yet. When will these features be available? Also, what are the benefits of using Unreal Engine 5 for mobile game development when these new technologies are not available?
A. God: Currently, Nanite and Lumen are not applicable to mobile. This is because mobile devices are inherently focused on consuming low power while using them for a long time, which conflicts with performance.
However, there is a trend to adopt higher GPUs (in mobile devices), such as Samsung Exynos releasing AMD GPUs next year. We are also testing (Unreal Engine 5 new technology) in various ways to apply it to mobile as well. It is expected that Nanite and Lumen will be supported on mobile after a certain period of time.
There are functions related to UX and open world production, and development of debugging and convenience related functions continues. There are many advantages to mobile game development.
AMD’s Lisa Su announcing collaboration with Samsung Exynos at Computex 2021 on June 1st (Source: AMD)
Q. The performance required is proportional to the resolution, but is it difficult to use it on a mobile platform because the mobile device has a small screen but the resolution itself is high?
A. God: It is not a resolution problem, but it is because the low-power-related functions such as tilebase rendering of mobile GPUs are difficult to digest Nanite and Lumens.
# UE5’s One Two Punch Nanite and Lumen
Q. How is Unreal Engine 5 crucially different from Unreal Engine 4?
A. Park: Since the establishment of the branch in 2009, it has been supporting licenses since 2. Each version has been focused on increasing developer productivity. If the 5 differs from the engine of the past, the two biggest differences are Nanite and Lumen. You can create and utilize almost unlimited polygons without worrying about resource constraints or frames.
Wasn’t the reason that the past CG was indistinguishable from the live action was because it was post-production, so many polygons could be added without restrictions? If you use two technologies, Nanite and Lumen, you can digest enough polygons with real-time rendering. Here, ray tracing, which calculates the reflection of light, is a special function that must be supported by the original hardware, but in Unreal Engine 5, software handles it.
I think the results created by these two functions would be very surprising to the general public. This is because you can directly create and render a picture or a screen close to the real thing.
Q. Are there any domestic developers developing games using Unreal Engine 5?
A. Park: From a global perspective, Unreal Engine 5 is the commercial engine that supports next-generation consoles, so game developers for next-generation consoles are using Unreal Engine 5. About 46% of next-generation console games have been confirmed for development with Unreal Engine 5.
There are also developers in Korea that are developing using Unreal Engine 5. However, with the recent early access coming out, isn’t it difficult to apply it right away? Late-release works can be developed with Unreal Engine 5, but games that are not yet released are inquiring about porting. There are several consultations in this regard.
Depending on the situation of the developer, we are also providing guidance on developing with 4 and then porting to 5. There are several developers who are testing Unreal Engine 5. However, it is difficult to say at this point because they have not made a definite decision either.
Q. I think it will take a lot of time to work on graphics with Nannitro. How much time do you expect to save?
A. God: There must be variations by device, but I wonder if the time will be reduced as the work process is reduced. (Up to 4) I made a mesh with high polygons, made it a normal map, changed the high polygon mesh to low polygons, and created and loaded LODs (Levels of Detail).
On the other hand, if you use Nanite, LOD is possible as long as you have a high-poly mesh, and there is no need to change to a low-poly mesh. This means that no post-processing is required. I think that post-processing takes up 20-30% of the total process of graphic resources.
Graphics with UE5 Nanite applied.
Q. Last year’s Nanite demo was only played on PS5, but this time, didn’t you show both consoles? Can you tell me the operating conditions of the two platforms, such as resolution and frame rate? And is there any difference in performance or support between the two consoles to implement the features introduced in Unreal Engine 5?
A. God: this time (Sample project released by Epic) PS5 and XBOX series X both run at 30FPS. Both consoles run Nanite and Lumen.
Q. There is a story that a game developed with Nanite technology has a fairly large capacity of one object. From the point of view of gamers, will there be a problem in enjoying the game without an SSD storage device?
A. God: Of course, Nanite relies on streaming, so it’s nice to have an SSD, but it’s not required. You would think that (object capacity) is large because Nanite is used, but if the original texture is of that quality, it is bound to be large. A mesh with a million triangles is about 13-14 MB in size, while a 4K mesh is about 20 MB. Just because you use Nanite doesn’t mean you’ll get bigger. The capacity can be further reduced by using the triangle compression function.
In addition, a place called Rad Gametools joined Epic Games regarding textures. Its compression technology, Woodle Compression, is added to Unreal Engine 5 by default. You can further reduce the texture capacity by using wood. I think the capacity will be reduced even more when it is officially released.
Editor’s new interface
# Animation warping, meta sound… much more powerful than before in UE5
Q. You showed the animation motion warping function that can apply one animation to various interactions. How and to what extent can you set the conditions in this early access version?
A. God: We are currently working on various animation features and have been showing them since early access. Most of the functions that can be used by default are loaded with the motion warping function.
Q. It is interesting to re-examine the sound field. What part of the sound did you mainly pay attention to in MetaSound, and how is the compatibility with other tools? And to what extent is it possible to produce sound with Metasound?
A. God: This is because the direction pursued by Unreal Engine 5 is to provide a higher level of immersion that transcends generations.
Visual rendering quality and animation are important as well as auditory immersion. Isn’t it awkward if the animation and sync are out of sync? Or if the motion and sound don’t match, or the atmosphere doesn’t match, it’ll be awkward again. So, according to various changes, the sound should come out in a variety of ways and organically, but to do that, I thought that the mixing would have to be melted more naturally within the engine.
The fact that the number of functions increases and it becomes heavy is that it provides a lot of things not only in games but also in non-game fields. However, new functions are supported in the form of plug-ins so that only functions necessary for development can be selectively applied.
For each project, you can choose whether to use the plugin or not. It minimizes the phenomenon of becoming heavy by entering functions that are not used by them.
Metasound interface in UE5
Q. You mentioned changes to the VR template, what if you could pick out new features or useful features related to VR?
A. God: The template has been updated in line with Open XR, which is held as the standard for VR. When developing VR, you don’t have to create everything from scratch to hand tracking, so you can create the content you want from a template right away.
In early access, Nanite is not available in VR, but we are working to make it possible for the official release. Wouldn’t it be possible to create more quality content by using this in VR?
Q. There seems to be a lot about visual scripting, a feature that is attractive to artists. What are some features that are attractive to programmers?
A. God: Let’s call it ‘Game Features and Modular Gameplay’. One of the most difficult parts for programmers when developing a game is to make as little relevance to other functions as possible when implementing a certain function. Only then will the number of bugs be reduced, and even if a problem occurs in one function and is fixed, the impact on other functions can be minimized.
Doesn’t Korea have a high proportion of online games? Updates and patches have to be continued every time, and new features have to be added continuously. At that time, it should be modular so that the risk is low. It provides functions so that it can be developed in such a modular way.
Optimization is what programmers struggle with, and we will improve on a profiling tool called Unreal Insight to make optimization a little bit smoother.
“It will make the optimization a bit smoother.”
Q. Unreal Engine 5 revealed Temporal Super Resolution (TSR) upscaling technology. Even though Nvidia and AMD also offer upscaling technology, why did they develop the TSR for Unreal Engine 5 separately?
A. God: Hardware also provides upscaling technology, and the reason we created the function again is to support upscaling without such hardware. Developers have more options.
Q. Unreal 5 has more technologies to make open world games easier. You have been constantly emphasizing that open world production becomes easier with each version upgrade. Why are you constantly investing in open world content creation features?
A. Park: Yes. The Korean branch led and developed the landscape. At that time, Unreal Engine was weak in the open world-related functions required to make MMORPGs, so it was developed to meet the needs.
A. God: Isn’t it fun to have a lot of people playing games together? To do that, we need a larger world, and a space where we can interact with many people.
Q. There are some details that Nanite does not yet support well, such as skeletal mesh. By the time it becomes the official version, to what extent will it be usable?
A. God: The reason I focused on the background geometry was because 90% of the scene was that geometry, so I worked on it first. There are plans to work with Nanite on skeletal meshes and other object types. In the official version, we are continuing to work so that it can be applied as much as possible.
Q. In Unreal Engine 4, there were developers who expressed disappointment about the convenience of UMG (Unreal Motion Graphics). Will it be improved in Unreal Engine 5?
A. God: We want to refine it through the feedback we received during Early Access.
Epic Games Korea Manager Shin Kwang-seop
# “As is the price policy”… Follow-up support and education, continue to support
Q. Will the pricing change after Unreal Engine 5 is officially released?
A. Park: unchanged. You can download it for free and use it royalty-free until you reach $1 million or more in sales.
Q. Even after Unreal Engine 4 came out, games made with the previous version, Unreal Engine 3, have been released for a long time. I think there will be a similar situation this time too. How long will the post support for Unreal Engine 4 last?
A. Park: We are discussing when to officially support after-sales support. Unreal Engine is a very open engine. The source code is also fully open. This was also the reason why I had no choice but to use Unreal Engine for games that were served online 24 hours a day. This is because developers can use it without any problems without the after-sales support of the Epic tech team.
Epic will have post support for Unreal Engine 4 up to some point. But even now, don’t the developers control and live games made with Unreal Engine 2 and 3 without any major issues? 4 will be the same.
Q. Currently, there are a few online courses related to Unreal Engine 5, but more Unreal Engine 5 training programs are likely to be needed in the future. What is the Korean education plan?
A. Park: After releasing Unreal Engine 5 Early Access to the world, the first webinar was held in Korea. Headquarters’ online lectures are continuously coming out, and we plan to provide them in Korean as well. We also plan to prepare webinars that focus on specific functions.
In addition, Unreal Summit is being prepared, and Unreal Challenge, which will be officially announced soon, is also being prepared for creating and submitting a wonderful project using Unreal Engine 5.
A webinar video related to UE5 from the Korean branch is available on YouTube.
Q. How many domestic developers have experienced Early Access? What other feedback are you getting from the developers?
A. Park: I usually get feedback from developer representatives, and it has generally improved a lot. I really liked this reaction. Later, I will be able to tell you about the headquarters and materials together.
A. God: If you look at the developer feedback that comes a lot right now, there are many meetings related to general industry and next-generation console games. As it is in the early access stage, I advise you to develop with Unreal Engine 4 and then port it when Unreal Engine 5 is released later, but since the next-generation consoles seem to be of high quality, there are a lot of meetings with the developer to try. Other developers are also highly satisfied with Unreal Engine 5 Early Access.
Q. World partition or OFPA(One File Per Actor)I know that a function is a technology that can increase productivity, but I am worried about whether it can be used well in actual collaboration. Do you have any plans to add tech demos or online courses?
A. God: Of course, we are preparing demos and lectures related to the function. It seems that game development and the industry itself are all based on collaboration. To explain the level by analogy with a file, since existing word files cannot be opened at the same time, it is not a sequential method in which one person opens, edits, edits, and modifies text to edit text.
OFPA, on the other hand, can be viewed as a separate storage of each word in the file. In other words, you don’t have to open them sequentially to correct each word, and you can edit different places at the same time.
These collaboration-related functions are being developed by several people while working while feeling how to minimize interference. Especially in the game side, isn’t there a sample like Fortnite? It is said that he is refining the functions while directly experiencing how to refine the game of a wide world at the same time.
Q. What changes do you think Unreal Engine 5 will bring to the general industry?
A. Park: Thanks to Nanite and Lumen, it is possible to extract close-to-realistic scenes in real time. I wonder if it will be introduced quickly in movies, dramas, and CFs. In the automobile field, when using a game engine, the original source data had high detail, but there were cases where it had to be simplified and imported. Without going through such a process, the original source data is transferred directly to the engine, and work becomes possible.
Q. Unreal Engine is growing at a tremendous rate not only in the game industry but also in the general industry. What are some examples?
A. Park: As Unreal Engine has shown strength in graphic quality, it is widely used in movies, video media, and media that have such a demand.
If we look at the overseas case SF dramas, etc. It is also used in action movies, such as, and music videos can be cited as examples. It is also used in the automobile industry, and various attempts are being made in relation to the human interface in electric vehicles recently, which also utilizes Unreal.
Recently in Korea , Used a lot in production. documentary, Music Awards, performance stage special effects, etc. CJ ENM and others are also researching virtual studios recently, and Unreal Engine is being used here. In addition, it is used in fields such as the automobile industry and construction.
Q. As Unreal Engine 5 is released, cooperation with the automotive industry is expected more. Are there any improved or added features compared to 4, especially in relation to autonomous driving tests?
A. God: Unreal Engine 4 is already being used in places that make simulators for autonomous driving, such as AV simulations. After the release of Unreal Engine 5, I wonder if Unreal Engine 5 will be used.
First of all, in order for a car to autonomously drive, shouldn’t it be learned and tested while driving 365 days of weather changes in road environments in Korea, Japan, China, and the United States? It takes more than several decades to actually do it, so in virtual space, AI simulates moving around like a real road driving, but the surrounding terrain data recognized by the car must be realistically rendered to move similarly in real life.
Unreal Engine 5 is the closest to the real thing and shows the highest quality realistic rendering, so I think it would be natural to use Unreal Engine 5. Most of all, since most of the assets of Unreal Engine 4 can be imported and used as is, I would like to apply it directly to the place where Unreal Engine 4 was used.
Q. Is Unreal Engine 5 preparing for the metaverse?
A. Park: The metaverse that Epic ultimately envisions is a space like the Internet, a platform where anyone can create and share what they want to create. In addition, I think that it is an ecosystem that is so sophisticated that it is difficult to distinguish it from reality. I think Epic Games’ recent moves are preparations to approach the ideal metaverse.
Epic has released a meta-human production method so that they can create high-quality digital humans without spending a lot of money. In addition, while acquiring the MegaScan library, photos can be used to directly apply live-action objects. In addition, it supports the ability to easily create a wider open world in Unreal Engine 5.