Epic Games released a new walkthrough video based on the Infiltrator tech demo for some of the new features of the Unreal Engine 4, including their brand new particle effects and light particle system that helps make the process of designing next gen visual systems both easier and more streamlined.
Epic's Tim Elek and Zak Parrish give viewers a walkthrough of the very simplified and clean Unreal Engine 4 visual effects system that allows artists to create unparalleled effects for their projects and the way the effects breakdown and how they can be utilized is absolutely stunning, especially combining active physical particles, sprites and light particles together to create isolated multi-layered effects.
It was impressive seeing how the muzzle flash from the weapons were also simultaneously attached to the shell ejection effect. So basically, every time a shot was fired and the muzzle flash effect was executed the shell automatically ejected from the side casing of the rifle, or in the case of the giant hunter-tracker robot, fell from the gun housing.
Using the tiled effects window to easily and efficiently find, modify, add, replace or delete an effect on the fly is such a cool way to modify and edit the visual design aspect of a game. It's a really cool system that many developers – especially those on a tight budget with a short supply of resources – will find incalculably proficient for streamlining the design of their project.
It's nice that Epic gives a very thorough breakdown of the new features of the Unreal Engine 4, as well as showcasing how the engine is designed to be very user friendly as we gear up for the full fledged next generation of home console gaming.
Epic has also released a video detailing how their layered materials work, which you can check out below.
One of the more popular features of the Unreal Engine 4 sadly won't be used on home gaming consoles and it's the global illumination, which allows designers and artists to put a single light source in place and have the light bounce throughout the entire game world to light every surface. It's a taxing feature that caused a lot of strain on the hardware and sadly home consoles just don't have enough power under the hood to keep up.
Still, the ability to add per-particle lighting is a really cool feature and could be used to create some really gorgeous scenarios in upcoming Unreal Engine 4 games. The new particle refraction system could also be really popular with indie devs working on horror titles; there are some cool opportunities available with that system.
You can learn more about the Unreal Engine 4 by paying a visit to the official website.