Home Gaming Epic shows off Unreal Engine 5 with stunning real-time PlayStation 5 demo Lumen in the Land of Nanite

Epic shows off Unreal Engine 5 with stunning real-time PlayStation 5 demo Lumen in the Land of Nanite

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Lumen Unreal 5

One of the biggest success stories in gaming, is how Epic’s signature Unreal gaming engine has become the de facto piece of kit on which to develop games. Studios across the board may have come up with their own in-house software such as the Frostbite engine which powers many an EA game or Ubisoft’s custom Snowdrop engine, but Unreal continues to dominate the industry with software that is amazingly flexible and capable of seemingly anything when in the right hands.

The Unreal Engine 4 has been the foundation that many a game was built with, and it’s about to get a sequel. Unreal Engine 5 will power the next generation of video games, with Epic Games showing off its brute force and more subtle effects in a brand new tech demo called Lumen in the Land of Nanite:

The footage above was running on a PlayStation 5 in real-time, while also paving the way for two new technologies that’ll be present within Unreal Engine 5: Nanite and Lumen. Epic describes Nanite as “virtualized micropolygon geometry [that] frees artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see”, also dropping in the line of “film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons can be imported directly into Unreal Engine—anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans to CAD data—and it just works.”

As for Lumen, that focuses on lighting  that allows “artists and designers can create more dynamic scenes using Lumen, for example, changing the sun angle for time of day, turning on a flashlight, or blowing a hole in the ceiling, and indirect lighting will adapt accordingly.” It’s worth bearing in mind that this is all part of a tech demo, with the engine running on all cylinders while Epic’s most experienced talent is behind the wheel, but hot damn does it look absolutely magnificent.

For the sake of comparison, here’s the elemental tech demo that was unveiled seven years ago:

There has been plenty of talk about how the next-generation of console gaming won’t be as massive a leap forward as what previous generations were, but I’m thinking that’s not true. A big shift in visuals is coming, albeit on a more subtle level as games fine-tune their approach and dig deep into the smaller details that make for a more intricate presentation. If this is what the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles are capable of, then hot damn I am excited.

Last Updated: May 14, 2020

26 Comments

  1. Iskape

    May 14, 2020 at 07:51

    There are some amazing looking games out there that use the current Unreal engine, so I am excited to see what the future holds for future games.

    Reply

  2. Jay Jabrolsky

    May 14, 2020 at 09:13

    Go take a look at decade old unreal engine graphics demos. in 2020 there are still no games that can afford to make use of the high fidelity acheivable, graphics hardware and time in the development cycle just do not allow the type of stuff you see in these demos to be brouight forward into full release games.

    If you think games will suddenly start looking like this you are being naive.

    Reply

    • MechMachine

      May 14, 2020 at 10:07

      Dude, it was captured on a PS5. No matter what happens, it proved two things. The hardware in the next gen consoles in legit and as stated by Sweeney and other sources, the data streaming tech in the PS5 is incredible.

      Reply

    • MechMachine

      May 14, 2020 at 10:25

      Also, did you watch the demo ? This engine will allow developers to speed up production in many ways. They wont have to create low resolution versions of the high resolution assets. You know, that whole LOD thing. That’s how it’s done. When you get closer to an in game asset it loads in different LODs of meshes ( LOD= Level of Detail ). That’s normally the popping you see in game.

      Also, with the Dynamic GI, there will be no more baking of lighting anymore. What used to happen is they would light a scene and psychically save a map of that light and apply it to the scene and it would be a static texture map, There would be the odd dynamic light here and there. Now. they will be able to have true dynamic lighting with indirect bounce lighting with specular ( highlights ) in real time. That speeds things up vastly. No more baking, speeds up production as they can light in real time.

      With the high-speed drives and data transfer rates that both the Xbox and Ps5 are utilizing, the high poly counts and data are more than achievable and the actual engine makes it more feasible.

      They even said ( Digital Foundry ) that Ray Tracing can be used to enhance features.
      So what you said is utterly and thoroughly debunked.

      Reply

    • Pariah

      May 14, 2020 at 09:56

      It’s not about the games suddenly looking like this – it’s about what the new gen systems and engines are capable of – and holy crap is it breathtaking.

      Reply

    • MechMachine

      May 14, 2020 at 10:07

      Dude, it was captured on a PS5. No matter what happens, it proved two things. The hardware in the next gen consoles in legit and as stated by Sweeney and other sources, the data streaming tech in the PS5 is incredible.

      Reply

    • MechMachine

      May 14, 2020 at 10:25

      Also, did you watch the demo ? This engine will allow developers to speed up production in many ways. They wont have to create low resolution versions of the high resolution assets. You know, that whole LOD thing. That’s how it’s done. When you get closer to an in game asset it loads in different LODs of meshes ( LOD= Level of Detail ). That’s normally the popping you see in game.

      Also, with the Dynamic GI, there will be no more baking of lighting anymore. What used to happen is they would light a scene and psychically save a map of that light and apply it to the scene and it would be a static texture map, There would be the odd dynamic light here and there. Now. they will be able to have true dynamic lighting with indirect bounce lighting with specular ( highlights ) in real time. That speeds things up vastly. No more baking, speeds up production as they can light in real time.

      With the high-speed drives and data transfer rates that both the Xbox and Ps5 are utilizing, the high poly counts and data are more than achievable and the actual engine makes it more feasible.

      They even said ( Digital Foundry ) that Ray Tracing can be used to enhance features.
      So what you said is utterly and thoroughly debunked.

      Reply

    • Stoompot

      May 14, 2020 at 12:55

  3. MechMachine

    May 14, 2020 at 10:02

    When Geoff Keighley posted that tweet stating this article is not going to age well….lol.

    Reply

  4. Pariah

    May 14, 2020 at 08:35

    I showed this off in a discord last night, and someone decided it was a good way to start a debate about how PCs are always going to outshine playstation and that consoles can never compete.

    And I’m like. Did you watch that demo? It’s not going to matter any more, PC, Console, it’s all going to be bloody gorgeous!

    Reply

    • Yozzie

      May 14, 2020 at 08:43

      Discord… Discord never changes

      Reply

      • Pariah

        May 14, 2020 at 08:50

        Was hilarious honestly. Confusing, not really relevant, but hilarious.

        I just ogled more at UE5. And that’s on a PS5, holy shit.

        Reply

    • The D

      May 14, 2020 at 09:38

    • Hammersteyn

      May 14, 2020 at 08:50

      • Pariah

        May 14, 2020 at 08:50

        Haha I literally asked him how much a GTX 2080 cost vs expected cost of a PS5.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          May 14, 2020 at 08:55

          What was his reply?

          Reply

          • Pariah

            May 14, 2020 at 08:55

            “Oh no you have to look at the value cards, the top-end isn’t where the value is”. I stopped replying after that because idk how someone can think a mid-range card can compete. Like, give it a few years and yeah, mid-range will compete. Not now though.

            Like, you’re looking at a GTX 2060 in terms of the price because you have to build the whole PC and not just the graphics card. Even with the new generation reportedly being around 4x better RTX performance, it’s not going to match up to that demo at 4k.

          • Hammersteyn

            May 14, 2020 at 09:42

            Hahaha

      • Yozzie

        May 14, 2020 at 10:56

        Potato Power!

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          May 14, 2020 at 14:07

          XD

          Reply

  5. HairyEwok

    May 14, 2020 at 09:00

    Unpopular opinion, this demo shows off what can be done, it’s not to say that developers will make full use of it. At the end of the day the tech is there, but it falls on to the developers on how much of it they want to use, or can afford to use.

    Reply

    • Guz

      May 14, 2020 at 09:13

      True it will take a while to squeeze the most out of this but when they do get there…..

      Reply

      • HairyEwok

        May 14, 2020 at 15:20

        Then it’s time for the next generation to step in XD

        Reply

    • Pariah

      May 14, 2020 at 09:00

      This is always true lol. Even with UE4, UE3, Unity, and so on. But the fact that the tools and tech are there now, to put unoptimised full-res models into a scene and it still being able to render in real time, that’s insanely impressive. Probably the most impressive thing about that demo for me.

      Reply

  6. Guz

    May 14, 2020 at 09:13

    Wow that is quite impressive

    Reply

  7. Skyblue

    May 14, 2020 at 18:52

    Holy crap! It feels like I’ve just watched a sales pitch! Oh wait…

    Reply

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