Exploring the Future
of Unreal Engine in 2024

VFXNow's Expert Insights on AI, GPU, and Beyond

At VFXnow, our passion for Unreal Engine goes beyond just providing optimized hardware recommendations to our clients. We're not only facilitators of awe-inspiring content creation; we are enthusiasts who wholeheartedly enjoy the immersive experience of working within Unreal Engine. In this blog post, we're thrilled to share some upcoming features of Unreal Engine for 2024 that have our team buzzing with excitement.

Ready to take your Unreal Engine skills to the next level in 2024? Check out VFXnow's optimized Unreal Engine build!

When it comes to creating high-fidelity 3D characters, anything you can do to improve the believability of the animation is an obvious win. One of those things is to add secondary animation—additional animation that reacts to, and enhances or emphasizes, the main animation.

An example of a secondary animation setup that relates to characters is where joints move naturally in response to other joints, without the animator having to directly control them. So if you rotate a character’s clavicle (collarbone) by moving its arm up, down, forward, or backwards, surrounding joints such as the scapula (shoulder blade) should also move—just as in real life. The result is more plausible and detailed animation that, after the initial setup, comes for free.

Discovering Unreal Engine 2024: VFXNow's Highlights

1. Substrate Materials Framework: Elevating Realism in Material Blending

One of the standout features on the horizon is the Substrate Materials framework. Set to revolutionize material blending in Unreal Engine 5, this framework promises a more intuitive and powerful approach to creating and manipulating materials. By enabling creators to blend materials with unprecedented realism, Substrate may very well replace the existing material system, offering a dynamic and advanced alternative. 

2. Procedural Content Generation: Crafting Entire Worlds with Ease

Unreal Engine 2024 introduces a game-changing capability – procedural content generation. Creators can now build entire worlds without the need for manual asset placement, thanks to features like GPU generation. This functionality empowers artists and designers to craft fast, iterative tools and complex content, akin to the procedural generation magic behind games like No Man’s Sky. 

3. AI Integration: A Leap into the Future of Unreal

Unreal Engine’s foray into neural networks and machine learning is set to reshape the landscape in 2024. Creators can train AI within Unreal for tasks like meta human animation, while machine learning deformers enhance in-game mesh deformations, particularly for characters. Automatic asset labeling further streamlines workflows, marking a significant step forward in the integration of AI capabilities. 

4. Expanding Horizons: Large World Coordinates on GPU

Unreal Engine is set to redefine scale with an increase in maximum world size from 21km to an astounding 88 million km. This expansion in large world coordinates on the GPU opens up new possibilities for expansive and immersive virtual environments. 

5. Lume Hardware Ray Tracing: Elevating Visual Fidelity

The Lumen feature in Unreal Engine, utilizing Software Ray Tracing against Signed Distance Fields, is set to achieve even higher quality with Hardware Ray Tracing. This enhancement significantly enhances visual fidelity on supporting video cards, providing creators with a powerful tool for crafting stunning and realistic scenes. 

6. Nanite Dynamic Displacement: A Game-Changer for Dynamic Environments

Nanite dynamic displacement introduces material-driven effects for dynamic and detailed environments, revolutionizing applications such as landscape design, foliage rendering, and rigid mesh deformation. This feature promises to be a game-changer for creators seeking unparalleled realism in their projects. 

7. UI Revamp: Enhancing User Experience

Unreal Engine 2024 is not just about groundbreaking features; it’s also about improving the user experience. The UI is set to undergo a makeover, with a focus on optimizing the content browser and introducing several enhancements to streamline workflows and navigation. 

8. Multithreading: Unleashing the Power of CPU Cores

Addressing a long-standing limitation, Unreal Engine 5.4 introduces multithreaded rendering. This upgrade allows the engine to utilize more CPU cores, vastly improving overall performance. Previously limited to only two threads, this enhancement is a significant leap forward in optimizing resource utilization. 

9. Subscription-Based Model: A Shift in Unreal Engine Access

Games, disclosed a transition to a subscription-based model for Unreal Engine in 2024. While game developers will continue to enjoy free access, users in non-game domains, such as virtual production, architecture, and VFX, will need to subscribe to leverage the engine’s capabilities. 

Bonus: Adobe's Firefly and Project Res UP

In addition to the Unreal Engine updates, noteworthy mentions include Adobe’s Firefly for video and the intriguing Project Res UP. These tools, leveraging AI, promise to enhance video editing capabilities, converting stills into video seamlessly and upscaling video content for superior quality. 

Image from Unreal Engine Official Website

In conclusion, the future of Unreal Engine is nothing short of exhilarating. As we anticipate the release of Unreal Engine 2024, the combination of these innovative features, UI improvements, and a subscription model transition heralds a new era for creators across various industries. The evolution of Unreal Engine continues to inspire and empower, promising unparalleled possibilities for immersive digital experiences. 

UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVE POTENTIAL IN UNREAL ENGINE IN 2024 WITH VFXNOW

Ready to take your Unreal Engine projects to new heights? Contact us today to learn more about this powerful hardware configuration. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the process, answer your questions, and help you make the most of Unreal Engine’s capabilities. 

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