Every couple of months, Epic Games drops a new version of Unreal Engine 4 with improvements all over. As such, you should check the full release notes to see all of the changes, including the fifty-one that Epic thinks are worth highlighting. Here are some that I think our readers would enjoy, though.
First, Vulkan support for mobile devices has apparently moved out of experimental. While this will not be enabled for desktop applications, it's interesting to note that DirectX 12 is still in experimental. Basically, if you squint and put blinders on, you could sort-of see some element of Vulkan beating DirectX 12 to market.
Second, Unreal Engine 4 has significantly upgraded their forward renderer. In a lot of cases, a deferred renderer is preferable because it's fast and consistent; the post-process shader only run once per output pixel, ignoring lighting triangles that are covered by other triangles. The way this is structured, though, makes multisample anti-aliasing impossible, which is slightly annoying on desktop but brutal in VR. As an added benefit, they're also using forward shading to help the deferred renderer with translucent materials.
Unreal Engine typically uses a lot of NVIDIA SDKs. This version updates PhysX up to 3.4, which allows “continuous collision detection” on rigid bodies. This means that fast moving object shouldn't pass through objects without colliding, because the collision occurred between two checks and was missed, if this feature is enabled. They are also adding the Ansel SDK, which allows players to take high-detail screenshots, as a plug-in.
Skipping down the release notes a bunch, Unreal Engine 4.14 also adds support for Visual Studio 15, which is the version after Visual Studio 2015 (Visual Studio 14.0). Both IDEs are, in fact, supported. It's up to the developer to choose which one to use, although Visual Studio 15 makes a lot of improvements regarding install and uninstall.
Finally, at least for my brief overview, Unreal Engine 4.14 begun to refactor their networking system. It sounds like the current optimizations are CPU-focused, but allowing more network-capable objects is always a plus. Epic Games claims they are benchmarking about 40% higher performance in this area.
>Unreal Engine typically uses
>Unreal Engine typically uses a lot of NVIDIA SDKs.
Really? I wouldn’t have guessed at all the times that AMD GPUs run Unreal Engine 4 games like utter crap…
Proprietary tech where only NV gets to optimize the binaries they ship, means how games perform, in large, is decided by NVIDIA.
In the case of UE4, the dev
In the case of UE4, the dev if each game gets to choose to optimize for each card they want to support, however.
All of the Nvidia stuff in UE4 is either optional, or has the source code provided, except for Ansel which has no direct AMD equivalent. (Unreal actually has a similar set of features that work on both vendors cards, but they aren’t quite one to one on feature parity.)
Ansel is implemented as a
Ansel is implemented as a plug-in, and I think it's disabled by default.
“NVIDIA Ansel Post-FX Based
“NVIDIA Ansel Post-FX Based on Stolen MasterEffect ReShade.fx Code?”