Epic Games launches Unreal Engine 5.1 with major upgrades

Epic Games has released Unreal Engine 5.1 with major improvements for Lumen, Nanite, and VSM.

Highlights
  • Epic Games has launched Unreal Engine 5.1, which comes with several improvements over the previous version.
  • Unreal Engine 5.1 upgrades Lumen, Nanite, and Virtual Shadow Maps to support games and content running at 60 FPS on PC and current-gen consoles
  • Unreal Engine 5.1 also brings features to improve development efficiency in games.

Epic Games has launched Unreal Engine 5.1, which comes with major enhancements over the previous version. Unreal Engine is used for the development of a lot of AAA games as well as 3D content. Unreal Engine 5.1 upgrades Lumen dynamic global illumination and reflections system, Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry system, and Virtual Shadow Maps to support games and content running at 60 FPS on PC as well as current-gen consoles. These enhancements will allow fast-paced competitive games and detailed simulations to run without latency issues.

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Unreal Engine 5.1

In Unreal Engine 5.1, Nanite has been updated with a programmable rasterizer to enable material-driven animations and deformations using world position offset and opacity masks. Artists can now use Nanite to program the behaviour of specific objects in a scene. The latest Unreal Engine release also improves developer efficiency for games and other large-scale projects. For example, virtual assets now decouple the metadata from the object data, allowing developers to sync specific data they need from the source control systems. Besides these, the new automated Pipeline State Object (PSO) caching for DX12 simplifies the process of preparing a game to be shipped in DX12. The on-demand shader compilation now compiles specifically the shaders required for rendering what is seen on the screen while using the Unreal Editor, resulting in time savings and improved interactivity.

For developers of massive open world games, Unreal Engine 5.1 brings additional features and improved workflows. World Partition now supports large world coordinates, allowing the creation of huge open worlds without losing precision. World Partition will also take advantage of accelerated source control workflows to deliver an improved user experience. New HLOD (Hierarchical Level of Detail) support for water rendering and streaming lets users to create giant water bodies in open worlds with better performance and less memory usage. Besides these, Unreal Engine 5.1 brings various features for film and TV production as well as animated content.