Unreal Engine 5 is currently publishing next year, and Epic Games has a new PlayStation 5 tech demo called Lumen in the Land of Nanite to display it off (embedded above). Like this Infiltrator demonstration did back in 2013, it looks just a little absurd, then and together with caves that are photorealistic, at the end, an entire city with no less detail.
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With UE5, programmers will no longer need to worry about polygon counts,” says Epic. 3D assets made from countless millions or even billions of polygons can be imported by them and the engine will manage the rest, streaming which ultra-complex geometry in the utmost degree of detail possible.
It sounds somewhat like the claims you’d occasionally see from the 2010s, when a startup would announce that it had unlocked the secret to infinitely representation that is nuclear — then nothing could come of this technology that is revolutionary. However, based on Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, polygon counts really over as a step of fidelity.
“Nanite virtualized geometry means that film-quality source art comprising hundreds of billions or millions of polygons could be imported into Unreal Engine–anything from ZBrush sculpts into photogrammetry scans to CAD data–and it just works,” Epic stated in a press release.