Last month Epic Games gave us a first glimpse of what we can expect from the next generation with “Lumen in the Land of Nanite”, an extraordinary demo of Unreal Engine 5 real-time operation on PlayStation 5. Since then, we’ve received various pieces of information about the technology that powers the UE5, but Epic decided to dig deeper into the talk at the Unreal Fest Online 2020 virtual event.

The most interesting thing discussed is the technology nanite, the new system of ” virtualized micropolygonal geometry“Which essentially allows developers to import cinema-quality models and assets into real-time games.” Here’s how Epic’s technical director, Marcus Wassmer, describes the technology:

« Nanite is a next-generation technology that enables artists to realize their vision in a way that cannot first be found in a game engine. Nanite enables direct import of cinema-quality assets with micro-polygon detail […]. In addition, Nanite supports a very large number of objects on the screen« .

The “Lumen in the Land of Nanite” demo was running at around 1440p and 30fps, but apparently the PS5 could easily run it at 60fps. As we have already learned, Nanite is not particularly heavy on the hardware: the total rendering cost of the demo GPU was around 4.5ms. The demo only used 768MB of RAM and despite this it pushed a lot of polygons – only one of the statues seen in the demo contains 33 million polygons. The only statues in the scene below contain 16 billion polygons.


And what about the last part where the girl flies through the valley? About 500,000 cinema-quality objects appear during the scene in question, and Epic says Nanite could easily render up to a million cinema-quality objects with next-gen hardware.

It sounds really impressive, although there are currently technological limitations. Epic admits that Nanite needs to be perfected when it comes to rendering translucent or non-rigid materials like grass and hair (there’s a reason the demo is set in a rocky wasteland). That said, developers can freely combine Nanite with older Unreal Engine technology.

Epic also provided more details on their new lighting solution, Lumen. The new technology supports detailed real-time lighting, although it does not currently replace ray tracing. It looks like Lumen is the reason the UE5 demo only ran at 30 fps, although Epic is hoping they can run it at 60 fps on next-gen platforms.

What would you say?

Source: Wccftech.

Source : Reddit