The recent Unreal Engine 4.27 release improves the efficiency and quality ease of use of in-camera visual effects. A new 3D Config Editor makes it easier to design nDisplay setups for LED volumes and support for OpenColorIO ensures accurate colour matching of Unreal Engine content to what the physical camera sees on the LED volume. The Virtual Camera system has been enhanced, adding support for Multi-User Editing. The system uses the GPU rather than CPU to progressively render pre-computed lightmaps, reducing the time it takes to generate lighting data for scenes with global illumination, soft shadows and other complex lighting effects.
The recent Unreal Engine 4.27 release introduces a host of improvements to the efficiency, quality, and ease of use of Unreal Engine’s in-camera visual effects (ICVFX) toolset一now making it faster and easier than ever to utilize this revolutionary virtual production technique that is transforming filmmaking.
This release represents over four years of investment in research and development to take real-time production from experimental to production-ready, with Unreal Engine being used for 200+ film and television projects to date.Unreal Engine 4.27 introduces a new 3D Config Editor so that users can more easily design their nDisplay setups for LED volumes or other multi-display rendering applications. All nDisplay-related features and settings are now combined into a single nDisplay Root Actor for easier access, and the addition of multi-GPU support now enables nDisplay to scale more efficiently. Multi-GPU support also enables users to maximize resolution on wide shots by dedicating a GPU for in-camera pixels, and to shoot with multiple cameras, each with its own uniquely tracked frustum.
Additionally, 4.27 adds support for OpenColorIO to nDisplay, ensuring accurate color matching of Unreal Engine content to what the physical camera sees on the LED volume.Also in 4.27, Unreal Engine’s Virtual Camera system has been significantly enhanced, adding support for more features such as Multi-User Editing, and offering a redesigned user experience and an extensible core architecture. Live Link Vcam, a new iOS app, enables users to drive a Cine Camera in-engine using an iPad. There are also improvements for producing correct motion blur in traveling shots, accounting for the physical camera with a moving background.Additionally, new Level Snapshots in 4.27 now let users easily save the state of a given scene and later restore any or all of its elements, making it simple to return to a previous setup for pickup shots or for creative iterations.Unreal Engine 4.27 also offers many enhancements to GPU Lightmass, including more feature support and increased stability.
The system uses the GPU rather than CPU to progressively render pre-computed lightmaps, leveraging the latest ray tracing capabilities with DirectX 12 (DX12) and Microsoft's DXR framework. GPU Lightmass significantly reduces the time it takes to generate lighting data for scenes that require global illumination, soft shadows, and other complex lighting effects that are expensive to render in real time. Since users can see the results progressively, it’s easy to make changes and start over without waiting for the final bake, making for a more interactive workflow.
For in-camera VFX workflows, GPU Lightmass enables crews to modify virtual set lighting far more quickly than before, making productions more efficient and ensuring that creative flow is not interrupted.Lastly, the Path Tracer is a DXR-accelerated, physically accurate progressive rendering mode in Unreal Engine that can be enabled without requiring any additional setup. In 4.27, a range of improvements make the Path Tracer viable for creating final-pixel imagery comparable to offline renderings—with features such as physically correct and compromise-free global illumination, physically correct refractions, feature-complete materials within reflections and refractions, and super-sampled anti-aliasing.