Unreal engine 5.3 SMPTE 2110 c

Experimental support for SMPTE ST 2110 in nDisplay

Unreal Engine 5.3 focusses on UE5’s functionality and potential for game developers and content creators across industries, and includes changes affecting the software’s core rendering, developer iteration and virtual production tools.

This release has a set of new Experimental rendering, animation and simulation features to give users the opportunity to test extended creative workflows inside UE5 that will reduce the need to round-trip with external applications.

Core UE5 Rendering Refinements

Refinements to all of the core UE5 rendering features aim to make it easier for developers to apply them at higher quality in games running at 60 fps on the new consoles. At the same time, linear content creators can use these same improvements to push the quality of their results and enhance performance.

Unreal engine 5.3 volume render tree

Volume textures

Specifically, Nanite has faster performance for masked materials, including foliage, and can represent a greater range of surfaces due to the new Explicit Tangents option. Lumen with Hardware Ray Tracing now supports multiple reflection bounces, and runs faster on consoles.

Other improvments have been made to Virtual Shadow Maps (VSM) - which is now ready for production - Temporal Super Resolution (TSR), hair grooms, path tracing and substrate.

Cooked Output

Developers can now access additional CPU and memory resources when converting content from the internal UE format to a platform-specific format, markedly reducing the time needed to generate a cooked output from a build farm server or on a local workstation.

Unreal engine 5.3 chaos panel cloth editor run

Panel Cloth Editor

Enabling the Multi-Process Cook function launches subprocesses that perform parts of the cooking work alongside the main process. Developers can select how many subprocesses they want to run on a single machine.

Cine Cam Rig Rail

Filmmakers can now create a workflow that achieves the results of traditional camera movement along tracks or on dollies, owing to a new Cine Cam Rig Rail Actor. This new Rig Rail version is built with more refined controls than before, including the ability to choreograph settings like camera rotation, focal length, focus distance and so on, at different control points along the path.

Unreal engine 5.3 camera rig rail

Cine Cam Rig Rail Actor

The Rig Rail Actor supports both in-editor and VCam (Virtual Camera) workflows. Virtual Camera drives a Cine Camera in Unreal Engine by using a modular component system to manipulate camera data and output results.

VCam Acceleration

Further updates to VCam give users the ability to review takes directly on the iPad, speeding up iteration. They can simultaneously stream different VCam outputs for different team members—for example, with camera controls for the camera operator, but without for the director, in order to facilitate collaborative VCam shoots. It’s also possible to record at a higher frame rate and playback at normal speed as an easier way to capture fast-moving action.

Unreal engine 5.3 vcam

Reviewing takes directly on the iPad

Experimental Features

As well as these updates to core toolsets, Unreal Engine version 5.3 has several new Experimental features. Two of these, Sparse Volume Textures (SVT) Sparse Volume Textures (SVT) and Path Tracing of Heterogeneous VolumesPath Tracing of Heterogeneous Volumes, add new functionality for volumetric effects such as smoke and fire. Sparse Volume Textures store baked simulation data representing volumetric media, and can be simulated in Niagara or imported from OpenVDB (.vdb) files created in other 3D applications.

The Path Tracer now makes more complete support available for rendering volumes, with the potential for high-quality volumetric rendering including global illumination, shadows and scattering – effects that are useful for cinematics, films, episodic television and other forms of linear content creation – directly in UE5.

Unreal engine 5.3 orthographic render 2

Orthographic rendering

Users with real-time use cases such as games and virtual production can also begin experimenting with SVTs for playback of volumetric elements, although performance is still limited and depends on the content.

UE 5.3 is the first Unreal version to include orthographic rendering, commonly used for visualising architecture and manufacturing projects, as well as supporting orthographic projections as a stylistic camera choice for games. Several parts of the engine are aiming to make perspective and orthographic projections equally available. It is now expected to work in most modern features of UE5, including Lumen, Nanite, Shadows and Temporal Super Resolutions. Orthographic rendering is also available in the Unreal Editor, for users wanting to carry out live updates.

Unreal engine 5.3 skeletal editor 2

Skeletal Editor

A new Skeletal Editor has a wide variety of tools for animators working with Skeletal Meshes, including the ability to paint skin weights. Whether working on quick prototypes or the final rigging, artists can perform more character workflows entirely in the Unreal Editor without round-tripping to DCC applications, staying in context and therefore iterating faster.

Chaos Cloth has updates that also allow users to bring more workflows directly to UE. New features include a Panel Cloth Editor and new skin weight transfer algorithms. Extended position-based dynamics (XPBD) constraints serve as a basis for future in-engine cloth generation. The result is a non-destructive cloth simulation workflow in which the artist trades off speed for precision. Using panel-based cloth can result in better-looking simulations, since the metrics won't be baked in the draped pose.

Cloth can also now be simulated and cached in-engine using the new Panel Cloth Editor, combined with the ML Deformer Editor.

Unreal engine 5.3 chaos panel cloth ml deformer

Panel Cloth Editor, combined with the ML Deformer Editor

Unreal is also anticipating upcoming LED production stages by adding Experimental support for SMPTE ST 2110 to nDisplay - synchronizing information between all the application instances that make up a render cluster - using NVIDIA hardware and the Rivermax SDK. With this support in place, various hardware configurations become possible that increase the potential for LED stages. One of these uses a dedicated machine for each camera frustum (the field of view of the virtual camera defining a projection), giving greater scope for the rendering resolution, scene geometry complexity and lighting than previously possible, and increasing frame rate.

The advantage here is that users will be able to handle wider angle lenses that require greater resolution, and multi-camera shoots that put stress on the current systems. It may also lead to lower latency in the system because the signal chain is simpler. unrealengine.com