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Unreal Engine 5.2 is here with enhanced new features

Epic Games recently announced that Unreal Engine 5.2 is now available. With this release, they have further expanded UE5’s groundbreaking toolset to deliver on the promise of making Unreal Engine the most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool in the world. 

Alongside feature refinements and stability improvements, Unreal Engine 5.2 pushes the boundaries of what creators can expect out of the box, delivering innovative new functionality. 

  • Procedural Content Generation framework – Unreal Engine 5.2 offers an early look at a Procedural Content Generation framework (PCG) that can be used directly inside Unreal Engine without relying on external packages. The framework includes both in-editor tools and a runtime component.

The PCG tools enable you to define rules and parameters to populate large scenes with Unreal Engine assets of your choice, making the process of creating large worlds fast and efficient.

The runtime component means that the system can run inside a game or other real-time application, so that the world can react to gameplay or geometry changes. The PCG tools can also be used for linear content requiring substantial numbers of assets, such as large architectural projects or film scenes.

This is an experimental feature that will be further developed over future releases.

  • Substrate – This release also introduces Substrate, a new way of authoring materials that gives you more control over the look and feel of objects used in real-time applications, such as games, and for linear content creation. 

When enabled, it replaces the fixed suite of shading models with a more expressive and modular multi-lobe framework that provides a greater range of surface appearances and a wider parameter space from which to work. It is especially powerful for describing layered looks, for example ‘liquid on metal’ or ‘dust on clear coat’.

To test out Substrate, you can enable it in the project settings. As an experimental feature, the company does not recommend using it for production work and welcome feedback to continue to refine its functionality. 

  • Enhanced virtual production toolset – With this release, the virtual production toolset continues to receive new features and enhancements that give filmmakers more creative power.

Dovetailing with the desktop ICVFX Editor, a new iOS app for ICVFX stage operations (coming soon for iPad via the Apple App Store) will offer an intuitive touch-based interface for stage operations such as colour grading, light card placement, and nDisplay management tasks from anywhere within the LED volume. This puts creative control directly in the filmmakers’ hands to achieve the desired look where filming is actually taking place, without having to call back to the Unreal Engine operators.    

Meanwhile, enhancements to Unreal Engine’s VCam system offer filmmakers greater scope for creative decision-making during pre-production. These include the new ability to operate multiple simultaneous Virtual Cameras off a single editor instance, as well as to create more sophisticated and layered camera moves.

Finally, extended nDisplay support for SMPTE 2110 builds on the initial groundwork laid in Unreal Engine 5.1 toward the next generation of ICVFX hardware deployment. This Experimental feature is suitable for testing in Unreal Engine 5.2 as hardware becomes available, with production viability targeted for Unreal Engine 5.3.

  • Apple Silicon support – Native support for Apple Silicon has been added to the Unreal Editor. This brings a better user experience, improved performance, and greater stability. The Universal Binary of Unreal Engine that natively supports both Apple Silicon and Intel CPUs is now available to download from the Epic Games launcher.
  • New ML Deformer sample – Explore how Unreal Engine machine learning technology can be used to create a high-fidelity real-time character for PC and consoles with deformations driven by full muscle, flesh, and cloth simulation with this new ML Deformer sample. The download includes an interactive demo sequence that shows muscles bulging and sliding under the skin, and folds forming on clothing. You can also compare the results with ML Deformer on and off, and animate the model with the included Control Rig asset.

The package includes source assets for you to repurpose and modify for use in your projects.

Apart from these there are many more new features and enhancements in Unreal Engine 5.2. One can visit their website to check the full list.