Epic Games on Monday released Unreal Engine 4.26 with new tools to extend the ability of creators to craft real-time environments and characters for games, visualisation, simulation as well as continued advancements to Unreal's virtual production tool-set.
Epic Games' Unreal Engine is the world's most open and advanced real-time 3D tool. Creators across games, film, television, architecture, automotive and transportation, advertising, live events, and training and simulation choose Unreal to deliver cutting-edge content.
''Users can now create animations in Sequencer by blending animation clips such as motion-captured data; the workflow will be familiar to animators who have worked in other nonlinear animation editors. Animators can preview skeleton animations to easily see how one skeleton blends into the next, and match joint placement for a smooth transition between clips,'' the company said in a statement.
Hair and Fur is production-ready in 4.26, aims to deliver the ability to edit, simulate, and render true strand-based hair, fur, and feathers. Unreal Engine 4.26 introduces a new Volumetric Cloud component that is able to interact with Sky Atmosphere, Sky Light, and up to two directional lights, improving the quality of both realistic and stylized skies, clouds, and other atmospheric effects.
The new release also sees the introduction of a new Water system, enabling artists to define oceans, lakes, rivers, and islands using splines. Users can adjust and visualise the depth, width, and velocity of rivers along their lengths, and the wavelength, amplitude, direction, and steepness of waves on oceans and lakes.
The 4.26 release also introduces a new fully REST-compliant Remote Control API that enables users to easily collect and organise any parameters or function libraries from the Unreal Engine UI into customisable presets.
In addition, 4.26 delivers new support for exporting multi-channel EXRs, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHR codecs, and Final Cut Pro XML EDLs, as well as the ability to integrate render farms.
Unreal Engine 4.26 also offers new improvements to the Chaos physics tool, ray tracing, new GPU Lightmass, a completely new Virtual Camera system, enhanced DMX support, and new Datasmith exporter plugins for Rhino and Naviworks.