Unreal Engine 5.4 Unleashes Powerful New Features for Game Developers

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Unreal Engine 5.4 Unleashes Powerful New Features for Game Developers

Epic Games has unveiled Unreal Engine 5.4, packed with new features and improvements that will benefit game developers and creators across various industries. This release delivers the toolsets Epic has been using internally to build and ship projects like Fortnite Chapter 5, Rocket Racing, Fortnite Festival, and LEGO Fortnite.

Animation and Character Rigging One of the standout additions is the new Modular Control Rig feature, which allows users to build animation rigs from modular parts instead of complex granular graphs. Automatic Retargeting has also been introduced, making it easier to reuse bipedal character animations. The Skeletal Editor has been extended, and a suite of new deformer functions has been added to enhance the Deformer Graph's accessibility.

Image Credit: Unreal

Animation authoring tools have been made more intuitive and robust, with streamlined workflows. Experimental new Gizmos, reorganized Anim Details, upgrades to the Constraints system, and a new Layered Control Rigs feature simplify the process of adding animation on top of anim clips.

Image Credit: Unreal

Rendering and Visual Fidelity Nanite, Unreal Engine's virtualized micropolygon geometry system, has received several enhancements, including an Experimental Tessellation feature that enables adding fine details like cracks and bumps at render time without altering the original mesh. Additionally, software variable rate shading (VRS) via Nanite compute materials brings substantial performance gains.

Image Credit: Unreal

Temporal Super Resolution (TSR) has undergone stability and performance enhancements to ensure predictable output across platforms, including reduced ghosting and the ability to flag materials that use pixel animation.

Performance and Developer Iteration Unreal Engine 5.4 includes refactored rendering systems for greater parallelization, GPU instance culling for hardware ray tracing, and optimized shader compilation, resulting in improved rendering performance and faster project cook times.

The new Unreal Cloud DDC, a self-hosted cloud storage system for the Unreal Engine Derived Data Cache (DDC), enables distributed users and teams to efficiently share cached data across public network connections.

Multi-Process Cook, now Production-Ready, leverages additional CPU and memory resources to significantly reduce the time it takes to cook content for different platforms.

Motion Graphics and Virtual Production The new Experimental Motion Design mode offers specialized tools for authoring complex 2D motion graphics, including 3D shapes, cloners, effectors, modifiers, and animators.

Updates to the Virtual Camera tool, now Production-Ready, bring Android support and full macOS compatibility. An Experimental VR Scouting toolkit utilizing XR Creative Framework supports OpenXR HMDs like Oculus and Valve Index.

Depth of Field Compensation for ICVFX accurately controls the DOF falloff of digital content rendered by nDisplay, improving results for close-up shots.

For a comprehensive list of new features and enhancements, check out the Unreal Engine 5.4 release notes.


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