Want a little extra spice in your development life? Does juggling live hand grenades, chainsaws and lit dynamite sound like a fun way to spend the afternoon? Then have I got news for you! Unreal Engine 4.11 Preview 2 has been made available. Obviously it’s a “you get what you get” type preview release and the purpose is to find out what’s going to explode to make for a more stable release when the less adventurous types upgrade.
Preview 1 added:
- Rendering Updates:
- New physically based shading model for realistic hair based on the latest research from film. It models 2 specular lobes, transmission, and scattering.
- New physically based shading model for eyes.
- New physically based shading model for cloth. This combines the standard shading model with a layer of velvet fibers. This layer simulates fuzz and fabrics.
- Capsule Shadows – We now have support for very soft indirect shadows cast by a capsule representation of the character
- Lightmass Portals – Skylight quality indoors can be massively improved by setting up Portal actors over openings. Portals tell Lightmass where to look for incoming lighting, they don’t actually emit light themselves. Portals are best used covering small openings that are important to the final lighting. Placing large Portals all over the level will dramatically increase build times.
- Per-vertex translucency lighting – There are two new translucency lighting modes available in the material editor which compute lighting per-vertex. PerVertex lighting modes use half as many shader instructions and texture lookups.
- We now have support for 3 lighting channels. You can set which channels a PrimitiveComponent or a LightComponent is in.
- We’ve integrated Intel’s Embree ray tracing library into Lightmass and we got a huge lighting build speedup from it, as the majority of lighting build time goes toward tracing rays to figure out how light is bouncing.
- We’ve integrated updates to the D3D12 RHI to allow better CPU utilization while generating rendering commands in parallel.
- Improved quality and performance of the SubsurfaceScatteringProfile shading model.
- Circle Depth of Field post process – New Material Functions to render small particles with out of focus.
- Materials using separate translucency can now be rendered at a lower resolution, which can be useful to improve GPU performance for fillrate and overdraw heavy geometry (for example particle effects).
The resolution is controlled via a console variable, r.SeparateTranslucencyScreenPercentage, which expresses separate translucency as a percentage of current screen resolution.
- Static mesh LOD transitions now supporting dithering.
- Core Updates:
- CrashReporter Server available
- Garbage Collection up to 4x faster
- Dependency preloading – brings us close to seek free loading (90% of the time seek free), faster package loading
- UnrealHeaderTool makefiles – iterative UHT runs are 5x faster
- Platform Updates:
- Metal on Mac
- AppleTV support
- Fast Semantics on XboxOne
- VS2015 on XboxOne
- Code plugins for PS4
- Deterministic cooking “bug-finder” commandlet
- Background content precaching for most-recently-cooked-platform
- Editor/Tools Updates:
- Sequencer improvements
- New tracks: Shot/director, play rate, slomo, fade, material, particle parameter tracks.
- Improved movie rendering, exr support
- Improved/consistent keyframing behaviors, copy/paste keyframes, copy keys from matinee, 3d keyframe path display
- Master sequence workflow
- Spawnables workflow
- UI improvements: track coloring, keyframe shapes/coloring, track filtering
- Framework Updates:
- Anim Dynamics Skeletal Control for Animation Blueprints – allows dynamic motion to be procedurally added to skeletal meshes without having to use a full physics solution. This is accomplished using the new “Anim Dynamics” node in the Animation Graph of an Animation Blueprint.
- Networking Updates:
- Packet handler system
- Easy interception of packets for things like encryption, compression, etc
- Added CryptoPP, and packet handler components that support it out of the box
- Oodle integration (SDK purchase required)
- Client-side replays
- Blueprint Updates:
- The Blueprint search tool has been updated to support more advanced search functionality (to get more targeted results).
- Native C++ functions marked BlueprintCallable can now also be optionally marked as DevelopmentOnly. This new metadata allows calls to those functions to be disabled (compiled out) of all Blueprint function graphs in cooked/packaged builds without breaking the execution flow.
- Mobile Rendering Updates:
- Support for hardware instancing on iOS and many Android devices, reducing draw calls for Foliage and InstancedStaticMeshComponents.
- Improved reflections on mobile, optionally interpolating between up to 3 reflection captures and performing parallax correction
- VR Updates:
- Instanced Stereo Rendering
- Head Mounted Display Camera Refactor
- Stereo Layers
- SDK Updates: Oculus SDK 1.0, SteamVR 1.0, PlayStationVR SDK3 Updates, and Gear VR LibOVRMobile 1.0 (not yet updated for Preview 1, but will be by final release)
- Landscape/Foliage Updates:
- Landscape layer whitelisting, allowing you to control which landscape components should accept which layers in the painting tool
- Landscape layer usage view mode, to quickly see which landscape components are using which layers
- Support for baking WorldPositionOffset changes into landscape collision
Preview 2 mostly addresses a number of fixes from Preview 1, including:
Fixed! UE-24563 Editor should launch launcher silently
Fixed! UE-25092 Error in NonUnityTestCompile_OnMac due to Shadow variable
Fixed! UE-25032 UnrealHeaderTool is checking for plugins required only by game.
Fixed! UE-24812 Editor crashes when adding a mesh reference to the event graph of a blueprint
Fixed! UE-24590 Crash resetting Bound Bone in Anim Dynamics node
Fixed! UE-25064 Crash upon removing Input Axis in Project Settings by using X
Fixed! UE-24958 Crash when getting the sequence player in level blueprint
Fixed! UE-24857 Re-implement plugin changes in 4.11
Fixed! UE-24854 Add release custom version
Fixed! UE-24729 Vehicle Blueprint template has hole in the floor
Fixed! UE-24710 Third Person Code has failed import load errors
Fixed! UE-24694 Match 3 crash when spamming gem moves
Fixed! UE-24773 Enabling Tessellation on Materials in 4.11 causes geometry to Disappear
Fixed! UE-24741 Flickering SpeedTree foliage when destorying an actor using the same mesh
Fixed! UE-24724 Dropdown menus are behind the Import window on Mac
Fixed! UE-24292 Using the Set console command to change a value at runtime causes a crash
Fixed! UE-24326 Vehicle Advanced projects have missing and blocking collision
Fixed! UE-24522 Find-in-Blueprints no longer works after switching languages.
Fixed! UE-24167 Physics Asset cannot be moved in the level
Fixed! UE-25140 VS2015 builds sometimes hang when using XGE
Fixed! UE-25027 Reading from ini sections not cached by new build system doesn’t work in Android Plugin Language
Fixed! UE-25026 Puzzle Code lighting needs to be rebuilt
Fixed! UE-25013 Editing right-to-left text is very unstable
Fixed! UE-24967 Integrate D3D12 update from MS
Fixed! UE-25120 OBB downloader license check causes exception if TargetSDK set to 21 or higher
Fixed! UE-25090 Java libraries copied to JavaLibs by Android plugin are not included in project dependencies
Fixed! UE-25031 Mesh particles do not work on mobile
Fixed! UE-24989 Find-in-Blueprints does not find anything outside of current asset or Engine content
Fixed! UE-24975 Instanced stereo foliage culling incorrectly
Fixed! UE-24963 Zen Gardens opens with Load Errors/Map Checks/Warnings
Fixed! UE-24962 Crash exiting D3D12
Fixed! UE-24926 Include Render Pass name as variable in Filename Format field
Fixed! UE-24920 EXR renders won’t go above 640×360 when rendering from an Editor Window
Fixed! UE-24900 Main and Alt input keys set in Touch Interface do not work
Fixed! UE-24873 Mac: Clicking on parent window when a child window is behind it activates the child window
Fixed! UE-22068 Changing inherited value in a blueprint child class also changes it in parent
Fixed! UE-21795 Switch on Gameplay Tag does not correctly register tag alterations in Standalone game
Fixed! UE-23269 Crash opening QA-Animation on Mac
Fixed! UE-22970 The white horizon for the sky is flipped upside down (at top of screen instead of bottom) for non-MobileHDR on mobile devices
Fixed! UE-24852 Creating a Blueprint out of existing Blueprints crashes the editor
You can read more about the release on the Unreal Engine forums.