Unreal Engine 5.4 Released

Epic Games have just released Unreal Engine 5.4 first previewed at the GDC 2024 State of Unreal. There are as always hundreds of new features in UE 5.4, but a big focus in this release is on the new animation tools built directly into Unreal Engine. This will prevent animators from having to do round trip between their DCC tool of choice and the engine, enabling artists to work and animate directly in Unreal Engine. This is enabled with new tools such as the experimental Modular Control Rig, new animation Gizmos as well as the new Motion Matching animation system, which is now production ready and being used with Fortnite Battle Royale.

Animation isn’t the only area of improvement for Unreal Engine 5.4 however, rendering also got several new features. Nanite now supports experimental mesh tessellation enabling fine details like cracks to be added at render time without altering the underlying mesh. Support for spline mesh workflows has also been added, ideal for creating roads on landscapes, etc. Another big area of improvement in this release is over all rendering performance, making 5.4 markedly faster than 5.3. There is also support for raytracing on Vulkan, which among other things, brings experimental raytracing support to Linux.

This release also saw performance improvements for C++ compilation, asset cooking, improvements to local DDC as well as cloud hosted and distributed caching. There is also an all new experimental tool for Motion Design, previously called avalanche, aimed at the broadcasting industry. As well as several other new virtual production features, as well as much, much, much more.

Key Links

Unreal Engine 5.4 Release Blog

Unreal Engine 5.4 Full Release Notes

One very important thing to realize about the UE 5.4 release is this is the first one under the new EULA and licensing terms. If you are using Unreal Engine for game development, there should be no negative impact to you. However if you are using Unreal Engine for commercial film work, be sure to read the new licensing terms before moving to Unreal 5.4!

You can learn more about the Unreal Engine 5.4 release in the video below.

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