Over the past few weeks Epic Games has been releasing previews of the latest version of its Unreal Engine 4, Unreal Engine 4.10, in preparation for a full launch. The previews released have contained some key fixes for those working with virtual reality (VR) technology. Today the full version has finally released, bringing with it even more upgrades for those working with the likes of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and other head-mounted displays (HMDs).
Highlighting the VR updates in this edition of the middleware are some new VR rendering optimisations, which the company promises will help VR titles to perform faster. This includes a new ‘Hidden and Visible Mesh optimization’ that will reduce the GPU overhead of VR rendering.
“These two optimizations ensure that we do not spend GPU time working on pixels that will not be displayed in the actual device, because of lens distortions,” the company explains. “The hidden area mesh works as a prepass, where we take a mesh that represents the area hidden from view, and reject everything behind the mesh. Next, for the post-processing stage, we use the inverse of that mesh, which represents the visible pixels, and then only run post processing on those. By using these two techniques, you get “free” performance!”
Elsewhere, Unreal Engine 4.10 included support for Oculus VR’s 0.8 software development kit (SDK) Beta and support for its Mobile SDK 0.6.2. It’s also updated the PlayStation 4 SDK to 3.0, including PlayStation VR support. It also provides lower latency for VR motion controllers by adding a ‘late-update’ feature that acts just before the engine begins rendering.
As Epic Games notes in its official release, some of the updates found in Unreal Engine 4.10 can already be seen in the company’s latest VR demo, Bullet Train, which was first put on show at the 2015 Oculus Connect 2 developer conference in September.
VRFocus will continue to follow Unreal Engine 4.10 and all of its VR-related updates, reporting back with any further news.