Epic Games has been doing an enormous amount of work in the virtual reality (VR) space over the past few years with its popular development middleware, Unreal Engine 4. The company’s tech now supports all major head-mounted displays (HMDs), most recently making its Gear VR debut with CCP Games’ Gunjack. But the engine also has potential to be used for another emerging technology, augmented reality (AR). While we’re yet to see the company make any official move with the tech, one developer has recently been showing off a plugin for the middleware that showcases its potential.
Ádám Horváth has posted a new video, seen below, of a fight scene developed in Unreal Engine 4 playing out on a desk using AR. The scene involves one main character taking on a group of soldiers with style before meeting his match at the end. As the scene unfolds the viewer is free to move their point of view, getting a better angle on the action as it spills over coffee mugs and mousepads. Eagle-eyed Unreal Engine 4 fans will know this as the Matinee Fight Scene that the company first showcased as a tech demo back in 2014 via a standard 2D format.
The plugin used here is simply known as the Augmented Reality Plugin for Unreal Engine 4, and its effects speak for themselves. It’s easy to see this kind of tech one day being applied to mixed reality (MR) HMDs such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap. Again, Epic Games itself hasn’t done much official work with either AR or MR just yet, but this plugin proves that Unreal Engine 4 is certainly capable of doing so.
This may even be a field the company is eager to tackle, given that its main rival in the Unity Engine is already working with Microsoft to support the HoloLens HMD. VRFocus will continue to follow both Unity and Unreal Engine’s support for any type of HMD, reporting back with the latest updates.