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Epic's Gorgeous Unreal Engine 4 'Elemental' Demo Video

By - Source: Epic Games | B 52 comments

Unreal Engine 4 sure is purdy!

During E3 2012, Epic Games finally revealed to the public the "Elemental" demo using the upcoming Unreal Engine 4. The company states that its architecture offers fully dynamic lighting features, thus cutting down on development time and ensuring less iteration on creative ideas.

"Artists and designers can bring their creative visions to life directly in game without programmer assistance via the new Unreal Kismet," the company said on Friday. "This offers programmers the freedom to focus on core gameplay features and sophisticated systems. With significant new visual features, Unreal Engine 4 enables you to achieve high-end visuals, while remaining both scalable and accessible to make games for low-spec PCs."

As listed on the Unreal Engine website, the new version includes Hot Updates which allows developers to quickly find and edit C++ code and see those changes reflected immediately in game -- gameplay doesn't even have to be paused. After an update is made, Instant Game Preview allows the developer to spawn a player and play anywhere in game without needing to wait for files to save.

"The all-new Code View saves you time by allowing you to browse C++ functions directly on game characters then jump straight to source code lines in Visual Studio to make changes," Epic explains. "Live Kismet Debugging enables you to interactively visualize the flow of gameplay code while testing your game."

With Epic's new Simulate Mode, developers can now quickly debug and update gameplay behaviors when they happen. This tool lets them run game logic in the editor viewport and inspect AI as the game characters perform actions. Also new in Unreal Engine 4 is Immersive View which allows programmers to complete iterations on gameplay changes without added UI clutter or distractions -- all done in full-screen mode within the editing environment.

"Possess/Eject Features allow at any time while playing in editor to easily 'eject' from the player and take control of the camera to inspect specific in-game objects that may not be behaving properly," Epic states.

The Unreal Engine 4 demo was reportedly shown running off a single Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 card. For more information about Unreal Engine 4, head here.

Unreal Engine 4 Elemental Demo

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    tomfreak , June 10, 2012 1:10 AM
    didnt I recall some guy in Epic said something silly that "Xbox360/PS3 have the best graphic available"?
  • 16 Hide
    jimmysmitty , June 10, 2012 1:21 AM
    jkflipflop98If you did, it was some idiot underling. Sweeny talks non-stop about how bitchin powerful PC's are. Unless he was at some xbox sponsored event or something stupid like that.


    Actually it was Sweeny. He also said that a Nintendo Wii U wont be able to handle the U4 engine but the next gen PS and XBox can, yet they have what is currently rumored to be HD6670 equivalents in GPUs and he states it takes at least a GTX680 to run the U4 engine.

    Still that was pretty awesome. My first though was Overlord. If only he had a jester to kick around.
  • 13 Hide
    cybrcatter , June 10, 2012 2:20 AM
    alidantake out the partical physics, and the lighting effects (things we can fake now, but to do real time is a waste) and i see not a single intresting thing in this tech demo. can anyone else? and keep in mind the framework of this is a tech demo, they are going to polish and throw everything into it they can. all that i can see is unreal 4 is so wasteful that it takes a 680 to run it, and if you faked most of the effects, could be done currently in unreal 3 for less processing power, minus the physics stuff, but that at least in the demo, is eyecandy stuff... not things that need to be there.
    Who needs physics ? Who needs shadows? Who needs textures? Who needs 3D? Who needs vidya?


Other Comments
    Display all 52 comments.
  • 29 Hide
    tomfreak , June 10, 2012 1:10 AM
    didnt I recall some guy in Epic said something silly that "Xbox360/PS3 have the best graphic available"?
  • 13 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , June 10, 2012 1:13 AM
    Tomfreakdidnt I recall some guy in Epic said something silly that "Xbox360/PS3 have the best graphic available"?


    If you did, it was some idiot underling. Sweeny talks non-stop about how bitchin powerful PC's are. Unless he was at some xbox sponsored event or something stupid like that.
  • 8 Hide
    dormantreign , June 10, 2012 1:20 AM
    You did hear that, it was in a video on here i think or Gametrailers. I'm pretty sure he was talking in the context of Console systems overall though. That being said, "IF" that was rendered in realtime that is defentally next generation stuff. It was beautiful.
  • 16 Hide
    jimmysmitty , June 10, 2012 1:21 AM
    jkflipflop98If you did, it was some idiot underling. Sweeny talks non-stop about how bitchin powerful PC's are. Unless he was at some xbox sponsored event or something stupid like that.


    Actually it was Sweeny. He also said that a Nintendo Wii U wont be able to handle the U4 engine but the next gen PS and XBox can, yet they have what is currently rumored to be HD6670 equivalents in GPUs and he states it takes at least a GTX680 to run the U4 engine.

    Still that was pretty awesome. My first though was Overlord. If only he had a jester to kick around.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2012 1:48 AM
    Epic Games vice president Mark Rein recently teased that the company will show off Unreal Engine 4 sometime this year. Whether or not the next generation consoles will even be powerful enough to take full advantage of it, though, is another story entirely.


    Speaking at DICE (via Kotaku), Epic Games' Tim Sweeney said that the impressive "Samaritan" demo would require 2.5 teraFLOPs, while the current Xbox 360 can only handle .25. So to handle that in real-time, the next iteration of the Xbox would have to be ten times as powerful as the current generation. That's for a particularly impressive "Unreal 3" demo; the computational power needed for Unreal Engine 4 could vary.

    Rumors have placed the next Xbox at six times the 360's processing power, short of the ten-fold increase required for Samaritan. Given Epic's intent on making sure UE4 ready on day one of the next generation, something will have to change. Epic did push Microsoft into raising RAM on the Xbox 360, and has been vocal about memory for the next generation, so the company has proven it can sway hardware decisions.
  • 13 Hide
    cybrcatter , June 10, 2012 2:20 AM
    alidantake out the partical physics, and the lighting effects (things we can fake now, but to do real time is a waste) and i see not a single intresting thing in this tech demo. can anyone else? and keep in mind the framework of this is a tech demo, they are going to polish and throw everything into it they can. all that i can see is unreal 4 is so wasteful that it takes a 680 to run it, and if you faked most of the effects, could be done currently in unreal 3 for less processing power, minus the physics stuff, but that at least in the demo, is eyecandy stuff... not things that need to be there.
    Who needs physics ? Who needs shadows? Who needs textures? Who needs 3D? Who needs vidya?


  • -6 Hide
    mazty , June 10, 2012 2:26 AM
    BigMack70The demo is the equivalent of in-game footage. You should check out the developer video too, which shows off some of the features in real-time. IMO that's even more amazing than this.Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOvfn1p92_8

    People have clearly misunderstood me. I'm not saying this is a cutscene; I know this is 'in game' footage but the level of graphics is so high that it's hard to realise this as actual in game footage as opposed to just being a cutscene. Without a HUD etc there is nothing that distinguishes it from pre-rendered footage making the distinction between ingame graphics as opposed to a cutscene almost impossible.
  • 8 Hide
    mazty , June 10, 2012 2:29 AM
    alidantake out the partical physics, and the lighting effects (things we can fake now, but to do real time is a waste) and i see not a single intresting thing in this tech demo. can anyone else? and keep in mind the framework of this is a tech demo, they are going to polish and throw everything into it they can. all that i can see is unreal 4 is so wasteful that it takes a 680 to run it, and if you faked most of the effects, could be done currently in unreal 3 for less processing power, minus the physics stuff, but that at least in the demo, is eyecandy stuff... not things that need to be there.

    You don't know what you're on about. If you were to shoot something colourful across a room e.g. a laser, that should have an effect on the lighting in the room. Dynamic events such as unscripted player interactions can't be faked because they can't be predicted. This engine is incredibly impressive and for it to run on a GTX680 is testament to the good work of both Nvidia and Unreal.
  • -8 Hide
    FloKid , June 10, 2012 2:39 AM
    So basically it takes a GTX 680 to run a sprite game in UE4, wow I am starting to understand marketing more and more L)

    ...But hey who wouldn't want Kepler
  • 7 Hide
    abel2 , June 10, 2012 2:59 AM
    To everyone complaining about the level or graphics card required to run this engine... open your mind. Why the hell would they develop some brand new engine to run on old cheap tech that has been out for months and months or years? This is a testament to the amount of power this engine has if it requires such a card. And by the time this thing is available and devs are actually using it, the 680 will be relatively cheap.

    Unreal Engine 3 was already in the process of dev in 2004 and is still used today. This is THE future of gaming. You will be playing games on this engine until 2018 or later. Try to put some perspective on the situation and accomplishment.

    BigMack70's video link is superb and shows the power of this engine in a lot more detail than the demo vid.
  • 8 Hide
    neblix , June 10, 2012 3:07 AM
    The amount of idiocy in this comments is surprising.

    Did anyone remember that Samaritan took three GTX 580's to run?
    This is far nicer than Samaritan's demo, and this time it takes only ONE GRAPHICS CARD to run.

    That is abso-fucking-lutely incredible.
  • -2 Hide
    neblix , June 10, 2012 3:07 AM
    These*
  • -5 Hide
    airborne11b , June 10, 2012 3:13 AM
    Graphics look ok. It looks like it'll run smooth on mid-grade PCs when it's released and it promises less development time per game when using it. Sounds like small step forward. Wished the graphics were a little better, but we'll have to wait and see what some devs can make out of it first before I pass that judgement. It's most likely being held back a little bit with them keeping consoles in mind.

    But I guess we're all getting used to console port crap anyway. Least I know my 5.0ghz 3570k and 2x 670 GTXs will run it smoothly :p 
  • -8 Hide
    alidan , June 10, 2012 3:14 AM
    maztyYou don't know what you're on about. If you were to shoot something colourful across a room e.g. a laser, that should have an effect on the lighting in the room. Dynamic events such as unscripted player interactions can't be faked because they can't be predicted. This engine is incredibly impressive and for it to run on a GTX680 is testament to the good work of both Nvidia and Unreal.


    ever shoot a gun in a game made within... lets say 10 years? we already have lighting like they are barging about, whether its fake or not is another point i'm unsure of, but it looks real enough to the point i'm not questioning it.
    i still say that this is pathetic, if only because of games like hard reset
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=488L20UXUKU
    and keep in mind, that is a game that is running dx9, and on a 5770 gets over 30fps at 1920x1200 maxed.

    cybrcatterWho needs physics ? Who needs shadows? Who needs textures? Who needs 3D? Who needs vidya?


    do you understand the difference between faked, and realtime? we have effects in games right now that if everything was done real time, wouldn't look all that different, but would take a 60fps game and make it a 20 or less fps game.

    i take out the physics because that is something that you know will be heavily abused because its there, and you will want to turn it off, much like how bloom and motion bluring is right now.

    i take out the advanced lighting, because we can currently fake most of those effects, and save an absolute crap ton on the required hardware.

    you are takeing the argument to an extreme and i find it stupid. want to know what makes a game great.
    gameplay, thats it.
    after than, what comes next... sound
    you dont notice it much anymore because sound is good enough in most games to become an after thought, do yourself a favor and try playing black light retribution a bit, the sound in that game is easily the best i have ever heard in recent memory, and the first time i ever knew what direction something was happening in the game by the sound alone with stereo (not 5.1) headphones
    after gameplay and sound, comes the graphics, and the first important thing is the textures, i dont care what effects the game has, how many pollies it pushes, if the textures arent there, than nothing else matters. and with witcher 2 on dx9, we had textures a long time ago, we also had the polly detail a long time ago, we had great lighting a long time ago, we had MANY thing a long time ago, but for some reason, unreal 4 comes along and is telling us its new and amazing... its not.

    it takes what use to be canned, and makes i real time
    it takes what we faked and makes it real time
    the only thing that it adds is physics, but i see that being something that gets turned off because of the abuse most games will put that through.

    if they faked this demo on unreal 3, and did the tricks to save cpu and gpu power, im willing to bet this wouldn't require more than a mid range card to handle, instead of saying it forces a 680 at minimum.

    i understand that its a step forward, and a necessary one, but looking at what we have, and what we are getting, barring physics (im assuming in engine and not phsyx) is just going from faking effects to real time effects.
  • 0 Hide
    cuecuemore , June 10, 2012 3:40 AM
    This makes me laugh after the Square Enix tech demo.
  • 5 Hide
    mazty , June 10, 2012 3:45 AM
    alidanever shoot a gun in a game made within... lets say 10 years? we already have lighting like they are barging about, whether its fake or not is another point i'm unsure of, but it looks real enough to the point i'm not questioning it. i still say that this is pathetic, if only because of games like hard resethttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=488L20UXUKUand keep in mind, that is a game that is running dx9, and on a 5770 gets over 30fps at 1920x1200 maxed

    You obviously have no idea what you are on about. There is nothing currently around that gives the level of detail of UE4. Comparing Hard Reset to the Elemental demo...Oh dear. You either need to pay more attention to the screen or get glasses.
  • 0 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , June 10, 2012 4:24 AM
    Obviously, everyone knows that to run it in all it's glory, you need at least a mid/high end gaming PC.. Which leaves any other system, console, or whatever, severly crippled in the graphics department. Always makes me wonder, what is the point of pushing a system like this and trying to make it run on a console in the first place? The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
  • 2 Hide
    razor512 , June 10, 2012 4:49 AM
    the main benefit of dynamic lighting, is that it can improve detail and depth without adding as much stress to the system.

    With static lighting, in order to get more detail and depth, you must create more complex meshes, but if you can dynamically adjust the shadows and highlights, you can perceive depth and see the 3d nature of certain textures (eg bricks, tiles and many other things with only a single flat surface)

    With advanced lighting techniques, you can simply add additional map to a textured surface that simply dynamically adjust lighting effects on the texture.

    This also allows you to get more realism, for example when a movie does CG work that looks real, you will see that they always keep some motion, the dynamic lighting is what sells the effect, without it, the static images will begin to look more computer generated.

    PS with static lighting effects, you generally only get good quality at very specific angles and motion makes the visuals less appealing as when your angle or movement does not match the light, then the visual begins to lose depth info that comes from shadow and highlights
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