Skip to main content

Unreal Engine-Based Mixed Reality Trailers Now Possible?

Solfar Studios released a mixed reality trailer of the Everest VR experience, which to our knowledge, is the first Unreal Engine mixed reality VR trailer for any game.

Mixed reality video is arguably the best way to demonstrate what it's like to experience VR, without actually experiencing it firsthand. MR allows you to see a person embedded in a VR experience while watching on a traditional flat screen. Northway Games pioneered the technique in January 2016, and since then, HTC, Valve, and several game developers have embraced the concept. Radial Games and Northway Games, the partnered teams behind Fantastic Contraption, and Owlchemy Labs, which made Job Simulator, released mixed reality game trailers to promote their games before the Vive’s launch.

The trailers made an impression on the VR industry, and it spurred Valve into creating an MR plugin for Unity that allowed the company to film a mixed reality video of several games to promote the Vive hardware.

Since then, developers, YouTubers, and HTC have embraced mixed reality in various capacities. It’s easy to set up Unity games for mixed reality recording, thanks to Valve’s plugin, but Unreal Engine-based games are somewhat left out in the cold. In June, Epic Games’ lead programmer, James Golding, sent out a tweet indicating that Unreal Engine mixed reality support is in development, but we have yet to hear anything else about it.

In fact, we haven’t heard anything publicly about UE4 mixed reality support at all, but a new trailer for Everest VR suggests that Solfar Studios might be privy to a private build of the engine. To accompany the launch of Everest VR’s extended content through Viveport, Solfar Studios released a mixed reality trailer to show you what the experience is like.

Solfar Studios created the trailer with a moving camera, similar to how Valve filmed its mixed reality promotional video. The camera appears shaky, which indicates that the trailer was composited live, rather than in post-processing. Valve’s trailer had similar qualities, whereas the trailers for Job Sim and Fantastic Contraption show steady camera syncing, which was touched up during post-processing, according to Kert Gartner, the VFX specialist that produced the videos.  

Epic Games hasn’t made any official announcements about the timeline of mixed reality support for Unreal Engine. Hopefully the Everest VR mixed reality trailer indicates that we’ll know more about UE4 MR support soon.

Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews of graphics cards and virtual reality hardware.