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What’s In Epic’s New Game Engine—Beyond Autodesk Revit Support

Epic’s Unreal Engine version 4.21 is quite epic itself—massive new feature list and capabilities including those that touch on its new Unreal Studio and bring in CAD and BIM file formats.

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This fall Epic Games released an updated new game engine, version 4.21. The aim is to bring developers greater efficiency, performance, and stability for any type of project on any platform.

Unreal Engine 4.21

The new update improves on the proven tools that developers already love, adding further optimizations for mobile platforms like Apple iOS and Google Android—up to 60 percent speed increases when cooking content, and more power and flexibility in the industry-leading Niagara effects toolset for real-time VFX.

New Autodesk Revit Support

A key new part of this update is the new support for Autodesk Revit, the popular BIM (building information modeling) platform for the AEC industry. For users in enterprise spaces like architecture, manufacturing, product design, and other areas of professional visualization, Unreal Studio 4.21 offers an enhanced Datasmith workflow with new Revit support, plus enhancements to material translation for Autodesk 3ds Max.

01 – Epic’s new Unreal Engine 4.21 update has dozens of new powerful features for developers, including new support for Autodesk Revit for enterprise customers.

Key new features in Unreal Engine 4.21 include (in brief):

  • Replication Graph — new production-ready Replication Graph plugin, makes it possible to customize network replication as part of building large-scale multiplayer games.
  • Niagara Enhancements — New Nintendo Switch support added, plus substantial VFX improvements.
  • Sequencer Improvements — Sequencer can a now record incoming video feeds to disk as OpenEXRframes and create a track in Sequencer, with the normal ability to edit and scrub the track.
  • Pixel Streaming (early access) — New Pixel Streaming features enable authors to create interactive experiences such as product configurators or training apps, host them on a cloud-based GPU or local server, and stream them to remote devices via a web browser without the need for additional software or porting.
  • Mobile Optimizations — With the help of Samsung, Unreal Engine 4.21 includes all of the Vulkan engineering and optimization work that was done to help ship Fortnite on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and is 100 percent feature compatible with OpenGL ES 3.1
  • Much Faster Cook Times — 60 percent speed improvement in the cooking process.
  • Gauntlet Automation Framework — another early access technology that enables developers to automate the process of deploying builds to devices, running one or more clients and/or servers.
  • Animation System Optimization and Improvements
  • Blackmagic Video Card Support — Unreal Engine 4.21 adds support for Blackmagic video I/O cards for those working in film and broadcast.
  • Improved Media I/O
  • Windows Mixed Reality — Unreal Engine 4.21 now natively supports Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform and headsets.
  • Magic Leap Improvements — the new engine (4.21) supports all the features needed to develop complete applications on Magic Leap’s Lumin-based devices — rendering, controller support, gesture recognition, audio input/output, media and more.
  • Oculus Avatars — The Oculus Avatar SDK includes an Unreal package to assist developers in implementing first-person hand presence for the Rift and Touch controllers.
  • Datasmith for Revit (Unreal Studio) — Unreal Studio’s Datasmith workflow toolkit for streamlining the transfer of CAD data into the Unreal Engine now includes support for the popular BIM platform Autodesk Revit. This includes support for materials, metadata, hierarchy, geometric instancing, lights, and cameras. There is also new DWG and Alias Wire file types supported, so designers can natively import 3D DWG and Alias data.
  • Multi-User Viewer Project Template (Unreal Studio) — A new project template for Unreal Studio 4.21 enables multiple users to connect in a real-time environment via desktop or VR, facilitating interactive, collaborative design reviews across any work site.
  • Accelerated Automatic and Jacketing and Defeaturing (Unreal Studio) — Jacketing automatically identifies meshes and polygons that have a high probability of being hidden from view and lets users hide, remove, or move them to another layer; this command is also available via Python so that Unreal Studio users can integrate this step into automated preparation workflows.

This is a long list of major updated features, making Unreal Engine 4.21 dramatically better than previous versions with extensive capabilities for new types of devices support and workflows.

For a full list and additional details, please visit: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-21-released

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