‘Interestingly, Unreal Engine 5 Demo Renders At About 1440p Most Times’ VP Of Engineering, Nick Penwarden

‘Interestingly, Unreal Engine 5 Demo Renders At About 1440p Most Times’ VP Of Engineering, Nick Penwarden
Credit: Unreal Engine

Four days ago, Epic Games released an Unreal Engine demo footage that sparked a lot of interest in the gaming community. This footage showcased impressive next-gen visuals, and the first footage to be shown was confirmed to be PlayStation 5 compatible alongside some rather grand new technologies.

Fortunately, Epic also had a lot to say about the recent footage. For instance, some of the chief engineers, like Tim Sweeney, who was in an interview with Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, had a lot to talk on the footage in great precision.

The obvious question would be: how did the rendering result of the Unreal Engine 5 demo on PlayStation 5 play out? Based on the Vice President of Engineering Nick Penwarden, it was mainly showing at 1440P most of the time.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

“Interestingly, it does work very well with our dynamic resolution technique as well. So, when GPU load gets high, we can lower the screen resolution a bit, and then we can adapt to that. In the Unreal Engine 5 demo, we did use dynamic resolution, although it ends up rendering at about 1440p most of the time.”

What happens to the PC platform?
Another interesting question would be where these recent updates leave the PC platform, especially when Tim Sweeney stated that the PS5 storage architecture is way ahead of anything on PC.

Besides, PC Gamer got word from Epic’s Chief Technical Officer that an RTX 20170 Super would be able to run the Unreal Engine 5 demo at an impressive performance. Technically, NVIDIA’s graphics card even exhibits a low nominal teraflops value when compared to PS5 (9 vs. 10.28), that’s quite an improvement.

Also, Tim Sweeney stressed that in the following statement during the interview with Digital Foundry, bringing to the awareness PC SSD’s capability in delivering ‘awesome’ performance.

Here’s an excerpt from the conversation Tim Sweeny had with Digital Foundry:

“Several different components are required to render this level of detail, right?. One is the GPU performance and GPU architecture to draw an incredible amount of geometry that you’re talking about – a huge number of teraflops being required for this. The other is the ability to load and stream it efficiently. One of the big efforts that have been done and are ongoing in Unreal Engine 5 now is optimizing for next-generation storage to make loading faster by multiples of current performance. It’s not just a little faster but a lot faster so that you can bring in this geometry and display it, despite it, not all fitting and memory, taking advantage of next-generation SSD architectures and everything else… Sony is pioneering here with the PlayStation 5 architecture. It’s got a God-tier storage system which is pretty far ahead of PCs. On a high-end PC with an SSD and especially with NVMe, you get awesome performance too.”

Interestingly, Sweeney confirmed some of the key features that will be available across next-generation platforms.

The REYES: Render Everything Your Eyes Sees
Based on Epic’s founder, this is quite the realization of an idea that goes way back.

“You know, the philosophy behind it goes back to the 1980s with the idea of REYES: Render Everything Your Eye Sees. It’s a funny acronym, which means that given essentially infinite detail available, it’s the engine’s job to determine exactly what pixels need to be drawn to display it. It doesn’t mean drawing all 10 billion polygons every frame because some are much smaller than the pixel. It means being able to render and an approximation of it, which misses none of the detail that you’re able to perceive, and once you get to that point, you’re done with geometry. There’s nothing more you can do. And if you rendered more polygons, you wouldn’t notice it because they contribute infinitesimally to each pixel on the screen.”

According to Epic, ‘hundreds of billions of polygons’ were displayed during the Unreal Engine 5 demo. One question to ask would be, ‘what’s the secret of the Nanite technology?’ Nick Penwarden has a simplified explanation:

“I suppose the secret is that what Nanite aims to do is render effectively one triangle for pixel, so once you get down to that level of detail, the sort of ongoing changes in LOD is imperceptible.”

What this means is that; game developers would now be able to import high-quality assets like film-based arts into Unreal Engine 5, and the Nanite helps in both scaling and streaming everything in real-time without significant loss.

This procedure would eliminate the tweaking of LOD, drawing count budgets and managing the polygon or somewhat, whereby saving considerable development time. Another interesting fact is that the same assets won’t need remakes in times when the game is ported down to the current-generation platforms. This means the engine will manage everything.

Finally, during the Unreal Engine demo 5, there was a dynamic Global elucidation called Lumen, which purpose is to spontaneously react to scene changes and deliver exact accurate indirect lighting and reflections all at scale from Km to Mm.

Here’s how Epic’s Kim Liberi stressed that the secret in the temporal accumulation component:

“Temporal accumulation, you know – more than just normal temporal anti-aliasing – it’s is a huge part of how we’re able to make things look as good as this. The global illumination, without a temporal intelligence, there’s no way you could do it on hardware yet. We’re doubling down on the understanding of how temporal can help us, and there have been so many huge improvements in quality because of having a temporal component. It’s the way that we get close to movie rendering – without those samples (and they’re not just necessarily pure screen-space samples, there’s loads of things you can do to accumulate temporally), the GI would not work anywhere near as well as it does without it.”

Although Epic told Digital Foundry that there would be hardware ray tracing support in the engine, it wasn’t displayed in this new Unreal Engine 5 demo.

Raytracing or not, this newly released technology still gives a taste of next-generation graphics, via the use of these methods in the actual games.

Stay tuned for more reports on the latest in graphics technology!