Virtual Production in Unreal Engine 4.26

Virtual Production in Unreal Engine 4.26

Unreal Engine 4.26

With the release of Unreal Engine 4.26 comes a wide range of virtual production specific features from new nDisplay tools to improved cinematic renders. This article will walk you through all the latest features for VP.

nDisplay Features

To Start Unreal engine 4.26 now has multi-GPU support with Nvidia NVLink. This allows for larger LED volumes without the issue of delays or display issues. Nvidia NVLink allows for high speed data transport between multiple GPUs and the ability to choice which viewports to be rendered by specific GPUs. For example the frustum can run off one GPU whilst the rest of the LED volume and scene is rendered from another. The GPU rendering setup is done through the nDisplay Config file, simply add a gpu_node parameter for the desired viewport.

nDisplay Configuration Viewer (Beta) is also a new tool for LED setups, the configuration viewer allows operators to see a tree hierarchy of all render nodes, windows, viewports, inputs, cameras, and projection policies. Each component comes with its own details panel.The projection policies can be seen in either 2 or 3D  allowing for easy setup and trouble shooting.

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New Integration and support for nDisplay VIOSO and DomeProjection(experimental) aids users in setting up projector warping and soft edge blending on highly complex surfaces. Native VIOSO and DomeProjection format files can be loaded by using “Native SDK integration” projection policies in the nDisplay Config file.

New and Improved Sequencer 

In 4.26 Sequencer has received a major optimisation through re-working its internal architecture. Sequencer has been redesigned to handle large-scale cinematic’s and concurrent UI animations without damaging performance. 

In the old sequencer architecture each track had its own runtime instance that contained both the data and logic required to evaluate and apply properties, Although this method doesn’t scale efficiently and can cause serious performance issues with the more tracks and their complexity.

Unlike the new version which is designed with optimisation in mind. The team at epic wanted scalability, concurrency and extensibility. Sequencer has been redesigned to evaluate data in a way that is cache-efficient and transparent through an evaluation framework based on the entity-component-system pattern. The data and logic for each track are decoupled; entities now represent the component parts that relate to the source track data, sequencer systems now operate on all data that matches their query in batches. This allows for cache-efficiency, resulting in single virtual function calls and few cache misses regardless of how many transform properties are being animated.

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Movie Render Queue

Epic has added new workflows and exporting capabilities to the “Movie Rendering Queue” or “High-Quality Media Export”. The Movie Rendering Queue now supports several new workflows including:

  • Support for Final Cut Pro XML – EDLs
  • OpenColorIO integration
  • Runtime support for implementation into your own application

The render passes are supported by Movie Render Queue in 4.26 are:

  • Matte IDs (Limited) / User Defined Layers
  • Z-Depth
  • World Position
  • World Normals
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Reflections

Users can now have three additional export codecs:

  • Apple ProRes (high bit depth 10-12bit)
  • Avid DNxHR (810-12bit)
  • Multi-Channel EXR (16, 32 bit)

To see the Full Unreal Engine 4.26 release notes click here.






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