When Epic Games and Sony showed off the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo running on the PS5, it definitely turned some heads. For many, it was really the first time we’d seen an extended look at what “next gen” will look like. Well, we won’t get to see UE5 in action for quite some time, but they are aiming for the sky with it, and those high framerates.
During a session at Unreal Fest Online, Nick Penwarden, the VP of Engineering at Epic Games, opened up a bit about the game’s lighting engine, which they are calling Lumens. He talked about how the team is looking to improve it, with one of the big aims to have 60FPS on next generation consoles. It’s currently running at 30 (big thanks to SP1st for transcribing the talk).
“Lumen is an early ambitious technology and is currently running at a 30FPS budget on next-gen console,” Penwarden said. “The team is hard at work on optimizing and we are aiming for a 60 hertz budget on release. Also while Lumen is great on rougher reflective objects, we currently don’t support mirror reflections on smooth objects. We are also still working on detail tracing to reduce light leaking and achieve better results in architectural settings. Lastly, we are investigating more options for calling, so you can choose where you want to make your trade-offs between quality and performance for your projects.
“In summary, Lumen is working today on next-gen consoles, has a great feature set, and gives amazing results for runtime dynamic lighting as you can see here and in other examples of the demo. All in all, we are incredibly excited to see what content creators can achieve with the power unlocked by Nanite and Lumen working in tandem.”
The engine is said to be striving for photorealism, and well, you can of course see it for yourself to see where Epic Games is at with that. It’s always one of the most exciting things about a new generation to see what the new technology it brings, so it’ll be interesting to see how UE5 shapes up in the future.