March 9, 2011 – Epic Games, Inc. has released the March 2011 UDK Beta, the latest version of the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that provides access to the award-winning toolset used in blockbuster video games, 3D visualizations, digital films and more.
Epic recently presented a brand new Unreal Engine 3 real-time demonstration entitled “Samaritan,” which leverages DirectX 11 support, high-end rendering features, NVIDIA APEX physics technology and other engine upgrades. These new technical additions are now available in the March build of UDK. Check out coverage of “Samaritan” at Wired, TIME and IGN as well as the video.
Important DirectX features now shipping with UDK include:
- Tessellation and displacement;
- Geometry shaders;
- Multisampled textures; and
- Shader Model 5.
High-end rendering features include:
- Image-based reflections that allow surfaces of any shape to reflect an approximate version of scenes, with varying glossiness across surfaces, anisotropic HDR highlights and anti-aliasing;
- Subsurface scattering (SSS) that simulates the light that scatters inside semi-translucent materials, making character skin come alive;
- Anti-aliased masked materials that super sample the edges of masked and alpha-tested materials, making character hair more look realistic than ever before;
- Deferred rendering with MSAA support;
- Bokeh depth of field providing close to film-quality DOF, with artist-controllable Bokeh; and
- High-quality dynamic shadows from many lights on the environment, such as shadows for point lights and other light sources.
NVIDIA’s APEX technology has also been integrated into the engine and ships with UDK.
In addition, Epic has raised the royalty-free revenue threshold for UDK commercial developers. Under the new license agreement, developers don’t pay any royalties until their total revenue exceeds $50,000 (US). Beyond that, developers keep 75 percent of each dollar they receive and Epic receives 25 percent. A great article to reference is here.
UDK projects can be promoted to the community in the Works in Progress forum and the Released Projects forum.
It’s easy to sign up as a commercial UDK developer online. Have questions? Check out our FAQ.
March Beta Upgrade Notes
DirectX 11 is now supported in UDK!
· Adaptive Bokeh Depth of Field (DOF)
A Bokeh shape, which is controllable by artist, is used for lens flare.
The red area is full quality, while the green is area partial quality and 4x faster.
· Dynamically shadowed image-based reflections
· The ability to scale effects (such DOF and bloom) with the view size was added.
o Post Process Effect -> Scale Effects with View Size
· The ability to use tiled normals on fluid surfaces and any material was added.
Unreal Landscape, UDK’s new terrain system!
· Support for ZBrush-style painting
· Support for tablet sensitivities
· Option to auto-update weightmap mipmaps while painting layers
· Perlin Noise in the Noise tool available
· Support for thermal and hydraulic erosion
NVIDIA APEX Support
· NVIDIA APEX technology enables artists to quickly generate physically simulated clothing and destructible environments.
o For more information on APEX, please visit: http://developer.nvidia.com/object/apex.html
· To enable the DX11 renderer in the editor:
o View -> Preferences -> Enable DirectX 11 Rendering
· The ability to see which DOF layers are in focus is exposed through a new show flag.
· Image reflections are now toggleable via Unreal Matinee.
· The checkerboard background in the texture properties window can be toggled through a toolbar option.
· Importing morph targets from FBX files now uses multi-threading to speed up the importing process.
· The FBX importer now supports importing lightmap UVs from FBX meshes that have more than one UV set.
· The error reporting when loading packages and maps that have missing objects has been improved.
· Matinee now supports jumping on the visibility interp track.
· Double-clicking anim notifies within animations focus shifts and expands the notify in the properties panel.
New! UDK on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/UnrealDevelopmentKit
UDK Forums: www.udk.com/forums
UDK Developers on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2493123
UDK on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/UDK/183744733429
Epic Games on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EpicGames
Unreal Engine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/UnrealEngine