CryEngine Summer Roundup

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CryENGINE

Here is the news on the CryEngine from the last several months.

CryEngine Updates

The CryEngine has received several updates over the last few months; the latest version is 3.8.3, which can be downloaded from Steam for all subscribers.

Here are some of the new features from the recent releases. There are many more that include primarily bugfixes and updates.

EaaS 3.8.3 (Aug 26, 2015)

  • Character Attachment Merging (Shadows)
    In CRYENGINE characters consist of many attachments, tied together via the skeleton. While this approach provides a lot of flexibility, it makes the rendering quite expensive as each part needs to be rendered individually. We optimized shadow rendering in a way where all attachments are merged into a set of large meshes which can be rendered with one draw call each.
  • UV Mapping Editor
    The UV Mapping Editor provides easy and more powerful ways to define UVs of a designer object, very similar to what you could build in most DCC tools. We understand these tools can be difficult to learn, and simpler ones can’t accomplish the level of polish CRYENGINE users are accustomed to.
  • You can read the longer list of fixes and implementations here. For now, take a quick look at some of the important changes:
    • New: Improved occlusion and indirect shadowing quality.
    • New: Added two new Lightstyles (49/50) to simulate large and small open flame variations.
    • Fixed: SplineDistributor can be hidden now.
    • Fixed: New level – on creation, make an objectives.xml. Removes warnings in editor log.
    • Fixed: Cubemap generation when SVOGI is in use.
    • Fixed: CUIEntityTag first-frame flickering.
    • Tweaked: Changed Vegetation Tool “UseSprites” checkbox to be unchecked by default. Sprites are no longer supported.
    • Tweaked: only brushes need to notify the NavMesh of upcoming changes of their AABB.

The previous release, 3.8.2, improved volumetric fog in addition to its other changes.

EaaS 3.8.2 (Jul 30, 2015)

  • New Depth-of-Field Implementation
    CRYENGINE 3.8.2 introduces an all-new DOF implementation that fixes many of the edge bleeding artifacts of the previous technique, while being more bandwidth-friendly and thus efficient at the same time. The new implementation is based on the gather-based technique that was prototyped during Ryse and presented at SIGGRAPH back then.
  • Improved Motion Blur Quality
    Our motion blur implementation uses a more sophisticated sample weighting scheme now which improves the quality of silhouettes at slightly better performance. The motion blur amount is controlled now using real-world shutter speed settings (e.g. 1/125 s).
  • Improved Volumetric Fog Quality
    We put a lot of effort on further improving the quality of our new voxel-based volumetric fog. In particular, the temporal stability is a lot better and flickering and ghosting artifacts are greatly reduced.

The first release of the summer, 3.8.1, added support for Linux, Android, and the Oculus Rift!

EaaS 3.8.3 (Aug 26, 2015)

  • OpenGL Renderer
    OpenGL renderer will allow CRYENGINE to run on Linux and Android platforms.
  • VR Support
    Support for Oculus Rift has been integrated and we’re rapidly adding more features and functions to help you get the most out of your Virtual worlds. We’ve included a small demonstration level, aptly titled the “VR_Demo” level. This showcases some information on how you can approach setting up your levels for VR, some of the implications and the immersive benefits of using VR.
  • Voxel Based Volumetric Fog
    With CRYENGINE 3.8 we introduce an all new voxel-based volumetric fog system. The system supports illumination from deferred lights, respects clip volume boundaries and works consistently with transparent objects including particles. It is also possible to inject particles directly into the fog volume to simulate some turbulence.
  • Cascaded Shadow Cache
    Cached shadows (formerly: static shadow map) have been extended to multiple cascades, covering several kilometers view distance out of the box. Cache updates are now handled under the hood but can still be manually tweaked via flow graph.
  • Reverse Depth for Increased Z-Buffer Precision
    CRYENGINE stores depth values in a reversed range now. In combination with a floating point depth buffer, this helps to greatly increase depth precision and allows users to put the near clipping plane a lot closer than before without running into z-fighting problems.
  • Efficient POM Self-Shadowing
    POM self-shadowing is back now and working efficiently with deferred shading, allowing the sun to cast shadows from the heightmap used for POM.
  • 8-Weight GPU Vertex Skinning
    Skinning of complex animated meshes that use more than 4 vertex weights (up to 8 weights) can be performed directly on the GPU now which can significantly reduce the CPU load.
  • Voxel Based Global Illumination (Experimental)
    The latest Release adds the prototype of a voxel-based global illumination system that can be used to render large-scale ambient occlusion with an optional indirect light bounce. Please note, the feature is highly experimental and not ready for production, it is just provided for testing and early feedback at that point.

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Other News

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You can become a CryEngine developer (or as Crytek calls them, Cryengineers) by subscribing to the Engine-as-a-Service (EaaS) for as little as $9.90 per month. The latest EaaS, and all future updates, are downloaded on Steam, with sample assets and Wwise integration available as free DLC.

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