Unreal Engine 4.4 Now Available

Unreal Engine 4

Unreal Engine 4

Last month, Epic announced the release of Unreal Engine 4.4.

This release features Unreal Motion Graphics (UMG), the new UI design and scripting toolset, as well as releasing the Behavior Tree Editor (AI logic editor) for everyone to use.

Features

NEW: Unreal Motion Graphics (UI Editor Preview)

Unreal Motion Graphics (UMG) is our experimental new interactive UI design and scripting tool!

The new Widget Editor tool lets you layout UI on an interactive canvas and create and preview animations in real-time. UMG integrates deeply with Blueprints, so you can easily wire up events to trigger gameplay changes. UMG is built on top of the Slate UI system and inherits many awesome benefits such as a large array of UI widgets and a rich set of features.

Unreal Motion Graphics is currently ‘Experimental’ as of the 4.4 release. To access UMG, enable it in the Experimental section of the Editor Preferences.

Free Marketplace Content

Landscape Mountains – Sail through a vast mountain range via hang glider in this showcase built with World Machine and decorated using UE4’s foliage and material system. Check out just how easy it is to create a high-end realistic landscape with beautiful mountain ranges using UE4 and Landscape Mountains!

Matinee Fight Scene – Learn how to create stunning cinematics just like the pros by digging into this fight scene built with Matinee. From animated characters to VFX, you’ll go hands on to see how everything is controlled within the Editor. Get started with our tutorial and some simple Matinee how-to’s.

Mixamo Animation Pack – Mixamo brings you a free Character and Animation Pack for use in your project. Containing 15 characters with animations, prototyping your game has never been easier!

New Paper 2D Content Example Map – Covers several topics related to 2D game creation including: Sprite creation and editing via the Sprite Editor, Flipbooks which enable you to create animated 2D assets using Sprites and keyframing, how to control Flipbooks with Blueprints, adding physics to 2D assets, and how to create the classic low resolution pixel look for your Sprites. Check out the companion Paper 2D documentation for more info!

New Networking Features Content Example Map – Illustrates how to implement network functionality entirely through Blueprints. The examples in the Replication section showcase the methods of properly communicating information between Server and Client as well as when to employ the different techniques. The examples shown in the Relevancy section demonstrate how to handle cases where an Actor becomes relevant, such as when a player joins an existing game in-progress. Browse the documentation while you go!

Behavior Tree Editor

New: Behavior Tree Editor is now ready to use!

Behavior Tree Editor allows you to edit AI state logic in an interactive graph editor. We’ve been making steady improvements to the tool for months now, and we think it’s ready for everyone to use in their games!

AI Execution Order – Behavior Tree Nodes now have indicators to show the order in which they will be executed within their parent scope. Hovering over these indicators also highlights indicators at the same level in the tree:

When debugging, the indicators display the overall order within the tree:

Descriptive Node Tooltips – All built-in nodes now have tooltips explaining their functionality. Hover over a node to see what it does.

Rendering

New: Clear Coat Shading Model – The new Clear Coat shading model makes it easier to design materials that have a translucent coating on top.

This can be used for multilayer materials where a translucent layer of film is over the surface of a standard material, either a metal or nonmetal. Specifically it was designed to model this second class of smooth colored films over a non-colored metal.

Examples included acrylic or lacquer clear coats, and colored films over metals such as soda cans and car paint.

Two new parameters are exposed:

Clear Coat. Amount of clear coat layer, 0 acts like the standard shading model, 1 is the full clear coat model. This is useful for masking.

Clear Coat Roughness. Roughness for the clear coat layer. Our approximation is accurate for small values. Very rough clear coat layers are supported but won’t be very accurate to their real world counterparts.

New: Tube Lights in Lightmass – The Lightmass raytracer now supports capsule-shaped point lights.

Paper 2D

Paper 2D Sprite Dicing – Paper 2D Sprites can now be diced! This separates out translucent/masked regions from opaque ones, reducing the GPU cost of rendering them.

To use this feature, set the render geometry type to Diced and make sure that you have the alternate material set to an opaque material on the asset.

Persona

Improved Animation Editing Workflow! – Streamlined Persona UI. We’ve Improved and simplified the layouts for every single mode in Persona.

New toolbars! Each mode in Persona now has a toolbar containing commonly used operations.

Animation Thumbnails. Your animations now display beautiful thumbnails in the Content Browser!

Animation auto-preview. You can now preview animation sequences by hovering over the asset in the Asset Browser.

Save All Animations. Added the ability to “Save all Animation Assets” to the File menu in Persona.

Select Hidden Bones. You can now select a bone in the viewport when it’s hidden (mesh must have a physics asset).

Inline Help Links. You can now easily “jump to documentation” for each animation editor type using the new help links to the right

Mesh LOD View. Mesh Detail View now displays LOD settings, including the materials for each LOD.

Animation Import Help. Any errors that occur while importing animations from FBX files will now have detailed help descriptions in the Message Log.

Shift+Click can now be used to expand/collapse hierarchies in the Skeleton Tree.

The Display Info in the Persona viewport has now been simplified to only show essential information.

A helpful error message now displays when an invalid name is used for a Montage slot.

Animation “Retargeting” option is now only shown in the Skeleton Tab.

The zoom feature in the Animation Editor now zooms in based on current mouse position.

Finally, all AnimGraph nodes that reference assets now support double-clicking to open the asset for editing.

Blueprints

New Blueprint Node: Set Members in Structure – This node lets you easily assign values to variables in your user-defined structure. You can select which struct variables are displayed using the node’s Details.

New Blueprint Node: Set Timer Delegate – This node makes it easy to run a custom event at a specific interval of your choosing. You can optionally tell the event to be called repeatedly using the “Looping” check box.

Platform Improvements

A huge number of improvements have been made to mobile workflows, including in-editor tutorials to help with device provisioning. New graphics features are available on mobile, such as instanced foliage. The Mac version of Unreal Editor is now more responsive, has an improved menu experience, and dozens of other changes. Android supports even more devices, and you can now access in-app purchase features from your Blueprint scripts!

Editor

New: Snap Actors to Surfaces! – There is a new button on the transform toolbar which allows you to project actors into the world as you drag them. This can be really useful for placing objects onto complex geometry.

The snapping works in one of two ways, either by projecting through the drag plane (if you are dragging in a constrained plane), or by projecting the actors into the world in screen space (when dragging in all three axes).

Physics

New: Simple 2D Physics Constraints – The engine now supports easily constraining 3D physics objects into a 2D plane. This can help when making 2D games like side-scrollers.

The setting can be applied per object, or project-wide by changing the project physics settings.

Ragdolls will by default only constrain the root body. This allows limbs of the ragdoll to move in 3D, while still keeping the entire asset in a 2D plane.

New: Custom Friction Modes – Physical Materials now support different friction modes!

By default we take the average friction coefficient when two bodies hit. However, this can be problematic for cases like ice where negative and positive coefficients are needed to average out to 0.

Different modes are useful for different types of effects. In the case of ice you would likely want either Multiply or Min with the ice material’s friction set to 0.

The friction mode can be set project wide or overwritten per physical material.

Plus, hundreds of other additions, changes, and bugfixes!

A hotfix was posted that subsequently added support for the latest Oculus development kit:

Learn More

Unreal Engine Marketplace

The in-engine Marketplace is now available.

Unreal Tournament

The new crowd-sourced Unreal Tournament game is continuing to take shape. New maps, gameplay, and mod tools are being created, tested, and streamed on Twitch.

You can find out more on the Unreal Tournament channel of Twitch.tv, or follow the development team on Twitter.

Browncoat Jayson

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