Unreal Engine 5.4 New Features

Unreal Engine 5.4 New Features

April 29, 2024

Hi everyone 🙌,

I just released a new video covering Unreal Engine 5.4 and some of the most unique new features with this version. The video covers a new Motion Design Toolset, Motion Matching, PCG Biome Generator, and Texture Graph.

You can watch the UE5.4 video here!

For the rest of this newsletter I will highlight some other great features not included in the video. You can read the release notes to see all the changes and new additions.

Nanite now supports spline meshes! When Unreal Engine 5.0 released nanite was only supported on Static Meshes. The past couple of updates continued to expand nanite support to other parts of the environment including foliage and landscapes. In UE5.3 we even got Nanite Tesselation which meant nanite could change the form a mesh.  

Spline meshes are meshes that can be controlled by splines. They are used for a lot of common objects in enviornments like roads and fences. Now they can use nanite which was impossible in the past since splines could change dynamically.

We are one step closer to Nanite Skeletal Meshes for characters. If character’s can support nanite, that means every part of our game can use near infinite geometry. In recent builds of UE5.5, nanite skeletal meshes are working so expect it to be a major feature of the next update.

In game character movement has gotten an overhaul with the Mover Plugin. This is different from Motion Matching which only effects the animation or the look of the character. Motion Matching does not change the physics or controls of a character which is handled by the Character Movement component. If you open up any character in Unreal you will see a Movement component.

In UE5.4 there is new better movement with Mover 2.0. It is easier to use and more customizable than the old component. More importantly a lot of the networking for multiplayer is handled automatically, making multiplayer game creation faster.

It can even track the physics of other characters and the environment, dynamically moving the character which wasn’t supported in the old component.

The XR Creative Framework introduces a lot of new tools giving Unreal editors the ability to edit Unreal Engine projects and environments in virtual reality! With these new blueprints, editors can create custom VR tools for their workflow.

To show off the XR framework, this update also added Virtual Scouting. This allows filmmakers to virtually scout out an environment for shots and place cameras within VR. This was made from the ground up using the framework and can be picked apart to see how it was created.

Since this update overhauled all of Unreal’s animation tools, you can expect a new video coming to the channel soon that covers the fundamentals of Animation and Filmmaking in Unreal!

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