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Unreal Engine 5. The Line between Virtual and Real is gone!

Unreal Engine 5

Epic released a demo of their new graphics, Unreal Engine 5, shocking the gaming and the film industry. Demoed on the new Play Station 5 system, the unreal engine's rendition of light physics and incredible particle detail is the best rendition of hyperrealism. You need to see it for yourself! Link

Presented at 1440p/ 30pfs

Particle interaction seen through the birds and insects, in combination with realistic light physics, gives another depth of realism. Even the highlights have texture! As someone with a fascination with lighting, I was very impressed as it replicates the highest quality digital capture film camera can produce. It not only replicate it, but it also goes further by making the world interactive, maintaining the highest quality in every direction and distance.

My only critique with the graphics is the character. Human rendition still needs work, unless it is intended for the character to look nonrealistic. It could also be the case, that since the human face is so important to human interaction, we are inherently able to detect fallacies in human renditions that the computer can't fix.

It also amazes me how I can observe the high dynamic range and bit depth through my laptop's best quality of 1080p. This goes to show how a superior processing system can produce high-quality images without the need for 4k and 8k presentation.

In regards to filming

Matt Workman, as I have written about in my last article is at the forefront of the future of cinematography. His exploration of virtual reality and filmmaking has captivated me ever since his previsual application. Now with this engine, he will be able to experiment more and even shoot films with Unreal Engine 5.

Many different worlds can be rendered with the highest precision through a highly detailed presentation. This will become an experience that is unmatched.

Mandalorian, as I stated in a previous article represents the future of filmmaking. Combined with Unreal Engine and its future successors, there are very little disadvantages shooting interior rather than location. As this technology becomes more accessible to more studios, location shooting would begin to diminish. The cost of shooting on locations will outway the costs of shooting interior with this technology.

Shooting on location will still be needed for background plates or for research but continuos shooting dates with actors on actual locations will decrease over time.

Future Implications

This new processing engine can lead to better experiences in gaming and make exterior filmmaking made possible inside the studio. This technology will also be used in many different fields of study that require high precision visual presentations. (These assumptions I make assumes that the capture technology will be as precise as the presentation technology).

The research field can utilize this visual precision by incorporating different simulations. With the physics of light and particles at near realistic levels, researchers can isolate many variables as it pertains within their experimental parameters. I could think of many psychological studies that will benefit from Unreal Engine 5 technology. Medicine can also benefit from this technology with their surgical simulation, making the physics of cause and effect of bodily procedures more realistic.

Amusement parks and art museums can also use this high-resolution engine to present the detail and quality of the painting. Although I don't see it in the near future since art museums rely on in-person ticket sales to profit. Painters, sculptors, and all types of art that capitalize on the texture will benefit from this. Amusement parks can make a more immersive ride. Rides at Disney are already amazing enough but imagine the increase in visual quality in combination with the other elements in the 4D experiences.

Flight simulations can also be more precise with this engine as it provides pinpoint accuracy in detail that pilots require when flying at special circumstances. Even space exploration can use this engine to better research details on mars or have simulations that mirror that experience. I can keep going but there are just so many implications of Unreal Engine 5's use in other fields of study.

What's next?

Is this the peak of visual progress? Will the future of film be all-digital, meaning even the location is digitally produced? It seems like it is going that route. It will be first available and accessible to large budget productions, but as technology advances it will be available to everyone. Will everything in front of the camera be replaced by computer-generated objects and actors? I don't think so, at least not in the next 50 years. Actors are still needed to portray emotion, which is vital to a film's story and box office success. The demo's purpose is to show the high definition of the world. It did not show an emotional reaction from the character.

Lenses nowadays have achieved peak sharpness, a perfect lens, but not all cinematographers scrambled to only use Master Prime lenses. To my surprise, people actually started using more older lenses; lenses that have some characteristics in their "fallacies." These choices imply that cinematographers still find personalities in the older lenses to be more appealing. Too perfect becomes boring at times. Would the perfection in Engine 5's visuals become overrated in the future?


It may be the future but is it as widely pursued than we think? When technology is advancing in all directions, this feat of advancement might not be as important in the near future. This is a predictable outcome, that although it advances the graphic medium, it does not however revolutionize industries. I'm sure this is the future, and it is a very exciting thing, but I don't think we should be too surprised by its conception.

This is the same with the increase of pixel density and pixel count in cameras. Yes, it is a great technological advancement, but did it really change the industry? No one went scrambling to have 8K resolution the standard of cinema. High quality is not just from resolution but from the internal image processing. Even then perfection becomes boring.

There is a future in hyperrealistic games but not all games rely on Unreal Engine's processing system. Games like Fortnite, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Starcraft, and many other popular games don't rely on realistic graphics. Don't get me wrong, I believe Unreal Engine's processing will help many game developers innovate new ways to make their games more immersive. Gaming graphics will improve in the near future, that's without a question, but hyperrealism will not be the end of visual advancement.

Nyv Mercado

Level Nine Productions

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