January 31, 2012

Epic Games Releases January 2012 Unreal Development Kit Beta

By Unreal Engine

Epic Games, Inc. has released the January 2012 Unreal Development Kit Beta, the latest version of the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that provides access to the award-winning 3D game engine and toolset used in blockbuster video game development, architectural visualization, mobile game development, 3D rendering, digital films and more. The latest UDK beta is available now at http://www.udk.com/download.

Unreal Engine Showcase: Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

Developed by Torn Banner Studios using UDK, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a multiplayer melee combat game that was recently named a top pick in IndieDB’s “Best Upcoming Game” category in its Indie of the Year competition. The studio’s president, Steve Piggott, explained how UDK allows his team to stay on the cutting edge of visual technology thanks to regular updates. “Instead of developing a game with an engine for two years and then releasing it with two-year-old technology, developers have the opportunity to launch with the latest version and keep updating it even after release. That’s a really powerful thing.” Read more.

We have showcases of some of the most outstanding video game, architectural visualization, and mobile apps using UDK at http://www.udk.com/showcase and http://www.unrealengine.com/showcase. Also be sure to check out the Works in Progress and the Released Projects forums.

January UDK Beta Upgrade Notes

Simplygon Mesh Proxy Tool

  • New Simplygon Merge Tool for combining static meshes
  • Grouped static meshes can be combined into a single static mesh
  • This can greatly improve rendering performance
  • Materials/textures are automatically collapsed and new UVs are generated
  • This tool is fully “non-destructive” - you can modify meshes and remerge, and roll back changes if needed
  • Documentation can be found here

Unreal Landscape

  • Holes of any shape can be cut into the landscape, allowing designers to create entrances to caverns and other features under the landscape
  • The visibility tool can remove or replace individual quads at the highest LOD resolution, with collision added or removed accordingly
  • Holes are rendered per-pixel, independently of LOD, so distant holes retain their shape

  • Added the ability to save foliage settings to packages and to share them between levels

  • Added tool to change component size for existing landscapes
  • Hide unused landscape UI when no landscapes are available

Pivot Painter

  • A new [3ds Max](http://www.autodesk.com/3dsMax “3ds Max) tool that automatically generates pivot points for mesh vertices, allowing for advanced foliage animation and other effects
  • Documentation can be found here

iOS Rendering

  • Added support for color grading
  • Documentation can be found [here](http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ColorGrading.html#Mobile Support)

Unreal Editor

  • Added a “Reconnect” button to the “Checkout packages” dialog
    • The function is disabled when a valid connection is established
    • Upon reconnect, the login screen will appear if the connection failed
    • Once the connection is restored, the “Checkout” dialog is reloaded
  • Altered behavior of the “Convert to Static Mesh” operation
    • It not only builds a model from the selected static brushes
    • It also builds dynamic brushes (which includes volumes) and builds from the builder brush (if selected)
    • It treats these as if they were like additive BSP brushes
  • The autosave time is now simply paused during PIE instead of reset
  • The editor is now more responsive during lighting builds
  • Added a context menu option when selecting multiple actors for assigning the material selected from the content browser
  • Auto content saving is now enabled by default for new users and ‘content packages to save’ can now be specified in the ini
  • Lens flare visualizations will now appear when a lens flare actor is created and will update if any visualization properties are changed on the template lens flare
  • Made the color picker dialog not modal when changing preview background color for textures
  • Unreal Matinee slow-mo tracks will no longer effect viewports in other sub-editor windows (such as Unreal Cascade)
  • Made the wireframe rendering in orthographic viewports consistent in both DX9 and DX11
  • New packages in Unreal Content Browser are now removed from the “New Packages” collection once they’ve been saved
  • Fixed the “Touch Input Kismet” event in Unreal Kismet so that it sends the proper X and Y values
  • When in Kismet’s hit-testing mode, the Kismet block nubs are drawn bigger to make them easier to select without taking up more screen space visually
  • Enabled the “Paste Here” right-click menu option for nodes in the Material Editor


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