Unreal Engine 4 Real Time Tech-Demo

See the Unreal Engine 4 in action in this beautifully compiled trailer featuring full in-engine cinematic glory!

Get your first look at a real time in-engine tech-demo of UE4 in this walkthrough with Epic’s Sr. technical artist Alan Willard:

34 thoughts on “Unreal Engine 4 Real Time Tech-Demo”

  1. mareknr

    I hope there will be something like this for download. It can be interesting testing benchmark for future games. 🙂

  2. angelblame

    it’s runing in a future release of UDK , look at the window title in the video. Much better than just a benchmark 😉

  3. Luminous

    Square Enix’s Agni’s Philosophy and Luminous Engine is far more impressive than UE4. Once again, Epic FAILS at impressing anyone.

  4. fellix

    The collision animation of the falling debris is quite lame, to be honest. On the other hand, the more important point of the new engine is not really the stunning visuals, but the significantly streamlined and simplified development tools. EPIC is and was always devoted for the mass market of game development, and with this new release they are making sure that the cost of making a game is being driven even further down the scale. UE3 is one of the most popular game engines for both consoles and PCs (and soon – tablets and phones), so I don’t think they are deviating from this quite profitable path even a bit. Simplicity, cross-platform and scalability is what sells best.

  5. Nathan

    This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

    And the editor.. it really kicks butt. Modifying C++ code and having it instantly update in the game after background compilation looks awesome.

    And it’s only going to get better.

  6. mirror

    graphics wise, it sucks compared to the photorealism of the square enix demo posted in the other thread.

  7. mirror

    @Anon, no but it seems that you need check your eyes, but since that may cost a bit, you can do it after you receive your paycheck from EPIC.

    The quality of the various effects like particles, lava may be more polished in epic’s demo but that’s just artist work. In square enix demo, the quality of the graphics as long as lighting, realism and immersion is concerned is WAY BETTER. It blows epic demo apart. it had:
    1- hair and beard which were pretty real
    2- subsurface scattering which made the skin look real
    3- very nice lighting/shadowing.
    4- realistic facial movements

    p.s. epic video had some pretty cheap effects ( meaning to say they didn’t look real, like the sky which looked like a skybox )

  8. Promilus

    ” In square enix demo, the quality of the graphics as long as lighting, realism and immersion is concerned is WAY BETTER”
    Nah. It’s just like in all console tech demos – first plan is great, others doesn’t really matters because most viewers don’t notice them. That’s the main difference between console and pc titles as well. On PC second plan is only slightly worse than first and complex modeling doesn’t affect ONLY actors, but whole scene.

  9. Anon

    @mirror: PhysX effects are artists work? 😀

    1: Incrediblly detailed Demon is achieved by using Tessellation.
    2: UE3 already used subsurface scattering in Samaritan demo.
    3: See UE4 developer walkthrough.
    4: Samaritan has this also.

  10. moxxi

    UE4 is using a new GlobalIllumination system called “voxel cone-tracing”.
    The GI is better result than Enlighten(static only) and CE3(screen base fake GI).

  11. mirror

    1. physx? so ue4 has physx? wow that must be something new. I never heard of physx before! wtf is this new technology that no other engine has ???

    2. oh it does? too bad it wasn’t implemented in this demo

    3. ???

    4. profit!!!

  12. mirror

    and tessellation ? something that unigine has for like 2 years now ? that ultra detailed demon looked extra fake! on the contrary the old toothless man in the square enix demo looked almost as prerendered cinematic. Even his beard was moving realistically and lighted properly.

  13. 3Dude

    It seems Cyril Crassins technique becomes the winner in GI research. It’s a real breakthrough and who cares for beards or particles when looking at this? I think raytracing will replace rasterisation for primary rays, but osctrees will be used for secondary rays. And triangle rasterisation hardware in GPU should be replaced by octree generators 🙂

  14. mirror

    3Dude, you don’t know what you’re talking about do you ?

    “I think raytracing will replace rasterisation for primary rays, but osctrees will be used for secondary rays.”

    Raytracing is a lighting algorith, octrees are not. Octree is a data structure used to accelerate the rendering process by only selecting for rendering, the objects that are visible and also for making intersection decisions faster ( raytracing ). It’s a general data structure which can be used in a wide array of fields.

    Yes, UE4 has SVOGI. So ? Who said that the square enix demo doesn’t ? The technologies that an engine uses don’t matter per se. What matters is the final result. And FOR ME, the final result of the square enix demo was much more realistic than epic’s demo, to the point that initially I thought the square enix demo was prerendered. It had almost photorealistic faces, hair, beard and very nice lighting ( obviously they have implemented some sort of GI as well, there is no other explanation ). And of course it had nice physics, you can notice the hair of the old man beard’s moving and the beard’s shadow which was per hair, was moving as well. Sorry, but i did not notice any such detail in epic’s demo.

  15. 3Dude

    Why do you attack me? I know what octree is – used it for collission detection, hidden surface removal, my own GI experiments…

    If you like SquareEnix more than UE, ok.
    They have much better artists, they have a great engine, and yes – great beards 🙂
    From what I know their GI is not entirely realtime.

    I don’t wan’t to do any engine flamewars here.
    This site is about 3D HW and Software – not game content.

    All I think is:
    Cone tracing is a break through – using texture filtering to achieve that is an amazing idea.
    Voxels and octrees work well together.
    Tesselation is death of rasterisation, because triangles get smaller than a few px.
    So HW-accelerated building of an acceleration structure like octree will be a better than accelerated triangle rasterisation…
    in the near future.

  16. mirror

    I’m not attacking you, but you can’t say that all about enic square demo was about the beard. Taht was one part of the whole demo only, and overall that demo was way more photorealistic than this one. Of course, this demo is in a fantasy setting, while that one was on a more or less real world, but that’s not very important.

    sure, svogi is a nice breakthrough, too bad it wasn’t used properly in epic’s demo, to make it look good and realistic. Last year’s samaritan demo was BETTER and more realistic than this demon demo of epic in this thread. I don’t understand why the try to present this demo which is inferior to their own demo last year as a breakthrough.

  17. Promilus

    “I’m not attacking you”
    You’re attacking everyone who is not sharing your opinion about square enix demo.
    “and overall that demo was way more photorealistic than this one”
    No. It has nice characters, yes, but mimics is slightly worse and 2nd plan almost doesn’t exist. If photo-realism means nice chars on blurry and not detailed background well, hey, that’s your opinion and no one can blame you for such one. As you cannot blame others for thinking otherwise.

  18. mirror

    @Promilus: you are wrong. I just expressed my opinion here and then came Anon and said:

    “Anon says:
    2012/06/09 at 10:21
    @mirror: are you stupid?”

    so please spare me that thing about me attacking others. It was he who started it. Check the order of the comments if you don’t believe me.

    yes, the characters much nicer, the mimics ( i guess you mean face expressions ) WAY nicer imo, as is the lighting.

    I’m not really sure what do you mean by blurry background, the background is pretty clear and well defined. There are some moments when the guys with the kalashnikovs are running fast in the dark room and it’s blurry there due to the fast movement ( motion blur ) but that’s an artificial effect and also there are some dark scenes, but overall the background is not blurry and un-detailed 🙂

    what exactly do you mean by “2nd plan” ?

    I’m not blaming anyone for having a different opinion 🙂

    p.s. i was really impressed by last year’s samaritan demo, it was a breakthrough in realtime grahics, but this one, it’s something that would be special for 2008 or 2009 and much worse than both square enix’s demo and epic’s own samaritan demo.

  19. Vojtech

    @mirror: Im wondering, what was so impressing in samaritan demo? What was the breakthrough?

    btw i like epics demo more than SE. It feels more consistent to me, probably mostly due to indirectly lit particles (smoke).

  20. DrBalthar

    Definitely the SquareEnix demo was considering too much as usual on their wax zombie looking and animated characters. Their paritcle effect were all super lame. So where their suroundings and environments.

    While EPIC’s demo concentrated more on the mind blowing living environment.

  21. mirror

    @Vojtech, it was pretty realistic, really good lighting overall, and nice facial expressions and skin rendering ( almost on par with square enix demo as long as skin/expressions are concerned, however one year ago ).

  22. Promilus

    ” i guess you mean face expressions”
    Yup, sry. However it’s not that damn impressive. It was much better in the movie (spirit within) which is very, very old now. It’s basically on the same level as current games so, sorry, that impresses me not. As for beard – hey, have you seen dx11 tess hair demo? That beard is the same only on much smaller scale. Again – it’s nice, but not that impressive.
    “as is the lighting.”
    Well, for that one check candles and weapon flashes. I don’t mean FF demo is sh*t and UE4 is gr8. Most new technologies has just minor impact on visual quality (in eyes of common gamer) – look at GI, SSAO, displacement mapping on flat surfaces vs parallax occlusion mapping. It’s hard to notice those tiny details that creates more and more photo realistic scene (well, only by frame drop perhaps). And UE4 demo has lot’s of those new fine technologies, hard to notice, but they’re there. And through that UE4 seems to be more advanced engine (while not exactly more impressive demo).

  23. mirror

    1- you can’t compare a movie to real-time graphics. And the facial expressions here in epic’s demo i believe to be better than those in let’s say BF3.
    2- sure i’ve seen nvidia’s tesselleation hair demo. And we are seeing it now again in square enix’s demo, in a REAL game engine. have you seen it in some other engine ? epic’s maybe ? As far as i’m concerned it’s the first time we see tessellated realistic hair with proper lighting in a real game engine.
    3- i’m sure ue4 has all those technologies, what i’m saying is that the impression that this video leaves is worse not only compared to the square enix demo but compared to their own samaritan. what is important is the final impression, not the actual technologies that are used.

    @Anon: none’s crying, besides you and some others.

    1. it seems that you don’t understand what sarcasm is, among others. Physx is around for around 8 years now.
    2. sure, the fact that it is supported doesn’t make this video better than enix. again like i said “too bad they didn’t use it”.
    3. i have seen that video and i know what svogi is.
    4. i saw samaritan video last year, and it is indeed really good. this one sucks compared to samaritan’s, it’s inferior.

  24. DrBalthar


    Not it is not. You still don’t get it. This demo is not about character and shit as they already showed that in the last demo this one is about the environments and it has the best dynamic environments ever seen on an interactive display. The lava is mindblowing well done show me anything even remotely close to that in your poor little FF-Fanboy demo.

  25. mirror


    what’s that about “your poor little ff-fanboy demo”. yet another epic shill ? lol. how much do they pay you ?

    1st i’ve never played FF.
    2nd the super duper lava thing is not something spectacular. we have seen fluid simulations for the last 5 years.
    3d dynamic environments may be something new for epic, but they are something old for the rest of gaming industry. crysis has dynamic environments for example.
    4th, some particle dust effects ( where the door opens ) are really bad.

  26. Munchkins

    The Square Enix demo looks like a pre-rendered movie, it simply looks better than ANYTHING else ever done in real time. I’m a CryEngine and UDK fanboy but come on, Square Enix’s engine blows every other engine out of the water. It simply looked photo realistic.

  27. Squall Leonhart

    lets remember guys, DrBalthar looks out the window and thinks FXAA is enabled because all the grass blurs together.

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