Unreal Engine 5.4 has been officially released. The new version of Epic Games’ technology introduces new features and many improvements to built-in animation tools and overall performance.

Epic launches Unreal Engine 5.4 with new features animation and rendering features

Last month, we reported on some of the features of Unreal Engine 5.4, such as the Motion Matching animation tool, Heterogeneous Volume Rendering, as well as updates to the Procedural Content Generation framework. But here is a more detailed breakdown from Epic Games:

  • Modular Control Rig — new experimental feature that allows devs to build animation rigs from modular parts instead of granular graphs and animate them directly on a skeleton;

  • Other animation tools were improved as well, including the Constraints system, and the engine’s animation editor called Sequencer got a makeover with improved usability;
  • Direct Manipulation — feature that enables easier interaction with rig elements in the Viewport;

  • Tessellation — new experimental feature for the Nanite geometry system, which allows devs to add and modify cracks, bumps, and other rich details at runtime;
  • The addition of variable rate shading (VRS) via Nanite and support for spline mesh workflows (can be used for deforming static meshes — e.g. to create roads on landscapes);

  • Rendering performance was improved to help devs target 60 Hz experiences, with further optimization being made to shader compilation;
  • Neural Network Engine (NNE), which allows devs to load and run pre-trained neural network models, entered the Beta stage;
  • Use cases for NNE include tooling, rendering, physics, and animation;
  • Experimental release of Vulkan ray tracing features (now at parity with DX12).

“With this release, we’re delivering the toolsets we’ve been using internally to build and ship Fortnite Chapter 5, Rocket Racing, Fortnite Festival, and LEGO Fortnite,” Epic Games noted.

More information and details can be found in the full Unreal Engine 5.4 release notes.

Got a story you'd like to share? Reach us at [email protected]