Epic Games is known for its popular game Fortnite, but the company also has another important product – the Unreal Engine, which is a 3D creation tool used not only to produce games but also apps and even virtual sets for Hollywood movies and shows. The company on Thursday announced Unreal Engine 5.2, which comes with native support for Apple Silicon Macs for the first time.
What’s new with Unreal Engine 5.2?
As detailed in a blog post, Unreal Engine 5.2 comes with several improvements. But one of the most interesting is certainly the native support for the Apple Silicon platform on macOS. This means that Unreal Engine can now take full advantage of the performance of Apple’s chips, such as M1 and M2, instead of running through Rosetta technology – which translates Intel software to ARM architecture.
Despite the dispute between Epic and Apple over Fortnite, many professionals rely on the Unreal Engine, so it makes sense that Epic would still keep it updated for macOS users. Even Apple uses Unreal Engine internally to build its AR app that lets visitors interact with a model of Apple Park on its Cupertino campus.
Apple tried to suspend Epic Games’ Developer account in 2020 because of the legal dispute between the two companies, a move that would have affected the availability of Unreal Engine for macOS. However, a judge ruled that Apple couldn’t do that since the dispute was about Fortnite.
There are many other improvements coming with Unreal Engine 5.2. It introduces a Procedural Content Generation framework (PCG) that lets developers define parameters for popular large scenes with Unreal Engine assets, “making the process of creating large worlds fast and efficient.” There’s also Substrate, a new way to control the look and feel of objects in real-time apps, such as games.
Epic also announced an enhanced virtual production toolset, which includes an ICVFX Editor for iPad that lets creators adjust color grading and lighting more easily through a touch-based interface. In addition, the update comes with a new ML Deformer sample for precisely modeling muscles and skins of 3D human models.
Developers can get Unreal Engine 5.2 starting today. The release notes for the update are available on Epic’s website.