Fortnite creator Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 allows anyone to quickly build 3D worlds, so it’s great not just for games, but Hollywood virtual sets and more. Until now, recent Mac users have relied on Rosetta technology to run it, but Epic has just released a new update, version 5.2, that works natively on Apple Silicon. That should allow for significantly improved performance on M1 and M2 Macs.
There’s more news for Apple users as well. Epic unveiled a new iPad app (below) for virtual productions that works with the Unreal Engine’s ICVFX (In-Camera VFX) editor. It offers “an intuitive touch-based interface for stage operations such as color grading, light card placement, and nDisplay management tasks from anywhere within the LED volume,” the company said. In other words, it lets DPs, VFX folks and others tweak lighting and more on virtual sets from a simple, portable interface.
The update is interesting in the context of Apple’s antitrust dispute with Epic Games over Fortnite commissions on the App Store. Apple largely won that fight, as an appeal panel found that the company wasn’t a monopolist in the distribution of iOS apps. Back in 2020, Apple tried to suspend Epic Games’ developer account, but that move was later blocked by a judge.
Other new features introduced with the Unreal Engine 5.2 update include a “Procedural Content Generation framework” that lets you populate large scenes with the Unreal Engine assets of your choice, making it faster to build large worlds. And another feature called Substrate allows material creation with more control over the look and feel of objects used in in real-time applications like games or for linear content creation. Epic demonstrated that using its previous Rivian demo, giving a metallic-looking paint job to the R1T electric pickup.