Unreal Engine 4 is growing up fast; 4.6 launches today

Unreal Engine 4.6

Unreal Engine 4 has just had a growth spurt. It feels like only yesterday that we were teaching it the alphabet and watching it finger paint. Things really do change so quickly. 

The new release, 4.6, adds a whole bunch of lighting and material improvements, network demo recording and playback support, along with updates to animation workflows. New assets are hitting the Unreal Marketplace today, as well. Take a gander below for the list of improvements. 

New to 4.6

  • User Interface: Easily add 3D user interfaces using the new widget component; navigate between UI elements using a joystick; and localize games faster using font families and composite fonts.
  • Lighting: Emissive materials can now directly illuminate surrounding objects, and precomputed lighting and shadows are now supported on foliage objects and instanced meshes!
  • Demo Recording: Also known as Network Replay Capture, you can now save an “instant replay” of gameplay, stream it, and share it. Use time-warping to slow down or speed up the replay.
  • Multiplayer: It’s now possible to host, discover, join and leave Steam and LAN online sessions using Blueprint scripting. No coding required!
  • Animation: Play multiple animation montages on a skeletal mesh at once; utilize blended root motion from numerous animations; and enjoy even more control over animation with Blueprint scripting.
  • Materials: Material complexity can be pushed even further with support for up to 128 unique textures per material, a huge bump up from 13. High-quality characters, layered terrain and such will benefit from this enhancement.
  • Large Worlds: Build a single world up to 20 kilometers across! Make your play space as large as desired by connecting worlds via the World Composition feature.
  • Mobile Preview: Preview exactly how scenes will look on mobile platforms without ever leaving the Unreal Editor.
  • Web Widget: The new Web Browser UI Widget enables you to host and navigate web pages right inside your game.
  • Performance: Stream sections of precomputed navigation data in or out of memory on the fly.
  • Workflow: Packaging and cooking content from within the editor is now faster than ever! Loads of C++ optimizations, including simplified class declarations and the improved Cast() function, will benefit code-based projects.
  • Learning: Check out new content example maps in the launcher’s Learn tab! Other new additions in this depot include resources for in-game analytics, source control, localization, and many documentation updates.

Marketplace additions

  • Medieval Inn and Tavern by Ennelia Studio
  • 3D Cloud Models by Quantum Theory Entertainment
  • VFX Weather Pack by Thomas Harle
  • Military Pack Part 1 by Manufactura K4
  • Hand Painted Textures Pack by 3DFancy
  • FX Alpha Textures by UETools
  • 50+ Vector Particles by W3 Studios
  • Space Shooter/Sim Music Loops Pack by Stephen Lu
  • Ultimate Rocks by Ultimate Assets
  • Ambient Sound FX Collection by Storm Bringer Studios