NVIDIA GameWorks Increases the Pace of Innovation in Unreal Engine 4 Games
NVIDIA has made it easier than ever for game developers to add leading-edge technologies to their Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) games by providing custom UE4 branches for NVIDIA GameWorks technologies on GitHub.
We created GameWorks to advance gaming at a rapid pace by extending the state of the art in graphics technologies. Developers now have access to the cinematic-quality special effects and the tools they need to make their games better with minimal effort.
Having custom UE4 branches on GitHub shortens the development cycle, and the effects make the games look more stunning. In fact, through these custom branches, developers can integrate GameWorks technologies into UE4 games and deliver improvements in about an hour.
Today developers can use custom UE4 branches to add NVIDIA VXGI, NVIDIA Flex, NVIDIA WaveWorks and NVIDIA HBAO+ to their games. NVIDIA HairWorks is next, and it will be added in the coming weeks. Our goal is to add custom branches for all GameWorks features through GitHub.
NVIDIA creates algorithms and builds toolsets to improve special effects in games, and provides them to developers through GameWorks. GameWorks encompasses all the game-related technologies we’ve invented and refined over the years. The program is backed by over 300 visual effects engineers who work closely with developers to enhance their games along with developing special effects libraries, developer tools, and code samples.
NVIDIA VXGI was just revealed at Maxwell Editor’s day in September 2014 and is now available on the UE4 VXGI GitHub branch. NVIDIA VXGI is an implementation of a global illumination algorithm known as Voxel Cone Tracing. Global illumination computes all lighting in the scene, including secondary reflections of light of diffuse and specular surfaces. It is fully dynamic and reduces content creation time significantly. Within GitHub we provide access to the Cornell sample we had shown. We also integrated VXGI into the Sci-Fi Hallway by Quixel:
Nvidia FleX is a particle based simulation technique for real-time visual effects. Traditionally, visual effects are made using a combination of elements created using specialized solvers for rigid bodies, fluids, cloth, ropes and smoke. Because Flex uses a unified particle representation for all object types, it enables new effects where different simulated substances can interact with each other seamlessly. NVIDIA FleX is now available on the UE4 FleX GitHub branch. We are providing a small FleX level with support for particles, cloth and soft-bodies. We are now in the process of integrating fluid surface rendering, which will allow users to play around with fluids made by FleX.
NVIDIA HBAO+ improves upon existing ambient occlusion techniques to add richer, more detailed, more realistic shadows around objects that occlude rays of light. Compared to previous techniques, HBAO+ is faster, more efficient, and significantly better. It has been used in lots of recent games and is now available on the UE4 HBAO+ branch.
NVIDIA WaveWorks enables developers to deliver a cinematic-quality ocean simulation for interactive applications. The simulation runs in frequency domain using a spectral wave dispersion model. An inverse FFT step then transforms to the spatial domain ready for rendering. Developers can change the parameters to tune the look of the sea surface for a wide variety of conditions – from gentle ripples to a heavy storm-tossed ocean based on the Beaufort scale.
Coming Soon: NVIDIA HairWorks
NVIDIA HairWorks enables users to simulate and render fur and hair to provide a truly interactive game experience. The technology originates from multiple simulation and rendering technologies that NVIDIA has developed in the past. HairWorks has been already used in Call of Duty: Ghosts, FarCry 4, Monster Hunter Online and soon to be released titles such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It will be available on a UE4 Github branch shortly. We support many off the shelf grooming tools in 3dsMax/Maya as well as a standalone HairWorks Viewer so that artists can quickly iterate on their art assets.