Unreal Engine 4.23 is out now for game developers and a rather big update. Its main features is the new ‘Chaos’ physics and destruction system, previously seen in the GDC 2019 tech demo, and the many improvements and additions made to the Unreal Engine 4’s real-time ray tracing capabilities, first introduced with the previous version (4.22).
New: Chaos – Destruction (Beta)
Revealed in a demo at GDC 2019, Chaos is Unreal Engine’s new high-performance physics and destruction system available to preview in Beta form with the 4.23 release. With Chaos, users can achieve cinematic-quality visuals in real-time in scenes with massive-scale levels of destruction.
New: Real-Time Ray Tracing Improvements (Beta)
Ray Tracing support has received many optimizations and stability improvements in addition to several important new features.
Performance and Stability
A large focus this release has been on improving stability, performance, and quality of Ray Tracing features in Unreal Engine. This means:
Expanded DirectX 12 Support for Unreal Engine as a whole
Improved Denoiser quality for Ray Traced Features
Increased Ray Traced Global Illumination (RTGI) quality
Additional Geometry and Material Support
We now support additional geometry and material types, such as:
Landscape Terrain (Measured Performance on a 2080Ti in KiteDemo: ~2ms geometry update time and ~500MB video memory)
Hierarchical Instanced Static Meshes (HISM) and Instanced Static Meshes (ISM)
Transmission with SubSurface Materials
World Position Offset (WPO) support for Landscape and Skeletal Mesh geometries
Multi-Bounce Reflection Fallback
We’ve improved support for multi-bounce Ray Traced Reflections (RTR) by falling back to Reflection Captures in the scene. This means that intra-reflections (or reflections inside of reflections) that are displaying black, or where you’ve set a max reflection distance, will fall back to these raster techniques instead of displaying black.
This can subtly improve the quality of reflections without using multiple raytraced bounces, greatly increasing performance.