What do a scene of urban decay, a blowtorch on a piece of chain, a half smoked cigarette, rain falling down a stubble clad cheek and muzzle flashes have in common? They're all images featured in "Samaritan", a technology demo from Epic Games showcasing all of the new features included in the UDK. Epic just released the UDK Beta this month. They dropped this beautiful little piece of eye-candy at GDC last week. Epic's demonstration video is a showcase of the newest of the new in graphics rendering tech. It's also a great little scene that's fun to watch in it's own right, even if you're not a rendering-geek like me.
The UDK Beta is available with the new DirectX11 features. I'm going to highlight the Subsurface scattering (SSS) technique. This rendering technique simulates light scattering within translucent materials like human skin. Watch the video below and see for yourself how the shadows and highlights are on the Samaritan. His virtual skin glows with a subtle luminosity. It's still deep in the crevice of the uncanny valley, but we're beginning to start climbing up the other side. There is a litany of other features included in this demo, image-based reflections, anti-aliased masking, deferred rendering, bokeh depth of field, and high quality dynamic shadows from many lights. We're impressed.
Epic also included NVIDIA’s APEX technology into the UDK. Apex is a scalable dynamics platform for consoles and PC. This allows for dynamically calculated physics for objects in the game. It's showcased in the video quite a few times. Pay attention to the Samaritan's jacket as he stands up. Apex takes care of all of the calculation on how the clothing shifts, in realtime. The raindrops falling from the sky and interacting with the character models is probably another prime example of how Epic is showcasing the capabilities of NVidia's new dynamics platform.
[via Epic Games]