Unreal Engine announces massive 4.7 update with VR features and Leap Motion support

by Will Mason • February 24th, 2015

Unreal Engine is looking to make a huge impact on the virtual reality industry, looking to position themselves as the go to engine for VR development. Today they released an update to their popular UE4 engine that brings with it a number of new features aimed at VR developers.

One of those features is the highly requested “VR preview” which will let you immediately hop into your worlds directly from the editor. Additionally the update brings with it support for the Leap Motion, the popular hand tracking input device, expanding the realm of possibilities for development on the engine. Hollow, a game created for Leap Motion’s 3D Jam, is the first game to be released 0n the engine with Leap Motion support. The game is a “horror hayride adapted from the legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Game developers will also likely be pleased with the new animation editing system, and array of animation tools like bone control preview and physics based animation, that will let developers edit animations directly within the engine, helping to optimize workflow. This animation control could lead to more lively animation in VR games as developers will have access to a very easy to use tool kit.

For a full list of the major new features see below:

  • Realistic Foliage Lighting
  • Foliage Rendering for Large Worlds
  • In-World Component Editing
  • Placeable Empty Actors
  • Blueprintable Components
  • Automatic Asset Importing
  • Redesigned Blueprint Editor UI
  • HTML5 and WebGL Support (Windows only)
  • OpenEXR: High Dynamic Range Textures
  • Android Development on Mac
  • Full Engine C++ Source Code and Debug Symbols
  • VR Preview
  • Leap Motion Plugin
  • C++ Classes in Content Browser
  • Morph Target Exaggeration
  • Feature Packs and Content Packs
  • Animation Editing System
  • Instant Bone Controller Preview
  • Creating Animations from Physics
  • Project Launcher
  • Blueprint Merge Tool
  • GIT Source Control Plugin
  • AI Perception System: Blueprint Scripting
  • Tutorials For New Project Templates
  • New Thumbnail Look and Feel
  • Paper2D: Improved Tile Map Layer Editing
  • Paper2D: Flipbook Collision Detection
  • UI: Custom Cursor Support
  • Unreal Motion Graphics: New Widget Binding System
  • Visual Logger
  • Translucent Object Ordering Control
  • Fixed Blueprint Cyclic Dependencies
  • C++ Improvements
  • Multi-Threaded Animation
  • Desktop Quality Rendering on Android
  • DLC Packaging
  • Android Movie Playback
  • Access Non-Editable Blueprint Variables
  • SDK Path Setup Editor
  • AI Blackboard Synchronization
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