Unreal Engine 5.4 is here with latest features for animators and filmmakers!

Epic Games has unveiled a host of new features and tools (in unreal engine 5.4) for motion graphics, virtual cameras, and animation in the latest update of its Unreal Engine 5.

The most recent version, Unreal Engine 5.4, is a boon for animators. The update aims to refine and expand upon its standout features, such as Nanite, while introducing new tools to assist animators and motion graphic artists.

Unreal Engine 5 has been a staple in numerous creative fields since its inception, extending its application beyond just gaming. For instance, UE5 is employed by filmmakers and has aided VFX artists with the advent of LED stages and MetaHuman Animator, as seen in the recent Marvel 1943 game and its cinematic sequences.

Key enhancements in UE 5.4 encompass new broadcasting capabilities, like the Unreal Engine Motion Design Mode (formerly known as Avalanche), and fresh virtual production tools. This update also marks the debut of Unreal’s virtual camera app, Unreal VCam, on Android.

Unreal Engine 5.4 is here with latest features for animators and filmmakers
with better workflow, and has been used by CBS Sports

A detailed examination of Unreal Engine 5.4’s Motion Design Mode unveils a collection of tools custom-made for motion design artists, designed to boost efficiency. Operating on a 2D canvas, Motion Design Mode offers an all-inclusive toolkit, including 3D shapes, cloners, effectors, modifiers, animators, and features for non-linear animations.

Epic Games has put the new Motion Design Mode through rigorous testing with over 300 companies and 550 individual artists participating in the beta since last year. This includes CBS Sports, who utilized Motion Design Mode to craft the Super Bowl LVIII motion graphics centered around the Las Vegas strip theme. CBS Sports even leveraged the tools to orchestrate an XR promo shoot at the MSG Sphere and live AR graphics during the match.

Historically, new tools in Unreal Engine 5 have been initially rolled out to Apple devices, with an iPhone being used to demonstrate new MetaHuman Animator tools. However, the introduction of Unreal VCam for Android marks a significant shift for Google and Android devices. The new Unreal VCam offers real-time, virtual production-ready cinematography from any Android device.

Previously known as Live Link VCAM and exclusive to iOS, the VCam now allows filmmakers to incorporate traditional techniques such as lens tricks, framing, and camera movement into Unreal Engine 5’s digital virtual sets.

Android device-using filmmakers can now record lifelike sequences and edit shots, compile footage in Unreal Engine’s Sequencer, and more. This includes previewing initial set environments through the lens, previsualizing shots before a shoot, capturing actual takes during principal photography, and creating a new shot in post-production.

Unreal Engine 5.4 is here with latest features for animators and filmmakers
new layered control rigs

Other notable new features cater to animators, with an overhauled animation toolset that now includes a new Modular Control Rig feature. This allows animators to construct rigs directly in the editor using modular components. Automatic Retargeting is a new Layered Control Rigs feature that layers animation on top of animation clips, simplifying the process.

Motion Matching, previously introduced as an experimental feature and tested in Fortnite for select users, is now included in UE 5.4 and could potentially revolutionize animation creation. As Epic describes the feature, it eschews complex logic to select and transition animation clips at runtime, instead searching a relatively large database of captured animation using the current motion information of the character in the game as the key. Many people on twitter are also excited with this release!

For a comprehensive list of new features in Unreal Engine 5.4, visit the Unreal Engine blog, which also includes updates on new rendering technology and features in Nanite. If you’re unfamiliar with Unreal’s technology, check out our UE5 explainer and Unreal Engine 5.3 review. If you’re looking to upgrade your technology, consider our guide to the most powerful laptops.

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Unreal Engine 5.4 is here with latest features for animators and filmmakers
Unreal Engine 5.4

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