Unreal Engine 4.20 officially launched today with heaps of updates. In the VR realm, the new version brings native mixed reality video compositing for VR applications, and an update to a much newer Oculus SDK. On the AR front, UE 4.20 adds supports for Apple’s ARKit 2.0 and Google’s ARCore 1.2, along with Magic Leap support.
Mixed Reality Compositing
Mixed reality video compositing for VR allows applications to pull in video from the real world and mix it with the virtual world, which can lead to a really cool footage, like the work done for the Fantastic Contraption (2016) trailer; it’s also the preferred way for streamers to show themselves in VR.
Up to this point, mixed reality video compositing has generally required third-party programs and game implementations. Unreal Engine 4.20 brings this sort of functionality directly into the engine, simplifying the work required for developers to make their game support such features.
The feature supports video input, calibration, and in-game compositing (including occlusion), though it doesn’t directly handle capture, so a third party tool will still be needed for capture or streaming. The system also works with moving cameras, as long as they are tracked by a Vive Tracker or similar device. Documentation for the feature can be found here.
Updated Oculus SDK
For developers using Unreal Engine to build titles for the Rift, UE 4.20 moves to the newer Oculus Runtime 1.25, meaning that developers will be able to take advantage of capabilities and improvements that have come since the prior version (1.17 as of UE 4.19).
Updated AR SDKs & Magic Leap
As with the Oculus Runtime, Apple and Google have since updated their ARKit and ARCore SDK—the foundation for building AR applications on those platforms—and the newest versions are now available with UE 4.20:
We’ve added support for Apple’s ARKit 2.0, which includes better tracking quality, support for vertical plane detection, face tracking, 2D image detection, 3D object detection, persistent AR experiences and shared AR experiences. Support for these new features enables you to place AR objects on more surfaces, track the position and orientation of a face, recognize and bring 2D images to life, detect 3D objects, and facilitate new types of collaborative AR experiences.
We’ve added support for Google’s ARCore 1.2, which includes support for vertical plane detection, Augmented Images, and Cloud Anchors. Support for these new features enables you to place AR objects on more surfaces, recognize and bring images to life, and facilitate new types of collaborative AR experiences.
A special version of UE 4.19 with development support for Magic Leap was released earlier this year. Now UE 4.20 is the first “fully supported” release of the engine to support the Magic Leak SDK (Lumin 0.12.0), meaning developers can target the platform with a production-ready version of the engine.