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Epic Games, the creator of the hugely popular game Fortnite, is not just a one-trick pony. The company is also known for its Unreal Engine, a 3D creation tool that is used to produce games, apps, and even virtual sets for Hollywood movies and shows. And now, Epic has announced the release of Unreal Engine 5.2, which comes with native support for Apple Silicon Macs for the first time.
This new version of Unreal Engine boasts several improvements, but the most exciting feature is the native support for Apple’s M1 and M2 chips. This means that Unreal Engine can now take full advantage of the performance of these chips, instead of running through Rosetta technology, which translates Intel software to ARM architecture.
Despite the ongoing dispute between Epic and Apple over Fortnite, many professionals rely on the Unreal Engine, so it makes sense that Epic would keep it updated for macOS users. Even Apple uses Unreal Engine internally to build its AR app that lets visitors interact with a model of Apple Park on its Cupertino campus.
Apple tried to suspend Epic Games’ Developer account in 2020 because of the legal dispute between the two companies, a move that would have affected the availability of Unreal Engine for macOS. However, a judge ruled that Apple couldn’t do that since the dispute was about Fortnite.
But Unreal Engine 5.2 is more than just native support for Apple Silicon Macs. The update introduces a Procedural Content Generation framework (PCG) that lets developers define parameters for popular large scenes with Unreal Engine assets, “making the process of creating large worlds fast and efficient.” There’s also Substrate, a new way to control the look and feel of objects in real-time apps, such as games.
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Epic also announced an enhanced virtual production toolset, which includes an ICVFX Editor for iPad that lets creators adjust color grading and lighting more easily through a touch-based interface. In addition, the update comes with a new ML Deformer sample for precisely modeling muscles and skins of 3D human models.
With these new features, Unreal Engine continues to be a popular choice for developers and content creators across various industries. And with the added support for Apple Silicon Macs, it’s likely that even more professionals will turn to Unreal Engine for their next project.