We have recently been experimenting with the beta version of the Unreal Engine 5 – the benefit of UE5 over the previous generation is the addition of Lumen and Nanite technology. Lumen as defined is a “Lumen is the default global illumination and reflections system in Unreal Engine 5. It renders diffuse interreflection with infinite bounces and indirect specular reflections in large, detailed environments at scales ranging from millimeters to kilometers.”

Nanite on the other hand is a massive step forward for the game industry and cinematic rendering possibilities inside CGI. Nanite defines “Nanite uses a new internal mesh format and rendering technology to render pixel scale detail and high object counts.” – in simpler terms, 3D objects are made of polygons, triangular shapes which higher the count = higher the detail of the object but also more processing power is required to display them. Nanite removes that constraint, allowing the creators to display thousands of high detailed objects in a real-time, and not taking a huge amount of power to calculate it.

Here is a video describing more about Nanite and UE5 features.

We have used this technology to create a simple 4K render of our test photogrammetry model taken in Drogheda. We used Nanite to optimise the 22 million polygon model of the building and Lumen to simulate the sunrise light.

The results, despite being very simple and really attractive.

We hope to commit more resources to this technology and find ways to implement it into real-time virtual reality applications which could be used for surveying and planning.