Unreal Engine’s new update makes it easier to create realistic hair and fur
December 3, 2020
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Epic Games has launched Unreal Engine 4.26 today. It adds a lot of new features to the popular graphics and game-making engine, but one is sure to raise more than a few hairs.

Unreal Engine 4.26 introduces Hair and Fur. The new feature will make it easier to create realistic hair, fur, and even feathers for the more than 7.5 million developers use Unreal Engine.

“In Unreal Engine 4.26, Hair and Fur is production-ready, featuring a new Asset Groom Editor for setting up properties, and compatibility with features such as DOF [depth of field] and Fog,” Epic details. “LOD [level of detail] generation is built in, and we’ve also added the ability to generate cards and meshes for lower-end hardware in engine as an experimental feature.”

Unreal Engine has been behind the creation of many of the biggest games, including Fortnite, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. The tool has even found use in TV and film, notably for the hit show The Mandalorian.

Hair and fur have often been tricky to handle in real-time rendering due to the amount of rendering that they require. This update from Unreal Engine should do a lot of the hard work itself, and you can see the results in a demo featuring a meerkat (at least, I think that it’s a meerkat) above.

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