Epic Games is more than just the maker of Fortnite, they also created the popular Unreal Engine which powers the vast majority of video games. And to showcase the upcoming Unreal Engine 5, they released an eye-popping PlayStation 5 demonstration displaying photorealism on par with not only movie CGI but real life.
The engine is built on two new technologies the game publisher is calling Nanite and Lumen. “Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry frees artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see,” explains Epic Games. “Nanite virtualized geometry means that film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons can be imported directly into Unreal Engine — anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans to CAD data — and it just works."
Lumen, meanwhile, is a very cool illumination solution that immediately reacts to light changes in real-time exactly as they would in real-life. “The system renders diffuse interreflection with infinite bounces and indirect specular reflections in huge, detailed environments, at scales ranging from kilometers to millimeters," added Epic Games.