Breakdown: Creating The Matrix Awakens in Houdini & Unreal Engine 5

The breakdown reveals all the technical details and workflows behind the amazing UE5-powered tech demo.

The Unreal Engine team has released a 2-part technical breakdown of The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience. The first part tells how the team procedurally generated the city for the demo using a combination of UE5's procedural tools and a new Houdini workflow. The talk also examines the construction steps and technical challenges the team faced while making the city itself.

The second part is dedicated to populating the city and making it feel alive. The video discusses the inspiration behind the environment and dives deep into the details of the team's modular procedural approach to building creation – Open World workflows (One File Per Actor, Data Layers, HLODs, level instancing), lookdev breakdowns of materials and texturing, updates on improvements to Lumen, the UE5 global illumination, and reflections system, and more.

In case you missed it, to celebrate the official release of UE5, Epic Games also shared a new downloadable project that reveals how the city scene from The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience was built. The City Sample is a free downloadable sample project that features a city full of buildings, vehicles, and crowds of MetaHuman characters. You can learn more and download it here.

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