A major update to Epic Games' Unreal Engine-based real-time visualization software was released including new features, tools and bugs fixed.
Epic Games has released Twinmotion 2022.1 – a major update to its real-time visualization software based on Unreal Engine. Among the new features, there is a rendering engine that improves the overall fidelity, HDRI skydomes, 3Dconnexion mouse support, Datasmith import, and Datasmith direct link improvements, Quixel Megascans assets, new furniture assets, and many more. Also, a number of bugs including the ones in the Cloud library, content, core, UI, and VR were fixed.
The big change in the software is the new Path Tracer rendering engine. Users can now switch between path tracing and the existing rasterization rendering engine which allows toggling between visual quality and interactivity. The Path Tracer is based on DirectX Ray Tracing (DXR), so it requires a DirectX 12 compatible graphics card. The engine does not support macOS now as "Apple has not released any hardware accelerated ray-tracing support", according to Epic. However, the developers are now working on the solution for this issue.
As an alternative to Twinmotion’s dynamic sky system, HDRI skydomes were integrated to increase the visual realism of images and videos. Users can use any of the skies in the Skydome library or load their own, adjust the effect intensity, and force the position of the sun in the scene. However, HDRIs can’t be well rendered in orthographic views.
The 3D navigation also got more efficient allowing 3Dconnexion mouse support for Windows users. The device offers smooth switching between various 3D applications, including Unreal Engine. Besides, 3D plants and decals from the Megascans library became available within the Twinmotion asset library, stored on the cloud until downloaded for local use. The asset library also gets over a hundred new downloadable readymade 3D furniture models.
Among the other changes, there is support for subsurface scattering in the snow shader, exposure of all PBR channels for decal textures, and new virtual-reality-specific render quality settings.
The release also brings Twinmotion Cloud out of early access which users can access with trial or educational licenses or full commercial licenses. The system supports Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on iPads and other iOS devices as well as Chrome on Android tablets.
There is also an option to create and share Panorama Sets – 360-degree panoramas available to render from different points in a scene. Panorama Sets substitute fully navigable scenes and suit viewing over slower internet connections and on lower-specification devices.
The new features also include Twinmotion’s Datasmith Exporter plugins which can synchronize files from multiple CAD and BIM tools in the same Twinmotion scene. Besides, the updates provide VR support: VR-specific rendering quality settings and automatic adjustments setup were added.
Twinmotion 2022.1 is supported on Windows 10 and macOS 10.14.6+. The retail price of the new licenses is $499. A free trial edition is also available.
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