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Photorealistic Japanese Train Station Set Up in Unreal Engine 5

The scene utilizes UE5's Nanite and Lumen and runs on a regular gaming laptop.

Jaakko Saari, a talented 3D Artist and CEO/Founder of SonaGraf, a production studio that specializes in creating digital environments for films and games, has showcased JR Yoyogi Station, a photorealistic 3D recreation of the Yoyogi railway station located in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.

Created for the studio's upcoming short film, the scene is powered by Unreal Engine 5 and heavily utilizes its Lumen and Nanite features, enabling the team to achieve photorealistic lighting and robust performance. According to Jaakko, the scene was so optimized, in fact, that they managed to run it on a regular gaming laptop with 32 GB RAM.

As for the assets used for this environment, the team used a combination of store-bought and self-made models. The Yoyogi Station scene itself is still WiP and will most likely be further improved before the film is released.

"Actually the scene was constructed mostly using a modern gaming laptop with 32 GB memory. Our scene utilizes Lumen and Nanite extensively and we have been impressed of how performant Unreal Engine 5 is for this type of work. We were able to bring high-resolution meshes and let Nanite handle the optimization," commented Jaakko. "Our scene is still under progress and will be later used for our upcoming short film that we have in the works. We also intend to run this as a set extension using virtual production volume."

We highly encourage you to visit Jaakko's Twitter page and SonaGraf's official website so as not to miss any future updates.

Interestingly, this is not the first time we see Unreal Engine 5 being used to set up photoreal train stations. Back in 2022, 3D Environment Artist Lorenzo Drago also recreated Etchū-Daimon Station, a railway station in Imizu, Japan, in a digital format and made it look as photorealistic as possible using Camera Matching to get accurate proportions and Unreal Engine 5 with Lumen:

Inspired by Lorenzo's outstanding artwork, Digital Artist Martin Nebelong recreated the same level in Dreams, a video game creation system and service developed by Media Molecule:

And several months later, in August 2022, Technical Artist Oliver Pavicevic demonstrated a photorealistic post-Soviet train station made using Unity, Deckard Render, a tool developed by Oliver that helps simulate physical camera behavior, and a cool VHS-like shader:

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