Epic Unveils Photorealistic 'Rebirth' and Ray-Traced 'Troll' Unreal Engine 4 Showcases

Written by Neil Soutter on Sun, Mar 24, 2019 9:04 AM

Tucked in among Epic’s frantic week at GDC 2019 was ‘Troll’, a new state-of-the-art real-time ray-tracing showcase built using Unreal Engine 4.22, as well as Rebirth, a look a photorealism tech in UE4.

Troll was unveiled during Epic’s ‘State of Unreal’ panel, showcasing cinematic quality lighting effects alongside ray-traced reflections and shadows.

Created by Goodbye Kansas and Deep Forest Films, Troll is actually being turned into a full movie starring Alicia Vikander, she of bang-average Tomb Raider movie fame. It’s an undoubtedly impressive showcase, and demonstrates what UE4 is theoretically capable of in the right hands.

The goodies didn’t end there either, and something altogether more game-centric was also showcased. ‘Rebirth’ is a tech demo designed to show off the photorealistic capabilities of Unreal Engine 4.  We get the usually ultra-zoom close up of rocks that we’ve had a million times before, but we also see how photogrammetry can be used to build huge, near-perfect looking environments, both real and, er, unreal.

It’s a tantalising taste of just what could be possible in the not too distant future. Rebirth was created by a team of just three artists using an unmodified version of Unreal Engine 4.22.

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05:10 Mar-26-2019

As nice as the Rebirth trailer is, I have some concerns about it. Specifically the more I think about the more I feel that if photorealism becomes the norm, it may ruin gaming for me.


I have always enjoyed games with animated (cartoonish or anime-style) graphics like Mario games and JRPGs like Shining Resonance more than games with realistic graphics. I don't know why, I just... do.

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21:13 Mar-25-2019

I spoke about this in a few places and as someone who does a bit of 3D scanning myself I can say that 3D scans look amazing even in crap light. So it's less on an in-engine thing rather than the quality of assets.
Now where this all falls apart for me is that all these "photorealistic" demos are always showing rocks, twigs and dirt. Haven't seen a lively city demo yet (that's not a dark dystopian one anyway, like the Infiltrator demo or Crytek's drone flight one). Raytracing will help a lot to bring these, since cities have a lot of windows and cars that reflect - things that still need work. And that's why, for now, all we get is dirt, rocks and plants...things that are easy to scan...

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01:00 Mar-25-2019

Why hasn't anyone said anything yet about real time movies. Honestly, if Unreal Engine keeps putting stuff in here, the future of video viewing could literally be endless and everyone could have there own unique experience as they see the story unfolding in front of their eyes from any vantage point not at the whims of some director. It would put a new spin on the director's cut. Lets plays would be a fan rendition of the film. Also, it won't be if you have an 8k player. It will be if you have a computer capable of running the movie.

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20:23 Mar-24-2019

God damn the Rebirth video looks so good!

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15:53 Mar-24-2019

Damn, the Rebirth one is gorgeous.

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11:01 Mar-24-2019

Nvidia are the real trolls

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09:50 Mar-24-2019

This reminds me of Beowulf movie

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