Epic Games, the massive company behind Fortnite, the Unreal Engine, and the Epic Games Store, has gone out of its way to acquire startup studio Quixel. The startup has a vast reserve of real-world assets, which could be used in films and video games to make their images far more realistic. The announcement came earlier this morning, the first day of the Unreal Academy London event.
To see Quixel’s tech in action, check out the video below, which offers a quick glimpse at the next generation of technology. We see how everyone involved in the creation of the film can take part in it without being physically there during a scene. Everyone involved can make immediate modifications to the stage, like adding a large boulder or creating a new rock face.
This technology is going to be available for all developers who use the Unreal Engine, Epic Games’ game engine. It will come in a bundle of tools called Bridge and Mixer. All of the assets provided and created by Quixel are going to be free.
While purchasing the company, Epic Games is retaining all of the Quixel’s employees. The company began in 2011, and a variety of games have already used its libraries, including Battlefield V, Metro Exodus, and Destiny 2. The studio has also shown up in notable films, like Black Panther and Pacific Rim: Uprising.
“Building photorealistic 3D content is an expensive endeavor in game development and film production,” Tim Sweeney, Epic Games Founder and CEO, said in a statement concerning the acquisition. “By coming together with Quixel to make Megascans free for all use in Unreal Engine, this level of artistry is now available to everyone from triple-A studios to indies.”
Ten brand new high-resolution packs have dropped on the Epic Games marketplace, containing over 10,000 free assets for everyone with Unreal Engine to use.
Real-time technology is transforming the art of filmmaking, with next-generation virtual production tools coming to Unreal Engine. At SIGGRAPH, Epic Games partnered with Lux Machina, Magnopus, Profile Studios, Quixel, ARRI, and DP Matt Workman to demonstrate how LED walls can provide not only virtual environments but also lighting for real-world elements, so the entire scene can be captured in camera in a single pass.