Every aspect of the Unreal Engine has been designed with ease of content creation and programming in mind, with the goal of putting as much power as possible in the hands of artists and designers to develop assets in a visual environment with minimal programmer assistance; and to give programmers a highly modular, scalable and extensible framework for building, testing, and shipping games in a wide range of genres.

Main Features

  • 64-bit color High Dynamic Range rendering pipeline. The gamma-correct, linear color space renderer provides for immaculate color precision while supporting a wide range of post processing effects such as light blooms, lenticular halos, and depth-of-field.
  • Support for all modern per-pixel lighting and rendering techniques including normal mapped, parameterized Phong lighting; custom artist controlled per material lighting models including anisotropic effects; virtual displacement mapping; light attenuation functions; pre-computed shadow masks; directional light maps; and pre-computed bump-granularity self-shadowing using spherical harmonic maps.
  • Advanced Dynamic Shadowing. Unreal Engine 3 provides full support for four shadowing techniques:
    • Dynamic stencil buffered shadow volumes supporting fully dynamic, moving light sources casting accurate shadows on all objects in the scene.
    • Dynamic characters casting dynamic soft shadows on the scene using shadow buffers. Shadow buffer filtering takes samples on a jittered disc that are rotated per-pixel to detect shadow penumbras. Dynamic branching is then used to refine shadow coverage in penumbra regions.
    • Ultra high quality and high performance pre-computed shadow masks allow offline processing of static light interactions, while retaining fully dynamic specular lighting and reflections.
    • Directional Light Mapping enables the static shadowing and diffuse normal-mapped lighting of an unlimited number of lights to be precomputed and stored into a single set of texture maps, enabling very large light counts in high-performance scenes.
  • All of the supported shadow techniques are visually compatible and may be mixed freely at the artist's discretion, and may be combined with colored attenuation functions enabling properly shadowed directional, spotlight, and projector lighting effects.
  • Volumetric environmental effects including height fog.
  • Full support for seamlessly interconnected indoor and outdoor environments with dynamic per-pixel lighting and shadowing supported everywhere.
  • UnrealKismet, our visual scripting system:
    • Gives artists and level designers virtually limitless control over how a level will play without touching a single line of code.
    • By connecting together simple events and actions created by programmers, everything from simple behaviours to complete gameplay prototypes can be assembled quickly.
    • UnrealKismet supports hierarchies of scripts for organizing very complex sequences into manageable units.
  • The Unreal Editor (UnrealEd) is a pure “What You See Is What You Get” content creation tool filling the void between XSI, 3D Studio Max and Maya, and shippable game content.
  • A powerful browser framework for finding, viewing, and organizing game assets of all types.
  • Visual placement and editing of gameplay objects such as players, NPCs, inventory items, AI path nodes, and light sources – with a full realtime view of their appearance, including 100% dynamic shadowing.
  • Includes a data-driven property editing framework, allowing level designers to easily customize any game object, and programmers to expose new customizable properties to designers via script.
  • Realtime terrain editing tools allowing artists to elevate terrain, paint alpha layers onto terrain to control layer blending and decoration layers, collision data, and displacement maps.
  • Visual Material Editor. By visually connecting the color, alpha and coordinate outputs of textures and programmer-defined material components, artists can create materials ranging from simple layered blends to extremely complex materials and dynamically interacting with scene lights.
  • Animation tool enables artists to import models, skeletons, and animations, and to tie them to in-game events such as sounds and script notifications.
  • In-editor “Play Here” button puts gameplay just one mouse click and a fraction of a second away. Here, you can test gameplay in-editor in one window while modifying objects and rearranging geometry in another.
  • Plug-ins for 3D Studio Max and Maya to bring models into the Unreal engine with mesh topology, mapping coordinates, smoothing groups, material names, skeleton structure, and skeletal animation data.
  • Fully integrated source control, so that artists and level designers can check out content packages, modify, and check in from within the editor.
  • All the other niceties you'd expect from a modern content editing tool: Multi-level undo/redo, drag-and-drop, copy-and-paste; customizable key and color configuration; viewport management.
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About Membrane with 1 comment by Shred18 on Aug 5th, 2015

Believe it or not, this game has continued development for the last two years! Membrane has gone through some vast changes, and now sees consistent, if not very fast, asset production. So what has been happening?

Engine Changes:

Membrane started off in Unreal Engine 3. I created a simple, yet functional "Doom Style" AI, Implementing weapons, enemies, and other assets. All in all, it was easy to use... at first. Once I started seriously working on the levels, I found level creation to be a bit too cumbersome. I even wrote a program that converts levels from my level editor of choice, but constantly re-baking the lighting every time I made a change became a slog. The final straw was when I tried to make a secret exploding wall that is indistinguishable from the surrounding solid walls - you could see a "lighting seam" no matter what. UE3 was meant for mapping with modular models, and that didn't jive with the free form abstract levels I wanted to make. So I started looking at other options.

GZDoom was what I settled on. It's perfect for an old school game, because it is an old school game engine, while supporting more modern features. And with the release of GLOOME it's also commercially viable.

Concept Changes:

The initial Setting was on earth, with human and alien weapons, and a basic premise of fighting off an invasion.

It's been done.

Membrane has gone completely Alien. Waking up in an underground laboratory, the hero finds himself a result of horrific experimentation. He must traverse alien worlds, master unique weapons, collect powers, and travel through the galaxy to find his way back home.

Getting rid of recognizable earth levels allow for more abstract designs, as well as no realistic human weapons allows for much more creativity in the design and function.

In addition, Membrane is sort of a "Metroidvania Lite," wherein you will find powers / upgrades that allow you to reach previously inaccessible areas within the current level.

It's Practically a Game:

Well, a short one. Loads of textures have been created, as well as models, fonts, the entire UI, sound effects, and scripts. The goal is to have a stand alone playable demo as soon as possible. Here is the short list before that can happen:

  • Model, Texture, and Animate the player model.
  • Record All the Player sound effects.
  • Record sound effects for two monsters.
  • Model, Texture Armor Pickups.
  • Create End Screen, Credit Screen.
  • Two or so more Level Textures.

Screenshot Doom 20150803 223119

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Post comment Comments  (50 - 60 of 136)
theo365 Mar 24 2010 says:

can you play UT3 mods with only this installed are do you need the game?

0 votes     reply to comment
shadowofamn Mar 31 2010 replied:

UDK and UE3 are completely different in term of what you start with. UDK have limited props and art assets which you must build off a library on your own. UE3 on the other hand have all of the UT3 asset on your hands to create a mod for it.

The catch is for UE3, you need to buy the game do use their assets which requires you to own UT3 to play the mods made from UE3. All the assets made up a lot of space so that's why UT3 is like 7GB in size, not including updates.

UDK on the hand have very little assets, it is the skeleton and you will have to create your own art assets to make it. The good thing is the author can distribute their games and their assets for free and you don't have to buy UT3 to play them.

To answer your question, you need the game for mods made with the unreal editor 3.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Narlyteeth Jun 10 2010 replied:

UDK is a toolkit powered by UE3. the free version of UDK only has source codes to UT3 for demonstration purposes. the big lisence version has source codes to pretty much every thing epic has made for the engine. including Gears of war 2, and the engine itself.

+1 vote     reply to comment
leilei Apr 8 2010 replied:

You're confusing owning UT3 to owning UE3. With just licensing UE3, you get nothing but the engine, its base classes, to start from scratch from. No UT3 files.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Auth3ntic0 Mar 11 2010 says:

Well we see this famous engine ported for linux platforms in the future?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Etheral Mar 3 2010 says:

Hey guys, we're developing a game with UDK so check us out! All of the details are on the game page and if you have any questions about it, feel free to message me.


Originally, we were developing this game with the Hammer editor for HL2. Needless to say, we are extremely happy with the switch over. This engine is 100x better. Thanks for making it free.

+1 vote     reply to comment
brambo1233 Mar 1 2010 says:

is there coming unreal engine4?

+1 vote     reply to comment
EPICGAMESMASTER23 Mar 24 2010 replied:

there is going to be an unreal engine 4
coming out this year or in 2012

+1 vote     reply to comment
Highmist Mar 3 2010 replied:

THAT. is a good question

+2 votes     reply to comment
TheUnknownM Feb 28 2010 says:

best engine ever

+5 votes     reply to comment
roadking Feb 26 2010 says:

can you eather use autocad drawings in unreal engine 3?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Etheral Feb 23 2010 says:

Hey guys, I am developing levels using UDK for a game called Praetorian Defiance. I have a set of tutorial videos from 3dBuzz, but are there any other good sets out there? I like to keep watching and learning new things.

+1 vote     reply to comment
roadking Feb 22 2010 says:

what can I use better: 3DsMAX or maya?

+1 vote     reply to comment
fladur Feb 27 2010 replied:

Both are equally supported plus XSI. You can also use Blender but is not officially supported.

Your decision should be based on what you plan to do. In my opinion MAX is better for character and animations while Maya works best for Level Geometry, Vehicles and that kind of things.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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