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Crytek posts 2019-2020 CryEngine roadmap

Monday, May 13th, 2019 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Crytek’s latest developer reel, showcasing titles developed with CryEngine. The firm has just posted its new roadmap for the game engine, showing new features due in CryEngine 5.6 and next year’s CryEngine 5.7.

 
Crytek has posted its new product roadmap for CryEngine, showing the new features due in the next two updates to the game engine.

CryEngine 5.6, due for release this summer, is focused on workflow and stability, although there is also support for multilayered microfacet materials and updates to cloth and ragdoll physics.

CryEngine 5.7, due out in spring 2020, updates the character animation system, adds support for LOD baking, and should integrate Crytek’s new hardware-agnostic real-time ray tracing system.

An increase in update frequency
The new schedule represents an increase in the frequency of updates, a year having elapsed between the releases of CryEngine 5.4 and CryEngine 5.5.

In its blog post announcing the new roadmap, Crytek acknowledges that the information “has been a long time coming”, and comments that it hopes to “provide more transparency and insight into … development”.

 

 
CryEngine 5.6: layered microfacet materials and physics updates
The firm describes CryEngine 5.6, due for release in “summer 2019”, as focused on “stability and usability”.

As well as optimising core systems like compilation and rendering, the update will introduce in-editor project management, improved version control – including a Perforce integration plugin – and migrate prefabs to the asset system.

However, there are some new graphics features, including support for multilayered microfacet materials, and the option for mesh particles to cast shadows. Particles will also generate forces in physics systems.

Over in the physics toolset itself, the update will add “physics-aware” full body IK for ragdolls, pressurised buoyant cloth like balloons, and skinned ropes and chains built from CryEngine’s CGF static meshes.

CryEngine 5.7: real-time ray tracing, LOD baking and overhauled character animation
In CryEngine 5.7, due for release in “spring 2020”, the headline feature is the hardware-agnostic ray tracing system that Crytek announced at GDC this year, although it’s only described as an “aim” in the blog post.

Other proposed graphics features include full DirectX 12 and Vulkan support in the editor, custom displacement brushes for terrain editing, and support for area lights.

The update will also introduce a new baking system for level of detail assets.

CryEngine’s Mannequin animation editor will also get a complete redesign, including an overhauled UI and support for blend trees; while the Character Tool will get a new blend space editor, and will be integrated with the asset browser.

Further off: procedural animation, physical exposure and refactored rendering
Other features in development – there are no dates for them yet in the roadmap – include a new procedural animation system, including muscle simulation via pose-space deformation, animation mirroring and retargeting, and run-time character rigging.

Crytek also plans to implement the wrinkle map and blood decal systems from its own 2013 action adventure Ryse: Son of Rome, inside CryEngine.

Planned lighting changes include support for physical light units and exposure, dynamic environment probes, and micro occlusion maps like bent normals.

The rendering pipeline is also due to be refactored, with support for physically based material blending, parametric surfaces, a new HDR output pipeline, and support for OpenColorIO colour grading.

Read a full list of upcoming features in CryEngine 5.6 and 5.7 in Crytek’s new product roadmap

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