Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Epic Games releases Twinmotion 2024.1

Originally posted on 1 May 2024 and updated for the final release.

Epic Games has released Twinmotion 2024.1, the next major version of its Unreal-Engine-based real-time visualisation software.

Key changes include a new Render Layers system, new Spacing and Area scattering tools, and a new animation sequencing system.

An easy-to-use tool for visualising CAD data
Originally created by visualization studio KA-RA and acquired by Epic Games in 2019, Twinmotion streamlines the creation of still or animated visualizations of buildings.

It imports hero models in a range of 3D file formats, or via live links to CAD software, with users able to dress the scenes using a library of stock assets.

Atmospheric properties – including clouds, rain and snow, and ambient lighting based on geographical location and time of day – can be adjusted via slider-based controls.

The software is now free to indie artists and studios with revenue under $1 million/year, following Epic Games’ recent changes to the pricing of its products.

Twinmotion 2024.1: now based on Unreal Engine 5.4
Under the hood, Twinmotion 2024.1 has been updated to Unreal Engine 5.4, the latest version of game engine, and makes use of some of its new features.

Like Unreal Engine itself, Twinmotion now features a Render Layers system, making it easier to integrate the software with layer-based compositing workflows in VFX and visualization work.

Users can select objects within a scene, give them an ID number, and render them as separate render passes or as ID masks, providing more flexibility in the final composite.

The feature is currently only available for stills and image sequences, and has a number of known issues, particularly with fog and weather effects.

Set dressing: new Spacing and Area Tools
For populating scenes, there are two new scattering tools: Spacing and Area.

They scatter objects along user-defined paths and within user-defined areas, respectively, but currently only work on horizontal surfaces, and don’t support rigged characters.

Materials: new Foliage material and new Fabric material modes
The update streamlines material workflow, reducing the number of clicks required to add a new material to a scene, adds a new Foliage material type, and updates the Fabric material.

The Foliage material makes plants responsive to Twinmotion’s season settings, changing the color of leaves automatically in deciduous species.

The existing Fabric material gets new Standard and Thin modes for opaque and translucent fabrics, and a wider range of readymade material types.

It is also now possible to assign an ambient occlusion texture to materials to compensate for the lack of accurate occlusion in real-time renders in the Standard and Lumen render modes.

Cameras: new Filmback settings and better bloom
Twinmotion 2024.1 also adds new Filmback settings for cameras, for matching the properties of real-world cameras including focal length, depth of field intensity, and image aspect ratio.

Bloom, lens flare and lens dirt settings have now been grouped in the Camera tab of the Ambience panel.

Animation: create sequences of animations
Animators get a new Sequence media type, making it possible to combine camera movements or animations from imported files into animation sequences and export them as videos.

There is also a new Action Cam camera type for sequences, which provides more user control over camera movements, including the option to retime the motion.

Other changes include the option to parent Animators in the scene graph to create more complex animations.

Characters and vehicles from the asset library can now be animated deterministically, with Twinmotion generating identical animations when parameters are re-used.

Price, system requirements and release date
Twinmotion 2024.1 is compatible with Windows 10+ and macOS 12.5+.

Integration plugins are available for CAD and DCC apps including 3ds Max 2017+, Modo 16.0+ and SketchUp Pro 2019+.

The software is free to users with gross annual revenue under $1 million/year. The free edition lacks access to Twinmotion Cloud, but is otherwise fully featured.

For larger studios, subscriptions cost $445/seat/year.

Read a full list of new features in Twinmotion 2024.1 in the online changelog

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