Nvidia DLSS is now available as a plugin for Unreal Engine 4

Nvidia and Epic Games have done something that could be an important step on the long road to bring ray-traced video game graphics to the masses.

Last week, Nvidia released a plugin for Epic’s Unreal Engine 4. This makes it much easier for developers to implement the chip maker’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology in their games. Previously, developers had to work with Nvidia to add DLSS to their games. This is one of the reasons why the use of this technology is restricted. Currently only available for around 25 games, more than 12 other manufacturers have announced plans to add DLSS support.

“UE4 integration is an important step in getting technology into the game,” said Henry Lin, senior product manager at Nvidia, in an interview with Polygon. “Last year, we worked closely with developers to bring DLSS technology to over 20 UE4-based games and creative apps through the DLSS UE4 Github integration. UE4 is now accessible to all developers. The Marketplace plug-in makes DLSS integration even easier and gives users more DLSS games (from indie to AAA titles). “

Now that the plugin is available in the Unreal Engine Marketplace, developers creating projects in Unreal Engine 4 “get started using DLSS right away,” Lin said. Adding DLSS support to the game would be a bit more work than just flipping a switch, but Lin said Nvidia “tweaked the integration and is ready to use for most content. “.

For beginners, DLSS uses AI to accelerate graphics rendering through image reconstruction, improving frame rates while maintaining high image quality. Simply put, this technology allows video cards to render games at lower internal resolutions, reducing the load on the GPU. This is because it uses Nvidia’s AI algorithms to generate reconstructed images that look comparable (or even better in some cases). More) Games rendered in native resolution.

In games like Death Stranding And FortniteWith DLSS turned on, performance can be doubled or tripled, and even if it wasn’t possible, you can play at 4K resolution at frame rates in excess of 60 frames per second. With DLSS performance mode, the GPU only needs to render the game in 1080p and outputs a 4K image while rendering only a quarter of the pixels on the screen. This allows the player to increase the setting without lowering the frame rate too much.

DLSS is a proprietary Nvidia technology that relies on the company’s RTX line graphics card because it contains dedicated hardware (a “tensor core” on silicon) that can handle the calculations of Nvidia’s AI algorithms. DLSS is an essential feature for games that support real-time ray tracing. This is because the rendering method is very computationally intensive. Without DLSS, it’s difficult to run games with raytracing at playable frame rates (especially on weak GPUs like some 1st generation RTX cards).

Early versions of DLSS, released in early 2019, required individual training for each game in order for the AI ​​algorithm to work. Nvidia released DLSS 2.0 in the spring of 2020, offering a significant upgrade. AI is currently being trained with generic images, making it faster and easier for developers to implement DLSS in their games. Prior to DLSS 2.0, the new Unreal Engine plugin may not have been available.

AMD, Nvidia’s biggest rival, is working on a unique alternative to DLSS called FidelityFX Super Resolution. The technology hasn’t been prepared in time for the company’s RX 6000 line GPUs launched last fall, and AMD hasn’t yet provided a release window. However, an important advantage of FidelityFX Super Resolution over DLSS is that AMD promises to be open (from FreeSync to Nvidia’s G-Sync) and cross-platform rather than proprietary. In short, this technology could also be introduced on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. After all, both consoles have AMD Radeon RDNA2 graphics, as well as the RX 6000 GPU.

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