Epic Games puts $60,000 towards a new design challenge that aims to explore the possibilities its widely-used engine affords for the realm of architectural visualisation

Unreal Diaries: Real-world rendering gets Unreal

The field of architectural visualisation presents a striking blend of both the pursuit of photorealism and the desire to create something artistic, inspiring, and entirely new.

Epic Games has partnered with Ronen Bekerman to energise a new chapter of real-time interactivity and rendering. Building on the success of five previous challenges hosted on the Ronenbekerman.com blog, the 2015 competition is themed ‘The Vineyard’, and developers are exclusively building their entries in Unreal Engine 4.

The contest runs June 15th to September 15th, with the winners to be announced during October’s State of Art Academy in Venice.

Epic is contributing the largest cash prize pool in arch vis contest history, with over $60,000 in award money, including a $25,000 grand prize for group entrants, and $12,500 for individual entrants.

Unreal Paris by Benoit Dereau

Bringing together games development and architectural rendering marks the unification of the two fields in a way that hasn’t been seen before, encouraging a deep collaboration that will result in new achievements for all.

Bekerman says: “It is always my aim to host at least one major arch vis challenge per year, and I knew this one had to break new ground.

“The opportunity to bring real-time games technology to the world of architectural visualisation highlights not only the versatility of Unreal Engine, but also opens the door for a new concept of visualisation, where the use of interactive animations and immersive VR will be increasingly relevant.”

The ‘Vineyard’ theme takes advantage of the power of Unreal Engine, namely for developers’ ability to produce high-fidelity interior spaces and stunning outdoor vistas. Challengers are encouraged to think outside the box to interpret a modern vineyard setting of their own invention, and will be judged on categories such as lighting, design and interactivity. Experts from game, film and architecture will select winners.

UE4 SpeedTree by Koola

“The use of UE4 in this brilliant challenge is yet another example of the technology moving outside of its original capacity and affecting an entire industry in a way no-one could have predicted,” remarks Epic Games lead technical artist Wyeth Johnson.

“Our focus on building great tools is what makes this challenge possible. It also highlights a unique aspect of our real-time rendering technology: architectural scenes that used to be relegated to the still image are now capable of coming to life in interactive and responsive ways. We can’t wait to see what the community does.”

Official submissions will be accepted at ronenbekerman.com, with Epic support at forums.unrealengine.com.

Main image credit: UE4 Colors by Koola

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