The Epic Diaries: February

The Epic Diaries: February

By Develop

February 14th 2008 at 11:22AM

This month: Epic supports innovative architecture project, Illuminate joins the IPP and Red Mile choose UE3 for Sin City gameâ?¦

HKS To Revolutionise Architectural Visualisation With Unreal Engine 3

HKS Architects, ranked among the nation’s top three architectural firms, has signed a licensing agreement with Epic that will change the landscape of architectural design through its adoption of Unreal Engine 3.

HKS ARCHengine, powered by UE3 technology, creates functional 3D visualisations of architectural space complete with moving figures, operational elevators and running escalators.

“This next-generation game technology incorporates real-time shadows, lighting and people into our architectural projects,” said Pat Carmichael, manager, advanced technologies, HKS.

“When designing a stadium, the client – meaning a life-like version of the client and their families – is able to walk into a stadium, order and eat a hot dog, and interact as they watch a baseball game.”

“HKS is the first architectural firm to apply Unreal Engine 3 technology to its designs,” said Ralph Hawkins, president and CEO of HKS. “We are pleased to offer our clients the sophisticated tools contained in this unique program, which allows us to powerfully portray our designs through its versatility and strength.

“HKS’s clients, which include the Dallas Cowboys and W Hotels developer Gatehouse Development, are taking them up on the new technology at a cost that ranges from $65,000 to $150,000 per project.

When Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was ready to select the site of his owner’s suite, HKS ARCHengine allowed him to decide by offering a 3D look at each and every view and vista at the new $1 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium.

Before spending $1 million on a condo unit, potential buyers at the W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences were given a full tour of the building – from the 30-story glass balcony views of the Ghostbar to the picturesque city views from each and every unit.

“HKS ARCHengine offers clients a higher level of graphic photorealism, communicating multiple design concepts rapidly and cost effectively,” said Chris Roberts, senior developer, HKS.

“It renders 30 frames per second instead of one per hour – that’s 3,000 times faster than traditional animation methods. This makes it a first (and only) in the architectural industry.”


Illuminate Labs Joins IPP

Illuminate Labs, creator of next-gen rendering and lighting technology, has joined Epic’s prestigious Integrated Partners Program (IPP).

Per the partnership, Illuminate Labs has incorporated its Beast global illumination system into Unreal Engine 3, and the lighting technology is immediately available to any publishers or developers that license UE3.

Beast integration in UE3 enables artists to seamlessly add global illumination to development environments using the renowned Unreal Editor.

Beast is also a fully platform-independent baker that utilizes the open-standard FBX file format, which allows users to easily add extremely complex baking functionality to 3D asset creation tools. UE3 licensees can instantly start taking advantage of Beast’s features that are new to the engine, which include global Illumination baking, skylights from HDR images and baked soft shadows with transparency.


Red Mile picks UE3 for Sin City game

Red Mile Entertainment has licensed Unreal Engine 3 for the production of its upcoming Sin City game based on Frank Miller’s popular graphic novels.

“The Unreal Engine is one of the most technically advanced engines on the market and is a perfect fit for our Sin City video games,” said Glenn Wong, president and chief operating officer of Red Mile. “The engine has powered several of the best-selling games of all time, and I am very glad we have the opportunity to arm our developers with such a world-class product.”

The design, scriptwriting and story generation of Sin City will be overseen by Flint Dille, who has previously won awards for stories he produced for The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and Dead to Rights.