PS4: Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney Explains Lack Of Global Illumination In Unreal Engine 4

Many PC gamers have blamed consoles for not being powerful enough to run Unreal Engine 4’s Global Illumination tech. In an interview with GameTrailers, Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney decided to shed some light on that matter.

Epic Games’ Global Illumination technique is called Sparse Voxel Octree Global Illumination (SVOGI), a technique that was developed by Andrew Scheidecker. Despite what Epic Games showcased at last year’s GDC, it seems that this technique is too heavy for actual games.

Sweeney told GameTrailers that SVOGI was extremely expensive. Therefore, Epic Games decided to create a series of graphical effects that achieve the same image fidelity as SVOGI with far better performance.

Global Illumination refers to the calculation of light bouncing around a scene and gives realistic glossy and metallic reflections.
This means that UE4 supports realistic real-time reflections, realistic lighting, and a combination of direct lighting with pre-computed Global Illumination.

As Sweeney stated, the aforementioned features enabled them to achieve that level of effects of SVOGI without all the cost.

At the PlayStation Meeting, some amazing graphics using the replica of SVOGI were shown. Considering how the games have looked so far for the PS4, none of the console gamers have complained.