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Unreal Engine 3 Integrates Beast Illumination System

by Rainier on Dec. 18, 2007 @ 9:37 a.m. PST

Illuminate Labs announced a licensing agreement with Epic Games to incorporate its global illumination system into Epic's Unreal Engine 3, making its technology immediately available to any publishers or developers that license UE3.

By incorporating Illuminate Labs’ Beast lighting solution into UE3, the two companies have enabled 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
  • Baked soft shadows with transparency

Future feature sets developed by Illuminate Labs will be incorporated into UE3 per the partnership.

“We are very proud to be part of Epic’s Integrated Partners Program,” said Magnus Wennerholm, chief executive officer of Illuminate Labs. “Visual quality and cost effectiveness in the production process are key issues to all games studios, and with this partnership UE3 customers will benefit from easy access to our advanced lighting technology.”

“We are very pleased to give our licensees access to one of the most advanced lighting technologies available through this partnership,” said Dr. Michael Capps, president of Epic Games. “Integrating Beast into UE3 will help our licensees more easily create games utilizing best-of-breed global illumination techniques. We welcome Illuminate Labs into the partners program and look forward to empowering more developers through this relationship.”

Epic Games' Integrated Partners Program (IPP) establishes a formal business relationship with exceptional companies making cross-platform technologies which integrate with, and are complementary to, UE3. Under the IPP, Epic provides continuous UE3 source code access and full technical support to IPP members. Companies who join the IPP agree to provide a high level of technical support for UE3 licensees through Epic's established support channels, keep their implementations up-to-date with the latest engine versions and collaborate with Epic on potential promotional and co-marketing efforts.

Developers utilizing the UE3 and Beast technology integration include Gearbox Software, creators of the celebrated Brothers in Arms franchise, the upcoming first-person shooter based on the Aliens motion picture and Borderlands for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

“Gearbox Software likes to stay on the cutting edge of video game technology,” said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. “Gearbox licensed new technology from Illuminate Labs for several of its upcoming games. This new arrangement with Illuminate Labs and Epic Games will ensure that the technology is supported at the source and will help Gearbox Software continue to make the most technologically advanced and graphically impressive video games as a licensee of Unreal Engine 3.”

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