We are back with some TouchEngine and Unreal Engine news to wrap up the year.
What is new ?
Some extensive re-work was done at the core of the plugin to bring performance and stability improvements to all the Unreal Engine users. This includes those of you that might still be working in UE 5.0.3, or are not willing to move to UE5.1 just yet for some reason. You are not left behind and can also enjoy all these updates.
Take note of which release you are downloading, or if working from source, which branch you are on, depending on the Unreal Engine version you are using.
DX12 Support, Preliminary Vulkan Support
It's here! DX12 support! The samples project was updated to reflect that change in both UE5.0.3 and UE5.1 and it is now set as the default RHI mode.
What this means is that if you are starting a blank UE5.1 project, where DX12 should be set as a default, you can now get the TouchEngine For UE plugin running in this new fresh project with the latest Unreal technologies enabled.
With this new version, we are also introducing preliminary Vulkan support. This is still a bit rough around the edges with a few outstanding known issues, but if a user wants to run Unreal under the Vulkan RHI, this is now possible.
This plugin doesn't involve only Unreal, of course. TouchEngine, which the plugin is relying on, is updated and the plugin makes great use of those improvements behind the scenes.
Don't forget to update your TouchDesigner build to the latest version available, at the time of writing: 2022.31030.
New version numbers
Version 1.0.0 of the plugin is only for UE5.0.3, while version 1.1.0 is only for UE5.1.0
We introduced versions 1.0.0 and 1.1.0 to not only differentiate both branches but also showcase that we consider those to be in a great state to start production work with.
Additionally, we internally changed the name of the plugin to just be "TouchEngine". The "-UE" part was dropped because it is obvious that we are working in UE. In the documentation, you will notice a slight change of wording: "TouchEngine For UE" when we are referring to the plugin, and TouchEngine-UE when it is referring to the repository. In your project folders, files and within Unreal, the plugin will appear as "TouchEngine".
Note that both releases are still labeled "Beta" until early 2023, and we will apply hotfixes in the coming month or two.
Does it mean that we are maintaining two branches ?
We are moving forward with UE5.1 (and UE5.2 next).
We will only apply bug fixes to UE5.0.3 for obvious issues. i.e. issues with no workaround available or that cannot be fixed in UE5.1 directly, on a case-by-case basis.
These versions are also the last versions where DX11 will be worked on. We are moving forward with DX12 and Vulkan only.
No new features will be developed with DX11 support and we will apply bug fixes to DX11 on a case-by-case basis as well.
We have a few known issues that we want to prioritize, including Vulkan stability improvements, and issues with Sync between TouchEngine and Unreal.
Other than that, we had numerous requests for the plugin to be usable outside of PIE mode, in editor mode, which will be our next big feature.
We are also working on updates to the Details Panel integration so that TouchEngine Parameters, Inputs, and Outputs are better categorized.
Workflow improvements in blueprints are planned so developers don't have to specify p/, i/, o/ when getting / setting parameters, and inputs and outputs.
We are also working on test cases designed around nDisplay and cluster rendering.
Finally, we hope to bring various smaller QoL improvements such as better CHOP support, .tox workflow improvements around uassets, performance and stability improvements... etc.
If you have ideas and features you want to see added, please feel free to drop a comment below for it to be discussed.
That's a wrap
Alright, I think that's it for today! We hope that you enjoy this new version and we hope to see what work you do with it very soon.
With these words, we wish everyone happy holidays and a great end of year! See you in 2023!