In Unreal Engine 5.1, Nanite was updated with a programmable rasterizer to enable material-driven animations and deformations using world position offset and opacity masks. Artists can now use nanite to program the behavior of specific objects in the scene. The latest Unreal Engine release also improves developer capability for games and other large-scale projects. For example, virtual assets now decouple metadata from object data, allowing developers to sync the specific data they need from source control systems. Apart from these, the new Automated Pipeline State Object (PSO) caching for DX12 simplifies the process of preparing a game for shipping on DX12. On-demand shader compilation now specifically compiles the shaders needed for rendering what appears on screen when using the Unreal editor, resulting in time savings and improved interactivity.
For developers of massive open world games, Unreal Engine 5.1 offers additional features and improved workflows. World division now supports larger world coordinates, allowing the creation of massive open worlds without loss of accuracy. Global Partitioning also takes advantage of accelerated source control workflows to deliver a better user experience. New HLOD (Hierarchical Level) support for water rendering and streaming allows users to create massive bodies of water in open worlds with improved performance and lower memory consumption. In addition to these, Unreal Engine 5.1 offers various features for film and TV production as well as animated content.