Unreal 4 - viable for VFX commercials ??

Hi there,
I am lead 3d at a studio in Auckland, New Zealand
I have been interested in using game engines for VFX production for a while now, and UE4 seems to be the one to give it a good go. So there are obviously some technical and methodological questions to get high quality Maya/Arnold quality rendering;

> Can texture / AA / lighting / shadowing / settings be pulled higher than their stock defaults?

> I’m assuming that if I play a level currently that is super heavy the engine will skip frame drawing as it tries to keep up with player input. Can I lock the engine to play every single frame regardless of how long the draw takes?

> Capture of the all frames in uncompressed Tiff/Exr/Tga etc… I can’t see any video capture devices working as they will constantly add 25 frames to the movie, even if the renderer is below 1 FPS. Is there a way to save output or even bake a texture from a camera every frame to disk?

> This may be a stupid question, but does UE4 have the ability to draw at 16bit? - not really an issue if not as iteration is immediate and we should be able to nail the colour in the level.

> Is geocache supported as part of the FBX plug?

> is 4K the largest texture size? Is it a hard limit or common graphics card limitation?

> Has anyone ever made an image plane for unreal similar to Maya’s? - I saw a link

Thanks for any information. I will be using a scene we just completed for an airline as a testbed. We made it with Maya/Arnold at around 13 minutes per frame 1080p. It consists of a high detail new airplane and a dome BG for reflections, so it’s fairly simple and the images can be compared.

It will never be as good as predrendered obviously. And I can’t even think of one benefit it has over a 3D package. Doing it as a challenge you could learn a lot about the engine.

You could set the lod settings on the textures to character, probably kill the MIPS and jack up the aa. You could also composite scenes seperatly so they run faster, each one using the same matinee camera. You might run into some masking problems- I have no idea how you’d export a mask. Maybe run the scene again with no lighting, and a pure white material.

For rendering, UE4 has a tool called Matinee which is used to create cinematics, you can actually export your animated camera as FBX and import it into Matinee, and then there’s a tool there to record the animation, in those cases it will save to an image sequence and it will take the time it needs to to render each frame instead of maintaining a specific framerate. I can’t find it now, but I swear I read somewhere in a recent update that EXR was now a render format option.

A lot of things can have the quality turned up, but there are some limitations–right now glass does not render well, and if you have something that’s moving around then you can’t get as good of lighting quality, static lighting can be very good but dynamic lighting isn’t that great, it works OK in certain cases like on characters.

Thanks a bunch for the info,
Great that the image saving is solved. render pass output is a nice surprise too.
Thanks for the info. I’ll update with progress.