A Deep Dive into Nanite Virtualized Geometry by Brian Karis


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Nanite, Unreal Engine 5's new virtual geometry system, enables the rendering of trillion triangle scenes at real-time framerates.

This lecture will take a deep dive into how Nanite works, from mesh import all the way to final rendered pixels. Part of the SIGGRAPH 2021 Advances in Real-Time Rendering in Games course (http://advances.realtimerendering.com/). We will explain how the mesh-based data structure is built, streamed, decompressed, culled, rasterized, and finally shaded.

Speaker Bios: Brian Karis is an Engineering Fellow in graphics at Epic Games.

Most recently he has led the development of Nanite for UE5. He is most known for work on physically based shading and temporal anti-aliasing although has touched most areas of real-time computer graphics throughout his career. Prior to Epic he worked at Human Head Studios. Rune Stubbe is a Principal Rendering Programmer at Epic Games, where he focuses on Nanite development and optimization. He has previously worked on rendering technology at IO Interactive and Unity. Rune has also been active in the demoscene (as Mentor/TBC), where he has contributed widely used compression tools and several award-winning releases. Graham Wihlidal is a Principal Rendering Programmer at Epic Games, primarily working on Nanite and other UE5 initiatives.

Previously, Graham worked at Electronic Arts (SEED, Frostbite, BioWare), implementing and supporting technology used in many hit games like Battlefield, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Plants vs. Zombies, FIFA, Star Wars: Battlefront, and others. While at BioWare, Graham shipped numerous titles including the Mass Effect and Dragon Age trilogies, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Graham is also a published author and has presented at several conferences.


To show people what Nanite is capable of, an Engineering Fellow at Epic Games Brian Karis released a 155-pages-long document that explains literally everything there is to explain about the tool. How and why it was created, what it is able to do, what tasks can be accomplished with it, the tool's future, etc. We definitely recommend reading the entirety of the document if you want to learn more about Nanite. It can be accessed by clicking this link.

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