SMACC's first demo using Unreal Engine 5 (with VIDEO!)

I’d like to show off our first demo using Unreal Engine 5 for simulation…

Screenshot_2023-08-23 SMACC's First Demo in UE5

And here is a link just in case the link embedded in the image above doesn’t work.

Source code for this example can be found here

Leave a comment;)


Cheers,

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Forgot to also thank @MrBlenny and @russkel.

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Is that the Long Dark?

This looks very impressive visually, Was this the main reason for using Unreal Engine over Gazebo? What other advantages does it have over Gazebo?

I had look that up:),
But no. The environment is “Automotive Winter Scene” and part of the free collection from Epic Games.

Great to see you got it up and running!

I get a 404 from https://github.com/robosoft-ai/SMACC2/tree/feature/sm_dancebot_ue/smacc2_sm_reference_library/sm_dancebot_ue - looks like it was deleted in Feature/sm dancebot ue docker by pabloinigoblasco · Pull Request #520 · robosoft-ai/SMACC2 · GitHub, I do see some other UE files in the main branch tough.

Last time I looked at Unreal the Linux support for was very second class, it seemed like the workflow would be to do all the actual Unreal development using their IDE in Windows including pulling down free assets like that winter scene, then bundle up everything to get it into Linux and build the project there- is that still the case?

Hi @lucasw,
Ok, so regarding the 404, you’re right, it’s not there. The pull request got merged and it’s right here…

The docker folder is of considerable importance in that you run all of your docker commands from there… https://github.com/robosoft-ai/SMACC2/tree/humble/smacc2_sm_reference_library/sm_dancebot_ue/docker

The readme in the docker folder is where the instructions are (currently a mess at the moment) and once the system is setup (you need to install UE5.1.1 - I recommend building from source, which also means signing up for access with Epic Games, you also need docker, nvidia-docker but that’s it), then you either build the docker container, or just download ours (which is what I would recommend).

To get the docker image, the best delivery mechanism we’ve got at the moment is for me to send it via wetransfer. So PM me with the subject line: DOCKER IMAGE REQUEST and I’ll send it over. It’s kind of big (75gb) but it’s not that bad and we’re going to try to make it smaller going forward.

Sidenote: For those reading. I would love to hear some recommendations for file sharing mechanisms/services and what not, to improve the situation above, but for background, know that I’ve given up on Google Drive (doesn’t work over ~35mb, its a known problem on their forums, and the complete joke of Google support), and Dropbox (no dropbox, you don’t get to just take over my system). At this point, I’m thinking of just FTP. Maybe I’ll self host. I dont’ know.

Alternatively, there are instructions on building the docker container from source, if you want to go that route.

Anyways, after that, on the docker readme, you’ll see Brett’s runtime notes, follow those instructions and you should be all set to take your first flight.

Again, I know we’re still in a primitive stage regarding documentation, but we’ll get there. I’m hoping this is something we can accomplish in the SMACC WG and I’d like to extend the invitation if you’re available.

Regarding Unreal’s support for Linux being second class… You’re right, it is.
This is the prime reason why I recommend building from source (not as scary as it sounds).
But once it’s done, the IDE runs with no problems.

The workflow you described though is no longer the case. A game-changer has been the Epic Asset Manager from Acheta Games. I recommend using the flatpack. With this, you can download anything you see or buy from the UE marketplace, usually then “installing” by just dragging the main folder into a UE Project’s Content folder.

And one thing I’ve found here, is that the assets work cross-platform generally (I haven’t found one that didn’t), even if they don’t say they do.

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@brettpac It’s a really cool demo, congratulations and thanks for sharing!

A small point of (positively intended) criticism: I don’t see the added value in framing this in such an opposite way to Gazebo. Gazebo has its merrits (in fact, the more I get to know it, the more positively suprised I am about it), and I think your statements might come across unnecessarily hard (probably harder than you intend) to the people involved with Gazebo. Your demo is very cool as it is, it does not need the extra pedestal of “being better suited to you than Gazebo”.

That being said, Unreal obviously has a distinct benefit when it comes to graphical capabilities and availability of assets.

What I am curious about: do you know what would be the extra effort to run such a demo in 3D using VR goggles? Would that be a ‘click on the button’ in Unreal and done? Or would that imply a lot of extra work?

Hi @JRTG, thank you for the kind words:)
Regarding the extra effort to run the demo in 3D, I looked into it, and it seems to me like it would be a little more work than just “click the button in Unreal” due to the fact that most of the VR goggles I looked at only seemed to support Windows.

But I could be way off here. In no way my area of expertise.

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