Behind the HYPE: How Unreal Engine Powered Fashion's Entrance Into the Digital Sphere

Epic Games’ 3D tool has become a vehicle for the next generation of designers.

Tech
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If you’re not familiar with Unreal Engine, you’ve definitely seen its creations. A 3D graphic creation engine that was first developed by Epic Games in 1998 and has since released five new iterations — the latest of which, Unreal Engine 5, was brought to market this April — Unreal Engine’s various iterations have been used to power everything from Fortnite to Street Fighter V and the Bioshock, Borderlands and Gears of War series. However, Unreal Engine has also begun serving a new purpose that may change the future course of digital interaction: it’s a popular tool for digital creators and fashion designers to create hyper-realistic items from CGI fabrics to NFT sneakers.

By powering Fortnite, Unreal Engine had a hand in the game’s collaborations with Moncler, Balenciaga, Jordan Brand and KAWS, and more recently it’s served as a jumping-off point for brands like Timberland who are looking to create their own virtual worlds. PUMA, Balenciaga and Gary McQueen have also used Unreal Engine to create CGI fashion films, and it’s powered NFTs from studios like RTFTK, who was acquired by Nike at the tail end of 2021.

“We can come up with really crazy, bizarre ideas that we cannot see in this world,” said RFTK’s Chris Lee while discussing the technology. “For example, crazy, weird, black matter-like particles. You can even make animated dragons that spin around on top of your garment. The ideas and the possibilities are limitless.”

Learn everything you need to know about Unreal Engine and how it’s setting the pace for the future of digital fashion above.

Want to take a deep dive into Salomon, Land Rover or Hennessy? Check out every episode of Behind the HYPE right here.

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