Joel Newman is a Senior Designer at Fat Pencil Studio
Unreal Engine was originally developed for the video game Unreal, first released in 1998 by Epic Games. Today it's more widely known as the underpinning of Fortnite, Epic's wildly popular battle royale game. TwinMotion packages Unreal Engine's suite of materials, textures, and lighting and camera tools for urban design and architectural rendering.
Twinmotion features path-animated cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles, and has a built-in scene editor, making it easy to create animated sun-studies or time lapses.
It can also interpolate between camera locations, creating a fly-through sequence:
Another fun feature is the weather controls:
TwinMotion is a suite of tools geared toward making great-looking renders. In this role, it's intuitive and remarkably powerful and fast. Beyond beautifying 3d models, TwinMotion is more limited, though. For example, cars do not respond to traffic signals, or avoid cyclists and pedestrians. Compared with our VISSIM animation of the same intersection, here the cars, cyclists and trains are just window dressing. VISSIM handles driver behavior and can simulate real traffic flow.
Ultimately, these are tools for two different jobs, and for site overviews, fly-through animations, and light/shadow simulation, TwinMotion is more powerful, faster, and easier to use with SketchUp than other rendering tools we've tried.