Unity is one of – if not the – most popular videogame development engines on the market, used for traditional, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) titles alike. Today, the company has launched its next major update for the middleware adding a massive range of features and improvements for developers.
The main additions include a new Scriptable Render Pipeline (SRP), making it easy to customise the rendering pipeline via C# code and material shaders. On top of SRP, Unity 2018.1 will also feature a High-Definition Render Pipeline (HD RP), so that developers can create AAA looking experiences, plus the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LW RP) for those who don’t need ultra-high end graphics, offering a combination of looks and speed, ideal for mobile devices.
Of course there are plenty of immersive content improvements for VR and AR developers. Unity Technologies has now integrated Google’s spatial audio SDK, Resonance Audio, to help render hundreds of simultaneous 3D sound sources.
On the mixed reality (MR) side, Unity for Magic Leap Technical Preview and the Lumin SDK are now available via the Magic Leap Creator Portal. Then there’s ARCore 1.1 for Unity, offering the ability to create high-quality AR apps for millions of Android-enabled devices on Google Play. The update: “enhances the environmental understanding of your scene with oriented feature points, a new capability that allows you to place virtual content on surfaces near detected feature points, such as cans, boxes, and books,” notes the Unity blog.
With the Lenovo Mirage Solo standalone headset launching this month, Unity 2018.1 brings support for the device which runs on Google’s Daydream platform with Worldsense technology, enabling inside-out, six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking.
Lastly, Unity 2018.1 improves support for those creators that wish to use the software to capture 360-degree images and video. Based on Google’s Omni-Directional Stereo (ODS) technology, Unity’s device-independent stereo-360 capture technique uses stereo cubemap rendering, supported natively in Unity’s graphics pipeline both in the Unity Editor and on PC standalone players.
There’s a massive amount of info on Unity 2018.1 via the Unity blog for those that are interested. As Unity continues development and support of VR, AR, and MR, VRFocus will keep you informed of the latest announcements.