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Shaping the world with real-time 3D: Unite Copenhagen keynote highlights

September 23, 2019 in Community | 12 min. read
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Unite Copenhagen is officially here, and we’re thrilled that the action is taking place just down the street from where the first lines of Unity were written 15 years ago. We kicked it off with a keynote full of game-changing announcements and breathtaking demos. 

Read on for all the juicy details – and don’t forget to join the conversation at @Unity3d and #UniteCopenhagen.

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Table of contents

Shape the world
Level-up your performance with ease
Test, train and validate with Unity Simulation
Next-level graphics tools for unprecedented visuals

HDRP in game-ready action
Universal Render Pipeline: beautiful, performant graphics on all Unity target platforms
The Heretic: High Definition real-time graphics in Unity
The evolution of 2D tools

Build seamless multiplayer experiences
Revolutionize your workflows

Create deeply interactive augmented reality experiences
Real-time building information modeling (BIM)
Deliver the best gameplay experience with Game Tune

Shape the world

The revolutionary ways games are powering visual content continues to inspire us. New consoles, streaming distributions, tools, and ideas are changing the landscape when it comes to interactivity, graphical power, and social connectivity. Simply put, game technology and game makers are shaping the world.

Real-time 3D opens up possibilities for every creator and is unlocking innovations in industries in brand new ways. We’re already seeing it used in the automotive and transportation industry, as well as architecture and construction. Soon, we expect to see it used to practice and perform microscopic surgery; engage with with artificial intelligence and train robots; and even influence the design of manufacturing factory floor layouts. It is an incredible time to be a creator – and we’re so proud to be a part of this journey.

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Next-level graphics tools for unprecedented visuals

The Unity Graphics team lives to create best-in-class graphics technology – performant, state-of-the-art visuals, along with intuitive artistic workflows. We are investing in our render technology with the Scriptable Render Pipelines, giving you direct control over what you need. You can take advantage of our two new render pipelines out of the box, use them as a starting point for your own solution, or customize them to meet your needs.

The High Definition Render Pipeline in game-ready action

The first of these is the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP), which lets you push graphics as far as you can on high-end hardware, delivering powerful, performant, high-fidelity visuals. 

It’s a fully-featured offering in 2019.3 – now out of preview – bringing stunning graphics and photorealism at game-ready frame rates. Your HDRP assets will scale in fidelity on high-end platforms, taking advantage of the available hardware resources for the best visual quality. And you only have to author it once with the full suite of production-ready artist tools – such as VFX Graph, Shader Graph, and Progressive Lightmapper.

To give us a taste of how studios are already seeing great results with HDRP, Founder and CEO of Multiverse, Freeman Fan, shared an early look at their newest project, Earth from Another Sun.

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Their team at Multiverse envisioned a graphically stunning game with alien, yet lifelike environments. To achieve this, they employed a variety of HDRP effects, like adjusting exposure, tonemapping, subsurface scattering, volumetric lighting, color grading, and lens distortion. The result was a beautiful and immersive world to explore — and performance never drops from a smooth 60 frames per second, even during hectic encounters with hordes of enemies. 

We’re excited to see more of Earth from Another Sun as they head toward release in 2020.

Universal Render Pipeline: beautiful, performant graphics on all Unity target platforms

The second new pipeline is Universal Render Pipeline, previously known as Lightweight Render Pipeline, and is best to use if you want full Unity platform reach. It’s a powerful solution that delivers a combination of beauty and performance, right out of the box. Best of all, it scales to all the same platforms as Unity – whether you’re building for 2D, 3D, or XR. 

With the Universal Render Pipeline, you can use all of the new artist tools and workflows, including the VFX Graph, Shader Graph, new post-processing, and render passes. You can update your projects from Unity’s default render and now, it looks better, runs better, and scales better than ever before. It utilizes an improved single-pass rendering technique that leads to fantastic performance improvements.

You can author once and deploy everywhere with great performance and best in class visuals. To demonstrate this, we showed the Boat Attack project running on a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch™, and three phones with different processing power and capabilities. If you want gorgeous graphics while scaling up your content, you’re going to love the production-ready Universal Render Pipeline.

You can start taking advantage of all the production-ready features and performance benefits today. Upgrade your projects using the upgrade tooling or start a new project using our Universal template from the Unity Hub.

We believe it’s important that you have the right tool for the job and with the Scriptable Render Pipelines – High Definition Render Pipeline and Universal Render Pipeline, you now have a range of options to confidently build from, now and in the future. 

The Heretic: High Definition real-time graphics in Unity

At GDC 2019, we unveiled a preview of The Heretic, our real-time cinematic short film, which runs at 30 fps at 1440p on a commercial-grade desktop PC. The short film uses the latest developments in graphics, heavily leaning on the High Definition Render Pipeline, which now comes integrated with the newest edition of the Post Processing effects.

After much anticipation, at Unite Copenhagen 2019, we revealed the full cinematic film – which introduces a new character, Morgan, created through the use of the VFX Graph. By creating the simulation with GPU particles, an artist can change the shape, gender, appearance, and behavior of the character. The artist can immediately see what the adjustments look like in the final frame, as the particles conform to the artist's actions in real time.

HDRP now ships with built-in Shader Graph master nodes for hair, eye, and fabric. The eyes master node allows us to have realistic human eyes, with caustics and refraction. We used the hair master node for the stubble and eyelashes of the protagonist character, Gawain.

Both VFX Graph and the HDRP are coming out of preview and will be production-ready in 2019.3.

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Revolutionize your workflows

Create deeply interactive augmented reality experiences

We build tools for creators who want to construct powerful, deeply interactive augmented reality (AR) experiences that interact intelligently with the real world. 

Sitting on top of AR Foundation, our Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio (MARS) is our specialty AR work environment built to make AR authoring more straightforward. The workflow gives you the ability to quickly prototype, test, and ship contextually aware, truly interactive experiences that seem to live in and react to the real world.

Our AR Foundation framework for multi-platform development allows you to get your AR experience in as many hands as possible. It provides a unified workflow so that you don’t have to rebuild your app for each platform. You can build your app once, and it will work across all platforms. What’s more, it now extends to wearable AR devices, meaning for the first time ever, you can build an app once – and it will work across ARKit, ARCore, HoloLens, and Magic Leap devices.

We’re also giving you the ability to add interactivity to your AR or VR experiences with our brand-new XR Interaction toolkit. Rather than by coding these object interactions from scratch, you can easily add components to your scene. 

We know that rebuilding your app in order to add AR functionality is time-consuming and painful, so we’re officially supporting the ability to insert AR directly into your native mobile app. This unlocks the ability to take the full power of Unity and our AR offerings and embed them into the hundreds of thousands of native apps that already exist today.

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Take a look at our Unite Copenhagen page for a full rundown of all the week’s activities.

Until next time – let’s get ready to shape the world.

September 23, 2019 in Community | 12 min. read
Topics covered