"With this release, we really focused on simplifying the creation of high-quality lighting for artists working on games across any type of platform," said Geomerics' head of development, Dr. Graham Hazel.
With the recent PlayStation4 announcements from Sony, and the wealth of new platforms discussed at CES, Geomerics has now extended runtime support to an ever increasing list of platforms - everything from latest Windows PC, Mac and Linux machines, to the PlayStation4, to current generation consoles such as the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U and PS Vita, to mobile platforms running iOS and Android. They achieved this by keeping the runtime lightweight and optimising it for performance on every platform.
In addition to extended platform support, Geomerics has focused on making Enlighten as easy as possible for artists to use. "Enlighten is being actively used by some of the largest development teams in existence. This is giving us a huge amount of feedback on where bottlenecks may occur in workflow," added Dr Hazel. "The results of this feedback are that we are able to find increasingly sophisticated ways to automate processes. For example, in the past, artists had to set various parameters to control Enlighten's performance. Many of these settings are now computed automatically. We basically adopted a design philosophy that allows Enlighten to do the sensible thing in nearly all cases, and only requires artist input for a handful of scenarios where the right approach may be ambiguous."
A further new feature is a new integration into the latest Unreal Engine technology. This integration has a re-designed and streamlined workflow that takes full advantage of the latest automation features in Enlighten. The integration is also able to take advantage of the latest editing and rendering features inside the Unreal Engine.
In addition to these major enhancements, the new release includes:
- Support for all game scenarios, from static baked lighting through to fully dynamic, with a range of unique hybrid lighting models. These are all authored in a consistent, simplified framework.
- A full plug-in for Maya offering Enlighten computed radiosity in real-time in the Maya viewport. This enables artists to preview their assets before committing them to the engine, knowing that their preview accurately reproduces how the asset will appear in game.
- Support for glossy 'specular' effects. Glossy reflections give a surface a shiny appearance and are an important part of global illumination. Dynamic indirect glossy reflections had been viewed as computationally hard to achieve. Geomerics' new solution is so fast it can achieve real-time dynamic specular effects on a mobile device.
Enlighten at GDC 2013
At GDC, Geomerics is showcasing the new release as well as future product enhancements. Mobile will play a key part of Geomerics' presence at GDC 2013. In their business suite (BS123 in the North Hall) they will be showcasing Enlighten running on a range of mobile devices. Meanwhile, in the ARM booth (#1124) in the main show floor, Geomerics will be showing Enlighten on the latest Mali-powered mobile architecture.