LOS ANGELES — Unity Technologies (http://madewith.unity.com) announced its new tools and features to provide enhanced graphics, performance, and production processes across console, mobile, VR and AR development.
“Graphics are at the core of everything we do, and today’s updates will ensure Unity developers have a strong foundation for creating compelling content across all platforms,” said John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity Technologies. “And with new tools like EditorVR and Timeline, we continue to focus on solving hard problems for creators today, enabling success, and laying the groundwork for years to come."
To help developers take full advantage of the latest generation of devices, Unity revealed deepened support of Metal API for iOS and macOS with GPU instancing, native shaders support in Unity 5.5 and Compute coming later. Enhanced Vulkan support, which in testing out-of-the-box across platforms showed performance improvements of up to 30 to 60%, is coming soon. Developers interested in testing the preview builds can go here: http://unity3d.com/experimental.
Unity Editor, the core of Unity’s development platform, became more artist-friendly with the introduction of Timeline. Timeline’s track-based sequencing tool applies a “drag and drop” approach to choreograph animations, sounds, events, videos and more, for faster creation of beautiful cut-scenes and procedural content. This allows artists to focus on storytelling and cinematics, not coding.
Numerous updates and features to support VR and AR creators were also revealed. Video playback is a common scenario, especially in VR and with the growing amount of 360 video content available. To that end, Unity previewed a completely new video player, coming soon. Rebuilt from scratch with performance in mind, the video player will make it even easier to import and smoothly play
4k video and seamlessly-rendered 360 VR videos.
Unity also revealed the new version of its EditorVR authoring tool and confirmed it will be available December 15th. At launch, the package will be completely open-sourced and feature an open API to easily extend, adapt, and customize tooling to suit individual needs.
Google announced Unity Daydream support, confirming that a native Unity integration, currently in technical preview, will arrive in Unity version 5.6. Google also announced that the Daydream Home storefront will feature the ability to promote deep-linked content for easier discovery of new apps and new experiences in the existing product. The Play Store will also be compatible with VR, allowing users to browse and buy right from within VR. Daydream will also support IAP at launch so premium and freemium developers can drive revenue from their Daydream experiences.
In partnership with Otoy, whose tools aid the creation and delivery of cutting-edge digital content, Unity announced an upcoming fully-featured integrated version of Unity with Octane Render. Octane Render will complement Unity’s real-time processing by rendering assets offline for beautiful optimized end results in game cutscenes, 360 video, VR, TV, movie, film and much more.
Unity also announced open beta for Unity Connect, the first-of-its-kind talent marketplace dedicated to Unity enthusiasts, game developers, and VR/AR creators. Featuring free portfolio tools and robust community network, Unity Connect helps developers showcase work and individual skills. Through posted Tasks, community members can either solicit qualified help to complete short-term projects or find opportunities to leverage skills to support project development while earning extra income. Recruiters can also post jobs and target a pool of highly-sought Unity talent. To access open beta, please visit: connect.unity.com