Devlog 2019-05-01

UNIGINE SDK 2.8

UNIGINE 2.8 is now available!

It includes a pack of features and improvements contributing to overall engine performance increasing and reduction of spikes. Rendering updates continue to push the boundaries of visual realism in our virtual worlds. Additionally, we optimized more features for multicore processors to fully take advantage of all the extra computing power that a PC platform provides wherever possible, from asynchronous data streaming to processing network packets.

Key Changes

  • Redesigned asynchronous data streaming to reduce performance spikes.
  • Improved utilization of multiple CPU cores throughout the engine.
  • Cached shadows optimization: performance boost, more flexibility.
  • Various vegetation improvements.
  • Better reflections with additive blending and occlusion clipping.
  • UnigineEditor’s transformation: standalone application, made faster, more stable and extensible after a major refactoring, with a number of improvements.
  • Major IG Template update: DIS support, more CIGI packets, multithreading and optimizations.

These and other updates are available now. Let’s look through them.

Improved Asynchronous Data Streaming

We have completely revamped asynchronous data streaming system taking the advantages of multithreading to reduce spikes caused by loading of graphic resources. Geometry and texture streaming is performed in a separate thread. Streaming system uses texture cache composed of minimized copies generated for all textures with user-defined resolution. These copies are used instead of the originals while they are loaded.

Cached Shadows Optimization

We optimized work with shadows — the Cached Shadows feature enabling you to replace dynamic shadows and use baked ones for everything static, thus reducing load and significantly improving performance. It’s especially useful while working with complex geometry with lots of polygons.

Find out other shadows rendering improvements in our development blog.

Vegetation Improvements

In this release we added even more features making it possible to create true-to-life outdoor environments delivering a highly immersive experience.

  • Introduced a depth texture for impostors
  • Improved subsurface scattering
  • Added new options to the mesh_base material

Better Reflections

We added a pack of features to work with reflections. They improve the total look of the scene and give more flexibility in reflections control.

  • Introduced occluded reflections clipping
  • Added the support of additive blending for environment probes
  • Improved quality of planar reflections
  • Added multi-scattered specular reflections on rough surfaces

Editor Improvements

  • UnigineEditor became a full-scale standalone application.
  • Became faster, more convenient to use and easier to extend.
  • Introduced the Cleaner, a tool enabling you to optimize your project and save disk space.
  • Added a new Texture Conversion feature available in the Asset Browser.
  • Added an ability to ignore the guids.db file.

Other Editor improvements description are available in our development blog.

Major IG Update

The IG (Image Generator) Application template, our plug-n-play component for professional distributed simulation systems, continues to grow and build up its functionality. We improved overall performance, extended the use of multithreading, expanded the list of supported communication protocols (added Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS). These and other optimizations and improvements are already available.

Other Important Updates

  • Refactored bit masks
  • More informative Performance Profiler
  • Property System Updates
  • Interleaved Lights Rendering
  • New content samples
  • Updated Oil Refinery demo

You can find the full list of improvements and more detailed overview of all UNIGINE 2.8 SDK features in our development blog.

If you are still not UNIGINE user for some reason, get UNIGINE SDK right now and start create something amazing!