Unity rolled out a major update to its development platform bringing with it a number of improvements across the board.
The 2017.1 update to the Unity toolset includes highly touted features like a timeline for producing cinematic content and trailers, while also adding NVIDIA VRWorks to render VR more efficiently on recent NVIDIA graphics cards (at least GeForce 9 series or higher).
Here are the updates according to Unity:
- Multi-Res Shading is an innovative rendering technique for VR whereby each part of an image is rendered at a resolution that better matches the pixel density of the lens-corrected image.
- Lens Matched Shading uses the new Simultaneous Multi-Projection architecture of NVIDIA Pascal-based GPUs to provide substantial performance improvements in pixel shading.
- Single Pass Stereo uses the new Simultaneous Multi-Projection architecture of NVIDIA Pascal-based GPUs to draw geometry only once, then simultaneously project both right-eye and left-eye views of the geometry.
- VR SLI provides increased performance for virtual reality apps where two GPUs can be assigned a specific eye to dramatically accelerate stereo rendering.
Unity is used by a majority of VR developers and its toolset is an important part of creating interactive software for millions of creators building across a wide range of devices. Its competitor, Unreal from Epic Games, is often the go-to toolset for large teams working with big budget titles. Both development systems are used by creators building games and interactive software across handhelds, consoles and PCs, and each world engine also remains at the forefront of VR development with editing tools that can be used while wearing a headset.
With Unity, the latest NVIDIA-specific updates in the latest version should dramatically improve the performance of VR applications built in the toolset, at least when the finished product is rendered with NVIDIA graphics cards. The changes should make it easier for developers to design more detail into their virtual worlds while still hitting required frame rate thresholds that ensure a comfortable experience.