Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Unity 3D 3

I decided to give Unity3d 3 another go,the last time i used it i thought the quality of lighting and rendering was disappointing but after seeing the program version had updated and there are now lots of add-ons,scripts i wanted to check out if anything had changed.The first time I tried Unity my goal was importing Maya models in the hope that the game engine could be used for real time renders,this time i decided to look at it as a game engine and how complex scenes could be as well as how well the lighting would work.
I managed to import a pretty large scale model i built a while back in Maya with minimal fuss (the vertex limit is somewhere around 65,000) and set about lighting it.The main lighting was directional light and a couple of point lights to add some glow,Unity Pro also features image effects which you drag onto the camera,so i set up an anti-aliasing effect and some bloom.The results are pretty decent actually,it took around 20mins to put the scene together and although theres some slow down external lighting works fine.

Bloom image effects applied to camera
In-game render after 20 mins work.
The next scene I tried was  internal lighting and this is where the limitations of the engine showed again,there are 2 lighting options,deferred and forward.Deferred lighting means you can have soft real time shadows on point lights and forward means you cant,clearly you need shadows so its got to be deferred.Until you see the quality of the shadows.By turning on deferred every edge,shadow and line flickers and pixelates,you can spend hours tweaking settings,adding image effects and blurs but the quality just doesn't cut it.

Deffered lighting causes pixelated shadows in Unity

From a distance the scene looks fine,but edges become choppy

Forward lighting of the same scene is more clear but shadows are gone.
Unity is a great program and I'm sure a few version's down the line it will be even better but right now its still limited to certain projects,outdoors scenes and casual games for mobile wont notice the problems but for bigger projects theres better programs.Next up I try Shiva3D...


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