VR will look even better thanks to Unity.
There are a number of game engines designed to facilitate development in virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Although you may not pay attention to some logos that appear when you start the games, you clearly know a name in a game dev like Unity. Today, Unity Technologies announced the launch of Unity 2019.2, with the latest iteration including some delicious features for immersive content developers.
As with any release of this kind, Unity 2019.2 has a huge selection of updates and improvements, more than 170 actually. While many specific VR / AR enhancements will not help immersive developers, there are a few specifically designed for them. These include VR support for Unity High Definition Imaging (HDRP). Currently limited to devices based on Windows 10 and Direct3D11, developers will be able to improve the visual capabilities of their projects on high-performance equipment.
When it comes to supporting AR developers, it’s worth noting that Unity has released a special solution called AR Foundation. Now it has received many enhancements to support face tracking, 2D image tracking, 3D object tracking, environmental probes, and much more for ARKit and ARCore.
Updates regarding AR:
- Face tracking (ARKit and ARCore): you can access face landmarks, a grid view of the detected faces, and information about the blending form that can be fed into a facial animation setup. Face Manager takes care of setting up face tracking devices and creates GameObjects for each face detected.
- 2D image tracking (ARKit and ARCore): This feature allows you to detect 2D images in the environment. Tracked Image Manager automatically creates GameObjects representing all recognized images. You can change the AR experience based on the availability of certain images.
- 3D Object-Tracking (ARKit): You can import digital models of real-world objects into your Unity experience and integrate them into your environment. The Tracked Objects Manager creates GameObjects for each discovered physical object to provide the ability to change experience depending on the availability of specific real-world objects. This functionality is great for creating educational and training events, in addition to games.
- Environmental Probes (ARKit): This update detects lighting and color information in specific areas of the environment, allowing 3D content to blend seamlessly with reality. The environment probe manager uses this information to automatically create graphics cards in Unity.
- Motion capture (ARKit): allows you to capture the movement of people. The human body manager detects 2D (screen space) and 3D (real space), which in one way or another affects real people recognized in the camera frame.
- Occlusion of People (ARKit): Provides a more realistic AR experience by mixing digital content in the real world. The human body manager uses depth segmentation images to determine if someone is in front of digital content.
- Collaborative Session (ARKit): allows multiple connected users to ARKit applications to constantly share their understanding of the environment, providing immersion in multiplayer games and collaborative applications.
A number of changes have also been added that are not so critical. Remember that Unity 2019 can be downloaded for free. What to expect in Unity 2019.3? Well, this version of the game engine is expected to be released later this summer in beta, with a full release scheduled for fall 2019. For those who cannot wait, there is always an alpha version.
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