Hi all! Over the past couple of months, we’ve shared a series of blog posts that outline our Unity product priorities for 2021: The road to 2021 The road to 2021: Team “Quality of Life” The road to 2021: The Performance Optimization Team Now that we better understand how these priorities impact the roadmap for animation next year, we wanted to share some updates so you can plan your productions accordingly. Summary Existing animation tech will receive general maintenance and bug fixes throughout 2021 (and beyond). As always, we’ll do our best to back port as many fixes as possible to 2020 LTS. Animation Rigging is out of preview in 2020.2! We will provide all necessary support to ensure it provides a stable foundation for production use in 2020 LTS. We’ll provide ongoing maintenance and bring incremental workflow improvements throughout 2021. The scope will be limited so that we can bring as many improvements as possible back to 2020 LTS. In order to focus our efforts on delivering a high-quality and well-integrated suite of animation technology, Kinematica development will temporarily pause for 2021. DOTS-Powered Animation is still a major focus. We’re working closely with productions to ensure we’re setting the right product goals, and so will have a limited presence on the forum for a few months. We’ve set up a dedicated DOTS Animation forum so community members like you can find and discuss relevant topics to follow along. Existing Animation Tech Anyone creating, shipping, or operating games today should continue to rely on existing animation tech, such as Mecanim, Playables, and Animation Jobs. Our existing tech has years of shipped games behind it, and we’re committed to maintaining it for many more to come. Expect continuous improvements throughout 2021, with as many low-risk fixes as possible backported to 2020 LTS. Animation Rigging The Animation Rigging package is now verified in Unity 2020.2. This means that the API and core functionality should provide a stable foundation for shipping games with dynamic and interactive procedural motion. It also means that we are committed to maintaining it with the same level of support as our existing tech. We have moved Animation Rigging topics out of the Animation Previews forum and into a new, dedicated Animation Rigging forum, where you can keep the feedback and conversations going! At the same time, you should from this point forward go through normal support channels to file bugs or otherwise seek out dev support from Unity. In 2021, we’ll be working on any necessary fixes, as well as incremental improvements to user workflows. As with existing tech, we’ll be focusing on low-risk changes that keep things working for you, and allow us to backport as many improvements as possible to 2020 LTS. Kinematica We will temporarily suspend new development work on Kinematica for 2021. You’ll continue to be able to use Kinematica as you do today and it will maintain all its current functionality. However, we will not be releasing new features or improvements for the product next year. We are also changing the status of the package from "preview" to "experimental" like other packages that are not planned to release in the 2021 cycle. New Animation Tech (i.e., DOTS) We are actively working on building the foundation of future animation tools and technology. Our existing animation tech has a 10+ year track record in games shipped with Unity. However, many of our goals for the next 10+ years of animation are aligned with DOTS: scalability, streamability, networking readiness, and customizability. We also see an opportunity to better integrate with other systems like physics, and to build new artist workflows from the ground up. We aim to provide Editor workflows for everyone that are tailored to character and animation needs, but also want to empower specialists and larger teams to work more effectively together, especially when they need to iterate or make precise optimizations throughout production. We are focusing on working closely with productions to ensure what we deliver is capable of shipping high-quality games. In order to iterate more quickly, we may make a number of breaking changes over the next few months, and the dev team will be a bit less active on the forum. To help community members provide mutual support in the meantime, we have created a new animation sub-forum in the DOTS area. FAQ Will Unity be working on any new major features for existing animation tech in 2021? No. Major areas of new technical innovation in Unity 2021 are focused on visual scripting, render pipelines, and multiplayer. In the spirit of doing less and doing it better, existing animation tech will benefit from bug fixes (some to long-standing issues!), and other incremental improvements. Will Unity be working on any new major features for Animation Rigging in 2021? No. As with other existing animation tech, we will focus primarily on stability and any fixes needed. We also plan to make some incremental workflow improvements and additional samples to improve the experience of onboarding with the package and using it in day-to-day work. Can I still use Kinematica? Yes. You may continue to use Kinematica as you do today and it will maintain all its current functionality. Please remember that this functionality is experimental and thus unsupported. We do not recommend that you use Preview or Experimental packages in production, as they have not yet completed our rigorous Package approval and QA process. Why don't I see Kinematica in the Package Manager anymore? Experimental packages are not visible by default but can be added to your project by using the "Add git package" option, and entering the name of the package there. Kinematica's name is com.unity.kinematica. Once the package is in your project, any update will show up as usual in the Package Manager. Will Kinematica be compatible with Unity 2021 TECH Stream releases? We will make a best effort to port Kinematica to 2021 but this package will remain Experimental and should thus not be used for purposes other than experimentation. Will you be fixing bugs in Kinematica? Not right now. However, your bug reports and feedback on Kinematica remain important for us even during this development pause. Please feel free to continue to discuss it in the Animation Previews forum! When will animation devs become more active in the forum? We will still drop in on occasion, but will not be engaging in “front-line” support in the forum for the next few months. For any needs relating to existing tech or Animation Rigging, please use normal support channels, like the bug reporter. For anyone interested in experimenting with the new tech (i.e., DOTS), please discuss it in the new forum, where we will join you after we have validated some of our near-term milestones with specific productions. Is there a public roadmap for the new animation tech? Not yet. We will share more details in the coming year, when we are able to more regularly engage on the forum.