Search Unity

  1. Improved Prefab workflow (includes Nested Prefabs!), 2D isometric Tilemap and more! Get the 2018.3 Beta now.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. The Unity Pro & Visual Studio Professional Bundle gives you the tools you need to develop faster & collaborate more efficiently. Learn more.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Let us know a bit about your interests, and if you'd like to become more directly involved. Take our survey!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Improve your Unity skills with a certified instructor in a private, interactive classroom. Watch the overview now.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Want to see the most recent patch releases? Take a peek at the patch release page.
    Dismiss Notice

Billboard Baker Pro & Addons

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by SkandYxyz, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39


    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/50154

    Billboard Baker Pro enables you to generate billboards of every object you like. I developed it, becuse I needed a fast mobile solution to render far objects like houses. It can be used for standalone, web and mobile plattforms.

    Screenshot_2015-11-20-20-08-20.png
    These buildings use the Billboard Baker system (here the shader alpha handling was set to opacity cutout) to generate far lod stages of every horizontal view direction.

    I added dynamic batching to reduce the batches that were rendered each frame. This means, the billboards are dynamically batched into bigger mesh chunks instead of rendering each frame seperate.
    forum1.png

    I then focused on reducing the drawcalls (SetPass calls) by integrating an atlasing solution. The Atlasing addon should be on the asset store soon:

    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#!/content/57601

    With the atlasing addon installed you can reduce the drawcalls drastically.

    atlasingsrc2.png atlasingsrc3.png

    I recently updated the companys roadmap (http://www.nexusgamesoft.com/roadmap.php) for the next quarter and plan to add an Vegetation Addon.

    The vegetation addon should bring life to the trees, bushes and grass as a function of wind zones. To achieve this i will bake the wind zone information into the billboard meshes and then use vertex and uv displacement to simulate bending of branches and leaves.

    New information is also available on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SkandYxy

    I'm looking forward for your feedback :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  2. jdraper3

    jdraper3

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Posts:
    117
    Looks promising! Are the billboards baked on demand at runtime or upfront in the editor? Also, will this support lighting changes (day/night cycle) and what about realtime GI?
     
  3. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Thanks!
    The billboards are currently baked previous in the editor. My idea is to add optional functionalitys and dynamic lighting is a feature that would also be important to create an animation addon. My idea respective dynamic lighting is to bake an albedo texture upfront and create normal maps from the 3d model. Then one could use a pbr like shader to render both. Although the rendered billboard is only a quad the normal map would give it an three dimensional relief with shadows and contour like the 3d model. Realtime GI would therefore work with lightprobes.
     
  4. jdraper3

    jdraper3

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Posts:
    117
    That sounds great - the uv bending for the tree billboards is an especially cool idea! Looking forward to seeing the progress :)
     
  5. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Working with Billboard Baker Pro in custom setup.

    Many changes were made since last post:

    * New baking algorithm calculates correct color&alpha values
    * Bugfixes & ongoing work on stability
    * Updated manual
    * Complete new feature for dynamic lighting (https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/72246) based on phong shader.

    Here is an example how I used dynamic lighting addon in a scene with Enviro, Scion, RTP and PlayWay Water.
    I often get to the point, where I have many geometry in my scene and want to increase performance whilst keeping far distance view.

    The ship here uses a dynamic lit billboard in far distance.

    scr0.png

    If you get closer it turns to a mesh with almost no visual difference.
    scr1.png

    To achieve this i had to adapt the billboard dynamic lighting shader to work in the scene. It was created with shaderforge and you can simple adapt it to your needs. By default it uses alphablending.

    scr2.png

    But alphablending not works best with fog at the moment, so i changed it to opacity clip.

    scr3.png

    I also and changed blending settings accordingly and enabled fog.

    scr5.png

    The next month I want to test the system even more and improve it's stability&solve possible issues.
     
  6. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,445
    Hi, is this still in development? It looks cool but no posts for a while. I am curious about using this with other objects than just trees.
     
    Masonface and jdraper3 like this.
  7. Masonface

    Masonface

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    4
    Hello. I recently purchased and installed this asset and it does not function.

    Unity Console is reporting the following error:

    InvalidCastException: Cannot cast from source type to destination type.
    Billboard.Awake () (at Assets/Billboard Baker Pro/Scripts/Billboard.cs:209)

    I'm using Unity Free Version 2017.1.0b2 on Windows 10.

    I've tried this on a new project with no other assets loaded to make sure there wasn't anything else that could be causing the issue, but I'm thinking that perhaps this asset hasn't been updated to work with the latest version of Unity?

    The strange thing is that on my other project using the same version of Unity, I got it to create billboards a few times, but now it only crashes when I try to run "Bake All Billboards."

    Any help resolving this matter would be much appreciated.
     
  8. Masonface

    Masonface

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    4
    Any updates to report? Are you still on track for the October 1 stability and bugfixing update as published on your roadmap?
     
  9. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Hi,

    I want to announce a new version called Billboard Creator 2 that is different from current version.

    Features:
    - smarter
    - thus will have less bugs than previous version
    - right click on a fbx file and click create billboard to add a billbord to the fbx file utilising autodesks fbx sdk
    - create billboards in background with a hidden layer and rendertexture
    - get rid of static lighting
    - uber billboard shader that handles 4 different unity shaders at once
    - ability to use the generated fbx files like normal 3d models in other projects

    Best,
    Andre
     
    Hexaedre and zmaxz like this.
  10. Hexaedre

    Hexaedre

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Posts:
    76
    Hi,

    This is exactly what I am looking for.
    Do you know when it will be released ?
     
  11. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Hi Hexaedre,

    I cant tell by now, but i can tell it will replace BBP and cost no upgrade price. But price of BC2 will increase.

    Current progress:
    - created fbx dll to communicte between fbxsdk and unity because its an unmanaged dll
    - added context menu
    - am writing bake process for render texture and as user its hidden, you will see progress in unity statusbar

    Best,
    Andre
     
  12. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Additional feature:

    - if desired autocreation of mesh lod stages
     
  13. Hexaedre

    Hexaedre

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Posts:
    76
    Hi,

    Any news ? I am really looking for this asset.
    I read that BBP is not working with the latest version of Unity.
    What is the last version of Unity that is compatible with your asset ?

    The links in the description of BBP on the asset store are not working.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  14. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Hey Hexaedre,

    Yes, i am actually working on importing the fbx model, identifying how many lod stages are already setup and to set up lod nodes accordingly. I also work on storing the fbx file in the same fbx version as loaded.

    Where did you read this? I know it works with 5.6.0 as I tested it myself. Which link? I will check asap.

    Best,
    Andre
     
  15. WildStyle69

    WildStyle69

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Posts:
    181
    I'm getting these errors when trying to build in Unity 5.6.4p3.
    • Shader error in 'Billboard Baker Pro/Billboard Shader Multitexture Dynamic Lighting': invalid subscript '_ShadowCoord' at line 195 (on d3d11)
    • Shader error in 'Billboard Baker Pro/Billboard Shader Multitexture Dynamic Lighting': invalid subscript '_ShadowCoord' 'UnityComputeForwardShadows': no matching 3 parameter function at line 195 (on d3d11)
    • Shader error in 'Billboard Baker Pro/Billboard Shader Multitexture Dynamic Lighting': invalid subscript '_ShadowCoord' 'unitySampleShadow': no matching 1 parameter function at line 195 (on d3d11)
     
  16. blitzvb

    blitzvb

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Posts:
    284
    Hey,

    Can it generate billboard at runtime ? Also any news in your V2?

    Thanks in advance
     
  17. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Hi blitzvb,

    No, current version can only bake when you're in edit mode. BC2 bakes using render textures in a parallel process and stores resulting fbx files on hdd, so here it could be realized better.
    I just work on fixing issues related to macos. With bc2 i made no big steps as i'm a fulltime engineer and also do voluntary service and did not find the time yet.

    Best,
    Andre
     
  18. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Macos seems to handle baking in slightly different way. Had to setup a virtual machine to reproduce the issues related to macos.
    scr2.png
    I will release a new update soon. On windows I tested it with Unity 2017.3.0f3 without major problems.

    Best,
    Andre
     
  19. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Hi,

    Am uploading 1.5.1 with bugfixes:
    - above wasn't caused by macosx but by low game/sceneview resolution
    - fixed loss of settings after bake/loading scene

    Best,
    Andre
     
  20. drlh1976

    drlh1976

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Posts:
    14
    When I bake in Dynamic Lighting, the result shown in billboard is all black.It seems th normal map is not correct.What shall I do?
     
  21. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Hello drlh1976,

    please send me a downloadlink of an example project via mail and i will try to reproduce the behaviour on my side and find a solution.

    Best,
    Andre
     
  22. SkandYxyz

    SkandYxyz

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    Hi wildstyle69,

    am uploading update today fixing all shader errors/warnings related to open gl.

    Best,
    Andre