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Official Block Shaders: Surface Shaders for SRPs and more (Public Demo Now Available!)

Discussion in 'Graphics Experimental Previews' started by dnach, Oct 19, 2022.

  1. PaulMDev

    PaulMDev

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    I'm curious what feature you're thinking of.
    Stuff like InputSystem, IUToolkit, URP/HDRP still have a lot of updates.
    The only thing I can think of is Bolt, but it seams to me that this team is now working on GraphToolFoundation which will allow them to make a better visual scripting solution later on.
     
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  2. sacb0y

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    The problem is in many of the cases announcing things too early put that feature in conflict with something else.

    Like should the animation rigging feature have been announced as is, when it's become clear a lot of the internal animation stuff is rather outdated. If they had worked on the feature and had some patience they might have noticed this problem sooner and not left people with a half-baked product while they work on the more core problem.

    Even if they think it's a communication issue the benefits are the same.

    Off the top of my head Animation Rigging, the realtime GI solution that was intended to replace enlighten, I don't remember everything but there's quite a few things that got basically abandoned quickly after announcement.
     
  3. AcidArrow

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    I think we are in agreement I just don't see the announcement and how they handled the feature to be that strongly connected.

    Most of the stuff we get shown at Unite we never actually get at all, so I don't see them really that obligated to release stuff once they announce them.
     
  4. PaulMDev

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    Fair enough.
    I didn't really follow everything with Animation Rigging, so that's why I didn't think of it.
    For realtime GI, it seems they still plan to work on it at some point, but for now APV and SSGI already does a pretty good job.

    And since this thread is about block shaders, I don't understand everything about shader foundry but it seems to be a very central thing so it's fine with they take the time they need.
     
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  5. JesOb

    JesOb

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    Hi @aleksandrk

    Can you told us about status of BlockShaders?
    Do they come with Unity6?

    It is looks like they very good candidate for Unity6 because so many things will change again and having all fundamental changes (URP Render Graph) in one place (Unity version) sounds like good idea. But there is no single mention of it on Unite.

    Currently it looks like we will have another URP breaking change in Unity7 :(
     
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  6. aleksandrk

    aleksandrk

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    We're still in active development. As I said previously, we'll share new information when we're ready.
     
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  7. jbooth

    jbooth

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    At unite I was told there's a new policy about not talking about stuff until it's a year from ship, so I think this means that if Unity isn't actively talking about it, we're at least a year from shiping it into some kind of public form (be that beta or release). So that likely puts it a minimum of a year out, most likely more, and 3-5 until it's viable for asset develops. That'll be 10 years of SRP pain on shaders alone all said and done.
     
  8. BOXOPHOBIC

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    block shaders... unity's half life 3
     
  9. So it will be VR-only and the only notable feature will be a gimmicky simulated water in a bottle?
     
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  10. BOXOPHOBIC

    BOXOPHOBIC

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    My only hope if that
     
  11. BOXOPHOBIC

    BOXOPHOBIC

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    Even if it is out in unity 6, we still need to support at least 2 previous major releases, with regular written shaders, because most of the users are still on older versions because the LTS term promisses sooooo much stability. Birp is not on the radar for block shaders as far as I know, so we will end up using 4 different systems (if you use surface shaders), doing the same thing, and incomatible with each other.

    I want the block to be a thing and to succeed, but at this point, I will not put my hope on seeing it any time soon, and the lack of any news about it, not covered at unite, etc.. makes me think we will not see it anytime soon.
     
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  12. LooperVFX

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    My prediction is shaderforge and block shaders will land in Unity 7... what year that is slated for is a different question.

    Yes, it took them far too long to get development started on this ..but now that it is well underway i'd rather it be released "when it's ready." rather than sweating them to rush it to make up for lost time.

    That said, there is a balance to be had to engage in community feedback to inform the next iteration which is what this thread and these experimental public demo drops are for.

    Thanks for keeping us posted @aleksandrk
     
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  13. Thygrrr

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    Looking at this, in principle it is great but again it is extremely heavy with verbose and convoluted boilerplate. This is a really surprising and common thread in new Unity features, which seem to have a profound disregard for the quality of the developer experience.

    A simple func Vertex(), Surface(), LightDirectional(), LightImageBased(), etc. with preexisting INOUT style variables sounds like what could get the job done in a much cleaner and less overburdened way than squeezing yet another asset type into the bursting corset of good old ShaderLab.

    Competition in Godot is handling customizable shaders to fit a specific block template much better with zero boilerplate, just clean GLSL style code updating in near real time as it is written. It's not perfect, but it already is way superior to BlockShaders, or ShaderLab.


    If we can have this for HLSL, that would be grand.

    PS please deprecate BiRP for Unity 6, and disallow any new store assets targeting it with the release of Unity 6. (even backwards compatibility should be discouraged or banned - only maintenance of existing assets allowed). Otherwise, you will never get rid of Built-in, which is holding unity back so hard, it's tragic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2023
  14. LaireonGames

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    Hell no.

    Please don't even consider depreciating BIRP until we have a stable way to write shaders with code and not just node base systems.

    Although considering the nonsense they pulled with the fees there isn't likely to be anything in Unity 6 worth upgrading for anyway, even if it does contain the first pass of block shaders.

    BIRP was basically depreciated as soon as they announced SRP. Its holding back nothing. The problem is that Unitys overall ability to deliver anything over the years has slowed to a painful crawl
     
  15. Thygrrr

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    Well I think custom nodes already allow for a wide variety of handwritten shaders but I agree, fix shader code first.

    BiRP is still the default, so it obviously can't be considered deprecated currently. Deprecation means you get a warning trying to use it, too.
     
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  16. vx4

    vx4

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    why we cant do Inline raytracing in custom nodes?
     
  17. Whatever560

    Whatever560

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    Probably've been said in the Thread already but regarding the significant amount of time and energy put into stackables, plus the knowledge, Unity team should probably consider looking into collaborating with @jbooth. I would want that to happen,
    TMP Pro was a good move IMO and is a part of everyones game now with still original dev support.

    I just don't see the point of yet another stackable shader when you have something that works and is compatible through all the 3 pipelines, looks clean, maintained, modularized, etc, etc. And to adresse what I feel could be elephants in the room :
    - Put aside human ego and/or grudges. You're a company, not a small one.
    - Not sure money should be the concern for one dev bringing like what a several man team will take years to achieve.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2024
  18. aleksandrk

    aleksandrk

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    @Whatever560 just in case, if you wanted to tag me, you tagged someone else
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2024
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  19. Lurking-Ninja

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  20. Whatever560

    Whatever560

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    Yes, thanks, aware of that, he still worked on it some time afterward though. It is very stable and there are so many answers from him on the forum throughout the years that it's still okay, didn't find any walls the last few years while using it extensivelly.

    As to refocus, I feel that we have very good passionate creators with skills, knowledge and motivation. Splitting the effort there is a very very bad management decision here IMO, unless there is like a hidden thing that I'm missing.

    Thanks, my bad! And Btw I hope I was not offensive yet my opinion is strong on this.

    And also to give some context, I'm not talking lightly, I have advanced usage of unity and handles a project that should not be handled by so few people.
    So my everyday work life is "how do I hack this", Better shader is a good tool, it allows me to keep using builtin while slowly grinding towards SRP compatibility, not knowing if I'd like to do URP or HDRP. Plus the functionalities are very good (Triplanar UV, multi layers, etc, etc). It saves so much work and texture editing for very good end results. Not to brag but to push how much we're involved in this, your own tech evangelists thought we already were with HDRP and were surprised by how good we could push Builtin. So we know, we need this focused effort.

    Now you can create your own stack and I guess I might keep an eye on ir but I'll most probably never use it before it is as stable and on par with better shaders features. So I mean what is the point if your most advanced users that will end up releasing the best looking stuff won't use your own tools : /

    And other fact : look at this thread, it's 45% Unity, 45% Jbooth, it almost feels like a private conversation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2024
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  21. Whatever560

    Whatever560

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    @marcte_unity
    I mean you could get a discussion going with Jbooth and if it feels right just say to upper management : "So this is how it is, We have this asset released by this person, 1k user, it works, it does what we want, we could be adding value together on this, it has happened before. It's a good move, we'll be ahead instead of behind. If we don't : we'll have less features, we'll be late to the party, it will be competing and split userbase".
     
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  22. aleksandrk

    aleksandrk

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    @Whatever560 Unfortunately, @marcte_unity doesn't work at Unity anymore.

    Assuming we wanted to simply provide cross-pipeline stackable shaders, what you're suggesting may have been the right thing to do.
     
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  23. Whatever560

    Whatever560

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    Thanks for those words. Guess I did my share :D, probably can't say much more. Best of luck with anything that happens.
     
    aleksandrk likes this.
  24. andybak

    andybak

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    OK. BiRP is now officially deprecated. So can we have a word on the release date of block shaders? A future where there's no option other than shader graph is a bit depressing.
     
  25. LaireonGames

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    I'm not spotting any news about that, where did they say that?
     
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  26. sacb0y

    sacb0y

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    Not depreciated but it's no longer default in Unity 6.
     
  27. Wolfos

    Wolfos

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    They said BIRP will remain supported for the duration of Unity 6 support. This implies that Unity 7 may deprecate or remove BIRP altogether.
     
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  28. LaireonGames

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    andybak is the only that might have jumped to conclusions. All Wolfos said is that it "implies" that they "may" depreciate, sacb0y simply stated a fact and I asked a question.
     
  29. andybak

    andybak

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    I got it from here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Unity3D/comments/1bmn6iz/unity_6_and_render_pipeline/

    "At least 2 years" implies deprecation albeit without a firm cutoff date. Of course there's always the chance of a reprieve but my money would be on "not much beyond 2 years".
     
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  30. LaireonGames

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    So yeah, not an official depreciation yet :) I was thinking it was way too early but this is of course them trying to make a step in that direction.

    On one of the ask me anything days they explained the reasoning for this move is to counter the embarrassing fact that despite all their effort SRPs are still something like < 30% of current projects and this move is to bring that figure up higher so they can say look more than 50% use SRP now! We are just catering to the majority by depreciating BIRP...

    Good for the hobbyist that just open Unity and don't know to research which SRP to develop with... now how about people who actually ship a title?

    Edit:
    Looks like the number is actually 35% not < 30%
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
  31. runner78

    runner78

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    Where did you get this number?
     
  32. LaireonGames

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    Ali was working at Unity at the time although I see he is just an admin now so not sure if he still is:

    https://forum.unity.com/threads/adoption-rate-for-urp-hdrp-of-projects.1440385/#post-9036697

    There was an earlier post to this that jbooth was talking about but found this one first

    Edit:
    This is a post were someone was being a bit more open about the plan I mentioned:
    https://forum.unity.com/threads/srp-adoption-rate.1342511/#post-8476898
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
  33. LaireonGames

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    Someone is on a high horse today... The only one making a big fuss here is you.

    Andy asked a very valid question, granted with a misconception but even so its still perfectly valid to want to know what this means and if block shaders will be a part of Unity 6 etc
     
  34. runner78

    runner78

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    In the roadmap video it was said that around 90% of all PC/console releases in 2023 use SRP. However, there are no numbers for mobile
     
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  35. jbooth

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    I find the claims odd. As of last year, SRP usage was something like 30% URP and 5% HDRP of what Unity considered 'real projects starts' (how they determine real from not they didn't say), and now they are claiming 90% of steam games released were SRP based. That would mean that most of the 65% of games being worked on last year didn't ship, but all the SRP ones did. Games take years to make, there's no way the release numbers aren't a lagging indicator of the 'new project start' numbers.

    Switching the default is going to cause newer users lots of pain, since every asset on the store assumes BiRP is the default, leading to tons of support requests from people who don't understand SRPs yet. Further, with no abstraction layer or even offical way to detect and install things based on what pipeline the project is in, there can't really be a reliable default for assets that's aligned with what new users create. Installing assets is no longer a matter of hitting an install button, it will almost always require additional work from a user base that barely reads the asset description, let alone documentation.

    Unity, just creating more work for developers and publishers every single day.
     
  36. runner78

    runner78

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    When it comes to editor analytics data, it should be taken into account that many games, especially mobile ones, have already been released but continue to be provided with new content/patches, and could be still considered “actively in development”.
     
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  37. AcidArrow

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    I didn't say anything regarding his question. I too think it is valid.
     
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  38. sacb0y

    sacb0y

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    I don't think there' a mystery 65% of games on birp that just didn't release while the SRP games did lol.

    SRP being default is inevitable, and should be done. And imo it's not that complex. Making it less complex for people who want to keep with what unity is currently using should be priority. Otherwise new users will start with this old setup that's not updated, isn't supported by A LOT of advertised new features, and otherwise only still supported by asset store stuff.

    Time to start moving on.

    For me the more annoying problem is finding an asset that claims it has URP support but doesn't support mobile or something. If that's what I wanted I would just use HDRP. :p
     
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  39. LaireonGames

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    Yeah its likely misquoted/mistunderstood, cherry picked or falsified data in some way because if you apply any critical thinking to the situation you would realise its a statistical impossibility.

    If BIRP all of a sudden became unstable or URP implemented a magical feature that everyone had to jump ship and worked right out of the box (HA!!!!!!!!!!) like Unreal sort of did with Nanite then sure there is a 'chance' but otherwise something being wrong with that stat seems the most obvious answer.
     
  40. BOXOPHOBIC

    BOXOPHOBIC

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    I find those numbers from the GDC a bit odd as well.

    Here we have a statement from Ali on may May 25, 2023
    Tastes and Trends Q3 2023 was released on Feb 5, 2024
    upload_2024-3-25_23-26-54.png
    upload_2024-3-25_23-37-1.png

    And we have the GDC presentation released on Mar 21, 2024
    upload_2024-3-25_23-29-30.png
     
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  41. sacb0y

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    The stipulation here is "released", not maintained, or in early access I assume. The former graphs include just about everything.

    There's a lot of reasons to use URP and HDRP now, like VFX Graph alone is a massive one for me. In URP the better handling of light fall off looks better, SRP Batcher makes development MUCH easier. Transparent shadows, I like how renderer features works. The list goes on and on even more so if you're doing 2D games, or even just the new stuff in 2023/Unity 6000.

    Sure there's some issues but nothing that's a real barrier for me that doesn't have a comparable drawback for built in.

    You can be stubborn or more interested in your own tech and stick to built in but IMO it's not reasonable.
     
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  42. AcidArrow

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    If you're going to make broad generalisation and declare what is reasonable, I'm going to have to go with cheesy stupid lines like "You need to be unreasonable if you want to use Unity" or something.

    Also:
    *points at the thread we are in*
     
  43. sacb0y

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    If you're in a early to mid development project that's going to be going for roughly another two years, I think it's unreasonable to use built-in.

    The issue in this thread is important, but one you can work around. It's not like there's nothing you can do.
     
  44. jbooth

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    As an asset store publisher, what pipeline do I ship my demos in now so they 'just work' when people install my asset? Once SRPs become the default, there is no right answer - which ever you use, it will be wrong for some large percentage of new users, who will 1 star you for selling them a 'broken asset'. Many of these people were forced to pick an SRP without knowing what they were picking, since they have to do it as the first thing when using unity for the first time.
     
  45. sacb0y

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    I use some assets that configure themselves automatically for URP just fine, when they also have built-in support.

    At this point you don't know what Unity will make the default. I doubt users will choose without an initial selection. It will probably be URP. I would assume most low info users would default to URP if URP is the default.

    IMO I think most users who "don't know" didn't make a selection and just went with whatever the default was which in Unity hub is just "3D" no one knows that's "built-in". It just looks like "Unity 3D project", while the SRP requires an extra download like it's experimental or something.

    As long as URP or HDRP is properly labeled at project creation, people will have some idea. And the store has a decent job at labeling asset compatibility, even though they really need further stipulations for mobile compatibility.
     
  46. LaireonGames

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    Ironically you can also be stubborn and not admit that something is off with this data because it doesn't fit your own narrative/agenda.

    You can also be ignorant to the fact that people who actually understand tech realise that anything magically taken care of for you by Unity tends to be done poorly and it becomes a ton More work to fix it. The batcher is the perfect example, its only great if you have bought a ton of different assets from the store and dumped them in a scene together with zero thought about how it should all work.

    Put any planning into the situation about how you are going to LOD or billboard or static batch, or instance etc and it either becomes a mess or you realise that actually performance is worse once you start comparing numbers as many have done already.

    IMO I prefer games that run smoothly to ones that have been churned out quickly and run janky as hell.

    I'm sticking you on the ignore list with Acid Arrow now so this thread can be kept on track. I'm sick of you trying to talk down to people as though you know better when you clearly don't, there is enough of that woke mindset on social media
     
  47. sacb0y

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    Look I'm surely not the most savvy person here but I make a game I release across multiple platforms mid-development (PC, android, and sometimes WebGL) and that would have been impossible to do without URP. Maybe I could have found a way on built in but every way i found made development much more difficult.

    And while there's been some problems at the end of the day my game is better for it.

    But surely no one else has ever had that experience and even the most recent numbers showing dwindling BIRP usage is just me projecting my own experience and believing baseless lies...
     
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  48. Wolfos

    Wolfos

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    CoreCLR is likely to make existing project updates to Unity 7 very challenging anyway. It's a sensible release to deprecate features in, as I imagine the majority of existing projects simply won't bother updating (and if they do it'll be a significant investment anyway).

    There's also no telling how many of those projects are 2D where the render pipeline just doesn't matter that much.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024
  49. Monil

    Monil

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    Dear Unity Technologies developers, get a move on, you are 7 years behind the schedule, I want a tool that gives me the ability to rewrite shaders created for built-in rendering pipeline, you don't know how much I hate you since you decided to kill built -in rendering pipeline.
     
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  50. sacb0y

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    Based on the road map it's apparently the only thing they're working on feature wise