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Create something awesome with Unity 4 and DirectX 11 for the chance to win $10,000

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aurore, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Aurore

    Aurore

    Producer Unity Technologies

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    Hey everyone,

    We have just launched a massive competition where you have the chance to win a grand prize of $10,000 and a trip to Unite 2013, all by just showing off!

    Create something jaw droppingly amazing in Unity 4 using DirectX 11 and submit it to use on or before the 16th of January 2013 for a chance to win.

    Go to our competition site for more details http://unity3d.com/contest/dx11

    Good Luck!
     
  2. Filto

    Filto

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    This is great! Finally! I'm very excited to see what comes out of this. Really good move UT, this is whats been needed for a long time. Good luck everyone who enters
     
  3. drewradley

    drewradley

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    Can you clarify this:
    Does that mean the models I use have to be redistributable as usable assets or just in game format? Makes HUGE difference to me.
     
  4. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Hmm interesting. To use DX11 features though doesn't that basically mean you need to be an expert programmer, able to make stuff like geometry shaders? I'm a DX11 newbie :D

    My complaint: .. I really wish there was a competition that had put every contestant on equal footing - ie you cannot form a team - must be solo - must not use existing projects or assets or scripts ie must start from scratch - cannot use asset-store assets, etc... otherwise there are usually big teams and pre-started projects that have a huge leg-up on the rest of us. ... I know that overall this competition is useful to Unity, providing them with a lot of cool content and community involvement and promotion of Unity itself, but from the perspective of us actual community persons, I wish there was a contest that saw things from our perspective. </rant>
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  5. shaderbytes

    shaderbytes

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    @imaginaryH I would think unity has plenty of beginner-average users and as you stated , the purpose of such a competition is to attract more exceptional programmers for all the obvious business reasons.
     
  6. makeshiftwings

    makeshiftwings

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    I think this is a great idea. I'm looking forward to what the community creates! Not sure if I'll have time to enter myself, but I'm still looking forward to some awesome demos.
     
  7. gioworks

    gioworks

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    Is dx11 only for pro licences?
     
  8. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    No you can enter with Unity Free so long as it's version 4
     
  9. Darkjayson

    Darkjayson

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    Does unity 4 come with some directx 11 effects built in?

    How do you know your using directx 11 in unity 4 unless you write some shaders that use it directly?
     
  10. nipoco

    nipoco

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    That's all fine and dandy.
    However, it excludes every developer on a Mac, since DX11 is Windows only... Not the best move. Especially if you take into account that Unity has it's roots as Mac software.
     
  11. rab236

    rab236

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    This is also what I was thinking. This contest excludes all Mac users unless they want to dual boot into Windows.
     
  12. Darkjayson

    Darkjayson

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    I think the competition is part funded by driectx, I'm sure if apple part funded a competition to make something for unity mac then I'm sure unity would run that.
     
  13. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

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    Can you tell us what kind of D3D11 hardware you'll be judging on? There's a lot of cards that technically support D3D11 but knowing how high-end you'll go is a big deal when deciding polycount etc...
     
  14. makeshiftwings

    makeshiftwings

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    This is from the Unity 4 manual:

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Using DirectX 11 in Unity 4
    Unity 4 introduces ability to use DirectX 11 graphics API, with all the goodies that you expect from it: compute shaders, tessellation shaders, shader model 5.0 and so on.

    Enabling DirectX 11
    To enable DirectX 11 for your game builds and the editor, set "Use DX11" option in Player Settings. Unity editor needs to be restarted for this to take effect.

    Note that DX11 requires Windows Vista or later and at least a DX10-level GPU (preferably DX11-level). Unity editor window title has "<DX11>" at the end when it is actually running in DX11 mode.

    Image Effects that can take advantage of DX11
    Depth of Field effect (optimized Bokeh texture splatting)
    Noise and Grain effect (higher quality noise patterns)
    Motion Blur effect (higher quality reconstruction filter)

    Compute Shaders
    Compute shaders allow using GPU as a massively parallel processor. See Compute Shaders page for mode details.

    Tessellation Geometry Shaders
    Surface shaders have support for simple tessellation displacement, see Surface Shader Tessellation page.

    When manually writing shader programs, you can use full set of DX11 shader model 5.0 features, including geometry, hull domain shaders.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    So the only major built-in DX11 effects are Depth of Field, Noise Grain, and Motion Blur. You can also fairly easily add Phong Tesselation or tesselated Displacement Mapping to a built-in shader using one or two lines of code. So I think if you're not a shader programmer, you'd want to focus on really detailed models by using ZBrush or something and exporting dispacement maps to put on top of a low poly model, then render them with tesselation and a bunch of cool Image Effects on top.

    If you are a shader programmer, there's a ton of stuff you could do with arbitrary Compute Shaders, and probably some cool tricks you can do with the built in tesselation support in surface shaders.
     
  15. pivotraze

    pivotraze

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    Welp, looks like I'm already disqualified. I have a DirectX 10.1 graphics card.
     
  16. Sir-Tiddlesworth

    Sir-Tiddlesworth

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    I am most certainly going to enter this.
    Who cares about the $10,000 or the trip to Unite 2013, I just want an excuse to play around with DirectX 11 and Unity 4 :)
     
  17. makeshiftwings

    makeshiftwings

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  18. Aurore

    Aurore

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    Redistributable in the end result.
     
  19. Aurore

    Aurore

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    @imaginaryhuman I know what you mean and all those things had been taken into account, there is a limit to 8 persons per team in the terms and conditions. But in a contest that is run on the internet, it impossible to regulate the exact amount of people who worked on something, find the source to every model and snippet of script.

    In an ideal world, I'd have lots of tiny robots to do all that for us but that would never happen. At least this way (hopefully) team members and assets are credited. Whatever things don't work out during this comp, we can use to improve upon next time, thanks for the feedback.
     
  20. Aurore

    Aurore

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    @nipoco We realise this, but this won't be our first and last comp so don't worry about that.


    If your PC can run it smoothly, so can ours we have a few artists with beefy PC's so when organising this comp, that wasn't a concern.
     
  21. ronan-thibaudau

    ronan-thibaudau

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    Might get tempted to prove you wrong :)
     
  22. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

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    You shouldn't underestimate my PC :p

    (yeah ok ikwym)
     
  23. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    I am curious how many people will actually enter this contest ... Unity 4 was only just released, not many people know what a compute shader is yet alone how to write one, this is pretty advanced cutting edge technology, I'm not sure there's been enough time for the community to really sink their teeth into it? But maybe that's partly the purpose of this contest?
     
  24. Dabeh

    Dabeh

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    I'd consider this a good thing; evens the playing field. Although there will be less impressive works overall because of the timing.
     
  25. flaminghairball

    flaminghairball

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    My PC is bigger than yours. ;) ;) :p
     
  26. Pedro Afonso

    Pedro Afonso

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    I've actually asked a question regarding compute shaders in the shaderlab section, but no answer so far, so I thought of asking it here:

    I'm trying to include the nvidia compute water shader into unity, but I can't really understand how I should pass the values into the shader, nor how to get those values and then update the water plane geometry!
    The algorithm used in the shader is FFT and it also has reflections from the skybox (much like the Water4 but inside a compute shader).

    From what I've understand from the dx11 examples provided by Aras, I also need to write a C# script from where I call the compute shader functions (using Dispatch) but I can't get it to work.
    Can anybody help?

    Thank you.
     
  27. Aurore

    Aurore

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    @Pedro Afonso Can you link to the post and I will get someone to look at it, this is not really the place to discuss problems.
     
  28. RC-1290

    RC-1290

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    This compo was perfectly timed :D.

    I'm definitely going to try my best to make something interesting. There are some artifacts and missing features in my water simulation, so I hope I can fix those using DX11 tessellation and UAV.

    OOH! Perhaps if I manage to win, I can buy new pants and some shoes that don't have holes in em :D ^_^.
    But whatever the outcome, this was a great nudge to get me to learn more about DX11, which is definitely useful. So thanks for the nudge :).


    I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!
     
  29. Pedro Afonso

    Pedro Afonso

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  30. pivotraze

    pivotraze

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  31. Rauchig

    Rauchig

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    Aurore,

    I'm curious to know if submitted projects will receive higher marks for producing original content from scratch. I'm referring mainly to models, and textures, and the quality of such work included in a project. I think this is a wonderful chance to draw people in and have them work hard on their own or in teams. If any content used must be redistributable by the end then that should allow some flexibility with our artistic approach yes? Few if any things will require animation I assume?

    If a flyby is allowed then static meshes can be used to portray an event frozen in time? Say all content made simply uses lighting available in Unity but all content is in the form of static meshes that can be used for redistributable purposes but are more or less statues. Character models would be fully textured, and posed for a scene but would not retain their skeletal data. They would merely act as structures.

    I will be unable to participate in this event. However I am still curious.
     
  32. Aras

    Aras

    Graphics Plumber Unity Technologies

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    We will look at the actual project. And I think we have some judges who can tell whether shaders/techniques actually use DX11 or not ;)

    So just because Apple is behind what's possible in realtime CG by 3-4 years, we should limit everything to that? I don't see the logic. Yes, DX11 competition does exclude Mac users. Which is unfortunate and I wish it were different.

    It's not.

    We just shipped DX11 feature, which enables some really cool stuff to be done, via compute shaders, tessellation, UAVs and so on. We want to see what the community can come up with. This is all.

    And yes, unfortunately this does exclude Mac users. But it also excludes folks who primarily know Flash, or iOS, or Amiga, or are just good nice people overall, but know nothing about computer graphics.
     
  33. Aurore

    Aurore

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    The majority of the project has to be original, if you make it from scratch or have a few assets that are not yours here and there, you have an equal chance of winning. As an example, if you're a great modeller but you need some script and you're rubbish at scripting, so you use a few scripts here and there that are not yours it wont go against you in any way. However, if you buy a bunch of 3D models and just animate a camera flying through it, that wouldn't count as the majority being original. Animation is not required but can be included.
     
  34. Athomield3D

    Athomield3D

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    does that mean that i cannot run DX11 ?

    i cannot run it's features :/

    edit : ok thanks it runs i guess but will that make the quality worse ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  35. RC-1290

    RC-1290

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    There are several features you can use, like the geometry shader.
     
  36. Athomield3D

    Athomield3D

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    does tessellation work for me ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  37. RC-1290

    RC-1290

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    Unfortunately not.
     
  38. Myx

    Myx

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    Hello everyone!

    So yesterday I took some time and tried to figure out some DX11 tech, my focus went to compute shaders. It took quite a couple of hours but I've gotten things to work pretty much how I want. I'm not really sure what quality you're looking for in this competition, do you think I should enter this project?

    DX11Snow

    I might have been slightly influenced by the current Swedish weather.
    There's a single compute shader which controls the particles' movement and updates the snow heightmap.
    The particles uses a shader which reads position and vertex data from a structured buffer.
    The ground plane uses a structured buffer as a heightmap to calculate vertex positions and normals.

    Honestly it's probably not the most optimized implementation but I'm rather pleased considering how little experience I have with this technology.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  39. Tim-C

    Tim-C

    Unity Technologies

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    Any chance of a screenshot for those of us with Macs :)
     
  40. Myx

    Myx

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    Sure thing, here you go.

    $DX11SnowScreenshot.jpg
     
  41. ronan-thibaudau

    ronan-thibaudau

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    Any chance of a downloadable player for those of us with DX11 pc with a web player that'd rather use integrated graphics isntead of the correctly set as default nvidia card? :)
     
  42. Myx

    Myx

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  43. ronan-thibaudau

    ronan-thibaudau

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    It's pretty cool, thanks :)
     
  44. xenius

    xenius

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    @Myx: Cool snow :). Are the falling snow and accumulating snow effects linked in any way, or just in parallel? If they're linked, I would suggest making the snow fall less even, so we can see the snow accumulate more re-actively. Also, is it possible for you to have snow accumulate on arbitrary geometry using this approach?

    Also, your accumulated snow would look perty with a reaaally soft blueish fresnel term. #hope i'm not being annoying
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  45. Myx

    Myx

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    Thanks!

    Yes the falling particles are indeed linked to the accumulating snow. Basically where the particle hits the heightmap is increased. How would you suggest better displaying this?
    As for arbitrary geometry, currently only a flat plane is supported.
    When it comes to the fresnel, I'll look into it. I'm honestly not very familiar with shaders but it looks fairly simple.

    Any other suggestions? I would like to make this visually pleasing so I can add it to my portfolio, hence I'm open for ideas!
     
  46. xenius

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    @Myx: Have a couple thoughts for you:

    Because you have such a uniform snow particle system, i don't think you're getting a terribly interesting accumulation shape. You could do something like.. put the system in context, like snow falling in through large, long cracks in a ceiling, emitting them from a matching emitter shape. This will give you both an interesting situation for snow accumulating on the ground, and a more interesting accumulation shape than a dome.

    Secondly, I'd try seeing if you could apply the DX11 phong tesselation to the snow mesh (bottom one on http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/Components/SL-SurfaceShaderTessellation.html). This way you can keep the smaller height field, but get a much smoother final mesh out of it, that will feel less 'polygon-ee'.
     
  47. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Wish I had the dev time available to enter, I would in a heartbeat. Sadly I don't have time :) Good luck to all the entries and I expect some amazing things done here with shaders!

    As a long time mac user and pc user, plus guys here working with macs and pcs, we have the philosophy that Bootcamp is mandatory for any developer. There's absolutely no excuse from mac owners. They have the hardware to enter this competition right in front of them. It's not anyone's fault if they can't be bothered to use Bootcamp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  48. pvloon

    pvloon

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    I'm a bit bothered I'm away right now. I reaally want to work on this as much as I can. First results, together with xenius, are super epic. Prepare, all, hehehe :)

    @hippocoder: Don't have time? Pssh, you probably sleep to much ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  49. 511

    511

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    Is there a way to preview the submitted projects before the 16th of January?
     
  50. Aurore

    Aurore

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    Do you mean your own submitted projects or all submitted project by everyone? Either way, no there isn't only the winners will be announced.