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How to check if an asset is unloaded without loading it up again accidentally

Discussion in 'Scripting' started by Zergling103, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Zergling103


    Aug 16, 2011
    In Unity you can unload an asset from memory using
    . It appears that this is done asynchronously as it doesn't appear to pause the main thread (at least not very much, even for significantly large objects). For reasons I will explain in later, I need to know when the asset's asyncronous loading completes, or at least I need the ability to check if is is completed. However, it appears that you cannot check the object you just unloaded for signs that it is finished unloading because looking at the unloaded asset's properties will cause the asset to become loaded again, which defeats the point of unloading it in the first place.

    Is there a way to check if this asset is finished unloading without spooking Unity into loading it all back up again?

    You're probably wondering "why do you need to do this in the first place?" It appears that if you instruct Unity to load an asset via
    while the asynchronous unload operation is running in the background on that same asset (via
    ), the two asynchronous load and unload operations will conflict and cause Unity to load the asset back in incorrectly. This results in assets being missing when the load operation completes (ie missing meshes, empty black textures, pink materials) instead of the expected behaviour of cancelling any conflicting unload operations before attempting a reload.

    Okay, no problem we can work around this right? Well, not really, as far as we can tell, unless you know something we don't.

    We're currently organizing requests to load and unload assets in a queue such that (hopefully) unloads and loads do not happen at the same time. Multiple objects can be requested to load at the same time. Multiple objects can be requested to unload at the same time. But never are they allowed to overlap (in theory).

    However, unless there is some weird method we don't know about, we cannot check to see if all of the queued unloads are finished before switching back to performing loads. Currently as a work around we just wait an arbitrary length of time and cross our fingers and hope everything has unloaded by then. Luckily Unity's API provides a way to see if a load has completed, so at least they got half of it right.

    Anyway, that's the situation. Is there a "isDone" equivalent for unloading somewhere?
  2. Madgvox


    Apr 13, 2014
    Are you sure? Unloaded assets become invalid null-ish objects, and aren't able to be used for anything, let alone automatically reloading the object from disk. This is backed up by the docs for Resources.UnloadAsset itself:

    Additionally, as the docs state, the newly (re)loaded asset will be an entirely new instance, unconnected with the old object. Such conflicts that you describe shouldn't even be possible, which makes me think that it's more likely that something is going wrong in your own code.

    If you are correct and there actually is some kind of conflict occurring between loading and unloading an asset, that sounds more like a bug where the unloading data isn't getting marked internally as 'destroyed' properly.
  3. Kurt-Dekker


    Mar 16, 2013
    I'm not sure if you really need that fine-grained level of control over loading/unloading, unless you have a need that I have never experienced in quite a few years of using Unity.

    Unity is pretty darned clever internally. If you are careful to "let go" of all references to an asset, it will be come eligible for automatic unloading with no further action from you. This automatically happens when scene changes occur, or when Unity runs low on memory when you try to load something else.
  4. daxiongmao


    Feb 2, 2016
    Are those two APIs supposed to work together?

    Is it possible you are unloading a reference to the asset on disk instead of the instance of that object?

    Also unity overloads their equal operator. You could try just using if(asset) instead of if(asset == null) if your not already.