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Nature Renderer: Better terrain detail rendering ✅ PBR ✅ Custom Shaders ✅ Shadows ✅ Wind ✅ SRP

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by Visual-Design-Cafe, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

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  2. vanhalen17

    vanhalen17

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    Great, thank you @Visual-Design-Cafe

    I agree with Lars, that would be a great feature. This is because I expect to convert my terrain to mesh throughout my project for performance reasons, and would love for the vegetation to carry across.

    Also, what's the difference between the "Trial" and the purchased version?
     
  3. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    I'll look into it to see if it is possible. Nature Renderer relies on the terrain data, so I can't 100% guarantee that it will work right now.

    The watermark in the corner :) Although the trial will be limited to a specific time period in the future.
     
  4. vanhalen17

    vanhalen17

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    Another thing is, I'm using 25 tiles (neighbors) for a single overall terrain right now, just so I can save some performance. And so, I've put 25 Nature Renderer components on each GameObject, but that is yielding quite a high usage of memory for me. It would be nice if I could just have one Nature Renderer be able to render everything, especially with it's streaming capabilities.
     
  5. SNicolas

    SNicolas

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    Hi there!

    I updated the asset to 7.1.7.22 (HDRP) and suddenly all the scene has very low FPS (even with just a single sphere and a flat terrain). If I disable the Nature Renderer script from the terrain though, FPS back to normal.
     
  6. SNicolas

    SNicolas

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    err.. nevermind... it looks like it stopped going bad and now goes fine :eek:. No idea why. I just waited a few minutes, re-enabled the script and FPS were stable. o_O

    Anyway, there is maybe something underlying causing that thing. But it works now. Just to let you know at least. :confused:
     
  7. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    I'll take a look to see if this is possible. But most likely you'll have to continue with a Nature Renderer component on each terrain, since Nature Renderer has to load the terrain data for each terrain individually.
     
  8. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    There are a lot of background threads running to build the terrain data and for the rendering. It sounds like the rendering thread was waiting for the terrain to be build. In that case, it will reduce the FPS while waiting for the data to be build (but not freeze the game completely). It can happen on startup and after recompiling because the entire terrain data has to be reloaded. Please do let me know in case this happens often and I'll see if I can improve this behavior.
     
  9. Migueljb

    Migueljb

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    Does this work using URP 2019.3 on the oculus quest at the necessary frame rates to run in vr?

    Also for grass I get its a 2d texture if you want that part but for all 3d meshes for trees that have a bark and leaves shader where does that shader come from? Does Nature Renderer provide the shaders to use within its system for whatever render pipeline your in as well. Just need to know info to see if this is the right asset for my project.
     
  10. vanhalen17

    vanhalen17

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    So, I've been getting a lot out of this asset. Especially with the ability to try it out as a demo before hand I can comfortably say it does what it advertises. I still get some quirks (mostly loading/refreshing the terrain), but for the most part I would call it good and usable. It provides a lot of customization, which is the main reason for me looking towards an asset like this.

    For the game I'm building and platform I'm targeting (mobile Oculus Quest), it's paramount that I have good looking vegeation, and more importantly, baked lighting/shadows. Unfortunately, these don't work together. And that's the one feature this asset is hitched on from being a super star. From my testing, and rigorous old forum searching, it is well known that Unity doesn't allow detail meshes to be calculated into the light/shadow baking process. Hence, when you bake with detail vegetation behind objects casting shadows, they don't receive that and look brighter than they should in the shadow.

    The Unity Trees had the same problem, and so I replaced those with static meshes of those trees, and they receive light & cast/receive shadows during the baking process. I could do the same with my detail meshes, but then I would simply be bypassing this asset and using static meshes for everything.

    What's the reason to use detail meshes through the Unity Terrain system anyway? Is it more performant that way, or is it because you get to use the terrain tools for painting and such? I think I understand this asset dynamically batches detail meshes that enable GPU Instancing, but can't you do the same thing with plain static meshes painted with ProBuilder tools?

    The main cause for my post is to ask if NatureRenderer can do the above, or if it could potentially. I think this is a huge issue for a lot of devs, so I'm wondering if this asset has intentions for building towards a solution.

    I'm working in Mixed Lighting mode FWIW

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  11. SNicolas

    SNicolas

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    I am using latest version, HDRP, and found a strange behavior with occlusion. When I rotate my character camera (it does not matter how fast you do it), I can clearly see some popping (patches of grass) suddenly appearing. It usually happens in far areas, and even in first person is not too evident if you use some post-effects like DoF (you can still see this popping though), but it is definitely much more evident and annoying if your camera is above the player character.

    Another thing is about the model/prefab preview window (inspector). There is something weird because I can see my prefabs but with the grass in the background. Same with the model assets: all the .fbx don't render the default shader when asking to Unity to use them (they always look pink) and you can see the grass around as well. Background is fine. It is just black.
     
  12. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    It should work, although I have not specifically tested this setup. The framerate/performance really depends on your scene and how many terrain details you add. If you are not sure about the performance then I recommend to try the free trial.

    Nature Renderer comes with Leaves, Bark, Grass, and Vegetation shaders for all render pipelines.
     
  13. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    I'll see if there is a possibility to bake light probes or to sample the terrain's lightmap for the terrain details. While it should be possible it might be too heavy on performance to be usable. I'll do some testing and I'll add it in a next update if the performance is ok. (It can take a while though)

    Performance and memory usage mostly (and convenience for the painting). Placing details using regular objects causes a huge overhead because Unity has to create a Game Object for every object. Using the terrain system means you just store a single number for every 16 objects (at full density) and don't need to create any Game Objects. All the objects' data is dynamically loaded and sent straight to the GPU for rendering, without having to create the actual Game Object.
     
  14. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    This is a know limitation of the current implementation. Culling is done in advance for the next frame (for performance reasons), so it is always one frame behind. At high framerates it is almost not noticeable, but you can indeed see some popping when rotating the camera.
    I am working on moving the culling to the GPU which should solve this limitation. It is currently a work-in-progress and is scheduled for the next update. I'll see if I can find a temporary workaround for the current version until the next update is ready.

    It is a side-effect of Nature Renderer supporting rendering terrain details for multiple cameras. Unity uses hidden cameras to render the preview images but they don't seem to set any culling mask, so the terrain details are rendered as well. So far I have not found a stable way to identify the preview cameras when rendering, so I can't filter them out yet. I am continuing to look for a way to ignore the preview cameras, so hopefully a fix will be included in the next update.
     
  15. r3ndesigner

    r3ndesigner

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    any progress with char interaction?
     
  16. Nirvan

    Nirvan

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    When I import package with unity 2018.2.6f1 unity crashes unfortunately, is it only my case?
     
  17. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    It is currently in research and going into production this month.
     
  18. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    The minimum supported version is Unity 2018.3 as mentioned on the Asset Store page. Please give it a try with a newer version of Unity.
     
    r3ndesigner likes this.
  19. aheartfulofgames

    aheartfulofgames

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    Hi,

    latest update breaks the culling for grass patches. We have now patches popping in and out all over the place while clearly in-camera (quite close and centered).

    We are using cinemachine to control the camera and the URP rendering pipeline.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  20. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Can you share a screenshot/video of the issue? The culling itself did not change, but it might be a rendering issue.

    One thing you can try is disabling the 'partial rendering' option. I just noticed that I missed adding that option publicly, so you can add the attached script component to your terrain to disable it.

    What partial rendering does, is render only part of the buffer if the frame rate gets very low. Since Nature Renderer only updates the parts of the buffer that changed since the previous frame, you usually end up with at least 90% of the terrain details, with some small missing details at the edges of the screen. However, in some use-cases (such as with a lot of LOD) it can result in visual issues.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. aheartfulofgames

    aheartfulofgames

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    It didn't work. This is the issue (I can only share partial screenshots, sadly):

    upload_2020-3-13_13-15-33.png

    Here you can see some patches drawn and other not.

    upload_2020-3-13_13-16-5.png

    And this is the same section after I move the camera.

    If I move further away or in, the flowers and/or the bush will disappear. It feels like each particular patch (depending on size, I think) is drawn at certain distance to the camera (say from 0 to X, and then up to another distance (X to Y) it disappears).

    I've tried patches with LOD and without and enabling and disabling streaming. Still the same issue.

    With the previous version this worked well.
     
  22. aheartfulofgames

    aheartfulofgames

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    Ok, so more testing makes it look like it depends on the mesh we use. Some meshes it doesn't work as above and others it works fine.

    Again, it did work well on the previous versions
     
  23. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Thank you for the additional details. I am looking into this now. I have not been able to reproduce it yet, but I have also received bug reports from different users with the same issue, so I should be able to find it soon.
    I'll let you know as soon as I find the cause.

    Edit: I managed to reproduce the issue and found an issue with the LOD culling caching that is most likely the cause. I have made a fix and am now running tests to ensure that this is completely solved. If there are no more issues then I'll make sure to publish a new build today.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
    Lars-Steenhoff likes this.
  24. aki-sou

    aki-sou

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    Hello.

    I'm facing bug-ish behavior of Nature Renderer.
    Detail distance of Nature Renderer is working fine if I'm in edit mode, but if I switch to play mode, bushes placed in far position is vanished.
    Of course I can adjust detail distance even i'm in play mode, but that doesn't seem working well. When I increase detail distance, nothing happen, but when I decrease the value, bushes lessen.
    Do you know any solution for this?

    I attach a move to explain this behavior, please reference that.
    Thank you in advance.

    - Unity 2019.3.3f1
    - Universal Rendering Pipeline in use
    - Unity Recorder[preview] in use
    - Nature Renderer (URP) 1.1.8.23
    - on Surface Book(2015)

     
  25. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    I just published a new version that should fix this issue. You can go to Help > Nature Renderer > Check for Updates to download it. Please give it a try. Let me know in case you have any further questions.
     
    Lars-Steenhoff likes this.
  26. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Thank you for reporting this. Could you go to Help > Nature Renderer > Check for Updates to download the latest version? I just published it. It should hopefully fix this issue as well.

    A few notes:
    • The detail distance for the grass is set in the LOD Group of the grass itself, so increasing the detail distance (higher than the culling distance in the LOD Group) won't have any effect.
      (More info: https://support.visualdesigncafe.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000525201-Draw-Distance)
    • The distance can vary slightly between editor and playmode due to project settings, graphics settings, and camera settings. (Unity uses a slightly different LOD calculation between editor and runtime)
    • Editing detail distance at runtime is not fully supported. When editing the detail distance at runtime, the details are not updated until you move the camera. (Edit: The same applies in Edit Mode, the details are not fully updated until you move the camera)
     
  27. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    An update on the mesh terrain: it should be possible to use Nature Renderer with a mesh terrain. Just put the original terrain in the same position as the mesh terrain and disable 'Draw' in the basic terrain settings. That should hide the terrain, while still rendering the vegetation.
     
  28. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Version 1.1.9 is now available for download through the Package Manager and will be available on the Asset Store within the next few days. You can go to Help > Nature Renderer > Check for Updates to download the update.

    This is a quick and small update after 1.1.8 to fix some important culling issues.

    1.1.9

    New:
    • Added ‘Advanced’ section to Nature Renderer component with ‘Allow Partial Render’ option.
    Fixed:
    • Culling issue caused by incorrect cached values in the LOD calculations.
    • Issue where debug gizmos would not render at the correct position if a terrain is not at 0,0,0 position.
    • Issue where LOD would not render if the same mesh was used for multiple LODs.
    Changed:
    • Improved internal error handling.
    • Renamed ‘Support’ menu item to ‘Documentation’.
    1.1.8

    New:
    • Renderer back-end changes for better performance and stability.
    • Terrain Details can now sample Light Probes.
    • Added FlushMaterials method in the Nature Renderer component to refresh materials at runtime.
    • Performance improvements for streaming. Streaming is now faster and allocates less memory.
    Fixed:
    • Issue where details would not show/refresh when painting with a brush size of 1.
    • Caching issue when calculating LOD distance for detail objects.
    • Flickering issues when using multiple render threads.
    • Performance issues when using multiple render threads.
    Changed:
    • Old details are now kept when painting until new details are fully built. This removes the flickering seen while painting in the editor.
    • Disabled LOD Fade due to incompatibility between render pipelines. Shader-based fading coming in next update.
    • API changes to make it easier to access and modify Nature Renderer’s data.
    • Rendering is now limited to a single render thread for more stable rendering.
     
  29. aki-sou

    aki-sou

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    Thank you for quick reply.
    I tried to change LOD Group setting of bushes prefab that used for bushes of terrain then it my project worked perfectly!

    I appreciated for your support!
     

    Attached Files:

  30. vanhalen17

    vanhalen17

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    Absolutely fantastic. I was sort of on the fence about whether I'd be using NatureRenderer for my project long-term but I think I'm very close to going all in on it. It's been great so far and this additional trick will help me get there.

    I even recorded some in-game footage of my project, where I'm using NatureRenderer:
     
  31. maarcinn

    maarcinn

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    Hey. I just downloaded the demo version of Nature Renderer. I use URP 7.2.1 in my project (Unity 2019.3.5). But demo assets are not in URP standard. Is it possible to switch them to URP? I tried Help -> Nature Renderer -> Download URP, but nothing happens.

    Edit: If I create new Unity project and import Nature Renderer Demo, I get message about URP and I can download it. But in my previous project, I can't switch to Nature Render URP. That project was updated to URP from different render pipeline, so it wasn't URP originally.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  32. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Thanks for letting me know about this, and good to hear that you managed to download the URP assets. It looks like Unity does not change the registered render pipeline from LWRP to URP if you upgrade your project. The project itself is still registered as LWRP so we can't download the URP assets. I'll look into it to see if there is a workaround.
     
  33. Jouso

    Jouso

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    Hey,

    In my project Nature Renderer takes lots of memory until it crashes, it seems to take more memory only when moving and new patches are coming in, I'm using HDRP with Unity 2019.3.0f3 and my detail resolution is 2048, streaming is enabled.
     
  34. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Can you open the debug section in the Nature Renderer component and let me know the number of instances that is shown there? A detail resolution of 2048 sounds very high, but it also depends on the size of the terrain and the actual number of details placed.
    A screenshot of the scene would also be very helpful.
     
  35. Jouso

    Jouso

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    The number of grass instances doesn't matter it still does that, here I had ~10 instances only. Also it says that it's taking 113mb memory but it's actually taking about 8gb.
     

    Attached Files:

    • nr.png
      nr.png
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      25.7 KB
      Views:
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  36. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Thank you for the additional details. I looked into it and found an issue in the streaming that caused cells to stream infinitely when they contain no detail objects. This caused the temporary cached data to build up and never get released. I have fixed it and I will publish a new version later today.
     
  37. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Version 1.1.10 is now available for download through the Package Manager and will be available on the Asset Store within the next few days. You can go to Help > Nature Renderer > Check for Updates to download the update.

    (@JiLu This version should fix the memory issues you are having)

    Fixed:
    • Culling issue when not using LOD Groups.
    • Culling issues when using multiple cameras.
    • Issue where cells would stream forever if they do not contain any details.
    • Small memory leak in rendering code.
    Changed:
    • Improved memory management.
    • An error is now displayed if there are duplicate prototypes with inconsistent coloring methods.
    • Visible details are now immediately updated when changing Detail Distance.
    • LOD calculations now ignore camera field of view.
     
    Lars-Steenhoff likes this.
  38. Jouso

    Jouso

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    Now it works in editor, but in build it's not rendering anything and I'm getting these errors:
    Exception ArgumentException: Type 'VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.BuildQueue+CellBuildData' cannot be marshaled as an unmanaged structure; no meaningful size or offset can be computed.VisualDesignCafe.Pooling.ArrayPool.Alloc[T] (System.Int32 size, System.Boolean clear, System.Boolean exact) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    VisualDesignCafe.Pooling.PooledList`1[T]..ctor (System.Int32 capacity) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.Grid.Build (VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.Cell[] cells, System.Int32 count, VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.CachedTerrainData terrainData, VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.CellStreamer+StreamSettings streamInfo) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.CellStreamer.Stream (System.Collections.Generic.List`1[T] cameras, VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.Cell[,] cells) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.CellStreamer.Stream (UnityEngine.Camera camera) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.NatureRenderer.Render (UnityEngine.Camera camera) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    VisualDesignCafe.Rendering.Nature.NatureRendererSrp.OnBeginFrameRendering (UnityEngine.Rendering.ScriptableRenderContext context, UnityEngine.Camera[] cameras) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    System.Action`2[T1,T2].Invoke (T1 arg1, T2 arg2) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    UnityEngine.Rendering.RenderPipelineManager.BeginFrameRendering (UnityEngine.Rendering.ScriptableRenderContext context, UnityEngine.Camera[] cameras) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    UnityEngine.Rendering.HighDefinition.HDRenderPipeline.Render (UnityEngine.Rendering.ScriptableRenderContext renderContext, UnityEngine.Camera[] cameras) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
    UnityEngine.Rendering.RenderPipelineManager.DoRenderLoop_Internal (UnityEngine.Rendering.RenderPipelineAsset pipe, UnityEngine.Camera[] cameras, System.IntPtr loopPtr) (at <00000000000000000000000000000000>:0)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  39. Migueljb

    Migueljb

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    Getting all white grass. Using unity 2019.3.3 in forward or deferred still the same. Standard pipeline and latest Nature Renderer. I just loaded up a scene and added the Nature Renderer component to the terrain and then getting all white grass for the 2d grass textures in the detail section of the terrain. Seems like meshes are fine its just the 2d grass textures that only turn white. screenshot1.jpg
     
  40. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    It looks like your healthy and dry color are set to white/grey, please change them to green (or any color that you want the grass to have). Nature Renderer uses a different coloring method than Unity, so you have to tweak your colors.
     
  41. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Thanks for reporting this. I can't reproduce it here, but it should be an easy fix. It is just a small part of our debug code that tracks the memory usage. I'll send you a new build later today.
    Could you let me know which Unity version, Render Pipeline version, and platform you are building for? Then I can build with the same settings to verify that it is fixed.
     
  42. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    A patch (build number 29) has just been published for version 1.1.10 that fixes an exception on iOS causing the terrain details to not render (in a build).

    The Unity Asset Store is currently experiencing back-end issues for the publisher tools and we are not able to submit the latest version through the Asset Store. Please go to Help > Nature Renderer > Check for Updates to download the latest version.

    @JiLu This should fix the build issue for you. I managed to reproduce it on iOS and fixed it. (It should also be fixed for any other platform, in case you ran into this issue on a different platform)
     
  43. vanhalen17

    vanhalen17

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    Hi,

    Is it possible to have detail meshes planted by Nature Renderer to receive lighting from light probes in the scene?
    upload_2020-4-4_16-41-27.png


    I've tried my hand at it here. The bright ones are with NatureRenderer, and the dark one with my cursor is just a prefab of that bush. As you can see, the baked lighting is not getting to the brighter ones, even though I have light probes set up (as you can see by the trees using this).

    Thank you
     
  44. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    It is possible with the latest version of Nature Renderer! Please change the 'Light Probes' field in the Mesh Renderer component of the detail object to 'Custom Provided' to enable the light probes.
    (Thank you for asking about this, I just noticed that I haven't added this new feature to the documentation yet)
     
  45. vanhalen17

    vanhalen17

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    Fantastic, I'll give it a whirl!
     
  46. vanhalen17

    vanhalen17

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    Anyway you could provide an explanation here so I can try it out?
     
  47. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    Just changing the setting and baking the light probes should work. There is no need to do anything else. (You might have to re-open the scene to correctly load the changes)
     
  48. Davood_Kharmanzar

    Davood_Kharmanzar

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    @Visual-Design-Cafe

    hi,
    is this just for optimizing terrain details?
    or can be use to optimizing the massive terrain trees too?
     
  49. Visual-Design-Cafe

    Visual-Design-Cafe

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    It is just for optimizing terrain details for now. Optimizations for trees are on the roadmap for a future update.
     
    Davood_Kharmanzar likes this.
  50. deverolirc

    deverolirc

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    Hi, great work on this!!
    I may have missed it, but please please add an option to disable the launch screen, its feels quite unprofessional having it pop up on everyone's project upon launch in an otherwise tucked away /integrated asset, especially when its popping up things like an email list.

    I really think that promotions, review link, email lists, social media links, etc. need to be kept out of the editor & left in the asset description or on your website. If people need to do any of these things, I am sure they can figure out how without needing a button for it in the asset itself. I can't imagine people will frequently be needing to visit your twitter page from the asset menu in the editor.
    When you start having many assets that do this, the editor starts feeling like Internet Explorer 8.
    I am sure this seems petty, but I know myself & many other developers really value keeping this type of stuff out of the editor.

    Lastly, source would be great, would love to poke around and change things.

    All the best, keep it up, this is a good product!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
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