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Okay, I'm confused... what's going on with Enlighten?

Discussion in '2021.2 Beta' started by nsxdavid, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. nsxdavid

    nsxdavid

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    The Unity roadmap talks about Enlighten Realtime Illumination, and that it was pushed (from its original date) until Unity 2021.2 as URP feature.

    The version notes also talk about Enlighten Realtime Illumination being added to URP in 2021.2 Alpha.

    Yet the documentation still says that Enlighten is deprecated and going to be removed from Unity.

    So which is it? Are we moving forward with Enlighten or not? If not, why was this added to URP?

    Cannot square this cricle.
     
  2. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Read this post I think it explains it quite well: https://forum.unity.com/threads/update-on-global-illumination-2021.1067015/

    The TL;DR is, they didn't want to have Enlighten any more, so they announced its deprecation (and screwed everyone who was counting on using it in the process), but they are late with their own replacement solution so they are hastily re-enabling it and adding it to URP (but there will be no improvements made to it).

    I wouldn't make a game with it, it is funny that they think a few more years of support for it are enough, even though in 2024 when we'll probably still be in the exact same situation, they are probably going to announce another couple of years of Enlighten support.

    They probably think no one in their user base is making a game with a long development cycle and that being able to count on features being there for just 1-2 years is more than enough.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  3. nsxdavid

    nsxdavid

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    So Unity. (sigh)
     
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  4. laurentlavigne

    laurentlavigne

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    is that the old crappy enlighten from unity 5?
     
  5. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    It's the same Enlighten we've had before it was deprecated, with whatever improvements they made to it in the following years. (afaik they updated the SDK a few times and there were a lot of implementation bugs fixed. Early Unity 5.x Enlighten was unusable, a few years later it was at least functional).
     
  6. laurentlavigne

    laurentlavigne

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    Ah ok so it's not that bad, do you know which version of the SDK? v3 is really good.
     
  7. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    3.09, I think.

    See release notes here:

    https://unity3d.com/unity/beta/unity2018.1.0b3

    I am a known hater of Enlighten, but that is mainly because they offered it as a solution for baked lighting, which it wasn't really intended for, so it never got really good.

    But the precompute stuff was pretty good for what it was (relatively lightweight "realtime" GI). The sad thing, it took them at least a few years for the implementation to be usable. Like if I remember correctly, the first 2~ years of its introduction it was pretty bad. Then it worked ok for another 2, and then it was deprecated. Which isn't enough time for any game to use it with a non-small development cycle.

    P.A.M.E.L.A., which was the poster child for Unity + Enlighten, barely got time to finish their game before a main feature they were using got deprecated.

    (and before someone mentions they should have just stayed in old version of Unity, I'll just mention that they stumbled upon numerous show stopping Unity bugs along the way and had to update, which happens to all developers using Unity, so the "stay in the same version" advice is kinda useless)
     
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  8. laurentlavigne

    laurentlavigne

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    Alright thanks, I'll avoid Unity's stuff for now, might go for that typical unity indie flat look to make life easy.
     
  9. nsxdavid

    nsxdavid

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    ... or we can go the super easy route:

    License the Unity source code, at great expense. Separately license Enlighten, at some significant unnecessary expense. Upgrade Enlighten in the Engine and make custom builds for our teams, keeping it in sync with all the other changes Unity makes.

    Unity: The leading platform for creating interactive, real-time content.

    :(
     
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