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Graphics SpeedTree?

Discussion in '5.3 Beta' started by Foxxis, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. Foxxis

    Foxxis

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    Is there a team of developers, or even one single developer, actively working on massively improving SpeedTree for 5.3?

    The roadmap mentions 5.3 bringing optimisations to SpeedTree billboards, but other than 5.3.0.b1 mentioning performance being improved "a bit" I could not find one mention of SpeedTree.

    Just so we understand each other, the SpeedTree implementation in Unity needs to be MASSIVELY improved for it to be usable. Well, usable for anything more than a small, contained scene.

    So, is there hope that SpeedTree will get the attention it deserves...?
     
  2. Foxxis

    Foxxis

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    Just tested b4 compared to latest 5.2 and "a bit" was just that. Performance went from horrible beyond belief to just really, really poor.
    Please give SpeedTree the optimisation love it deserves. It should be low level optimised to allow for massive billboarding without going through the woefully slow LOD-system.
     
    TooManySugar likes this.
  3. Todd-Wasson

    Todd-Wasson

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    Yep, I agree. The improvements were good, I got about a 70% increase in performance in my standard billboard test with SpeedTree, but Unity trees were still around 1500% faster. Too slow for my project. Then they went and deprecated Tree Creator even though there's a bug when loading those trees, the billboards don't face the camera, etc.. I have little hope those will ever even get fixed now.
     
  4. zeroyao

    zeroyao

    Unity Technologies

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    We are working on a general hardware instancing solution for 5.4 and iteratively migrate speedtree rendering system to it afterwards. (Not sure if we will get it done before the deadline though.) So I'd better get back to work now...
     
    Todd-Wasson and elbows like this.
  5. Autarkis

    Autarkis

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    I was waiting for 5.3 to actually fix the speedtree rendering/batching issues ( as was promised by Unity) and yeah.. The improvements are just that.. negligeable.
    Zeroyao, is there an ACTUAL timeline as to when Speedtree will become a viable solution for Unity? You're saying in 5.4 you might be able to get something done, but doesn't appear that you're confident in that, so it would be 5.5? 5.6? The betas for Unity 6??
     
  6. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    I guess this will be able to automagically optimise the rendering in general, ie 50 spheres would be detected and instanced instead?

    That would be an amazing workflow if possible. I'd also love to manually instance ie my tank treads.
     
  7. Foxxis

    Foxxis

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    I am still extremely surprised that SpeedTree integration in Unity Speak is just "make sure we can read SpeedTree files and display them". In the real world SpeedTree integration would mean actually having them perform as SpeedTree is marketing their solution. Look at other engines using SpeedTree, they can pump out vast forrests while still having good performance.
    IMHO, this is another case of "let's do the minimum work necessary to be able to put that feature on the sales page"... :(
     
    PeterB and Gokcan like this.
  8. elbows

    elbows

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    To be fair I'm reasonably sure at least one other engine added notable performance gains later on, they didn't have everything optimal on day one. Also Unity was not starting from the same point if the other engines already supported hardware instancing in some general fashion and Unity didn't.

    Don't get me wrong, I was disappointed with the Speedtree integration. Well I was sort of ok with how it launched in early 5.0.x versions, but I was hoping it would improve more quickly than it has done during the next stages of the 5.x release cycle. So it is very good to hear that Unity are doing the underlying work necessary to significantly speed things up in a version or twos time. I'll just have to wait and try not to moan too much in the meantime.
     
  9. Foxxis

    Foxxis

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    I understand the difficulty of integrating new tech in a complex product. What worries me is that the old tree/terrain system never received the love it needed at the time. It was proudly announced (at least the tree system) and then just left to die. I am worried SpeedTree will go the same way, or languish in its current state.
    I hope I am proven wrong.... :)