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Official Update on Global Illumination 2021

Discussion in 'Global Illumination' started by ali_mohebali, Mar 1, 2021.

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  1. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi everyone,

    We would like to update you on our plans for Global Illumination in 2021. Over the past year, we’ve received your feedback, and we truly appreciate it. We understand that quality, stability and production readiness are important to you for both existing and new feature sets.

    In 2021, our goals are shaped by Unity’s product commitments, announced in “The road to 2021” blogpost. We want to do less and we want to do it better. This year, we’re focused on improving the quality and production readiness of the existing features while supporting the Scriptable Render Pipelines and our ambitions for Global Illumination. Continue reading to learn about upcoming updates and our plans for the 2021 release cycles.

    Baked Global Illumination
    In 2021, we’re concentrating on improving our Progressive Lightmapper (PLM) baking backends. Our goal is to improve the quality and stability of both CPU and GPU PLMs, with the main focus being towards improving the production readiness of the GPU PLM. We believe iteration speed is crucial when it comes to baking. We want to make sure GPU PLM is fast, stable and accessible to more of our users. This includes reducing the memory requirements of GPU PLM and the need for fallback to the CPU backend.

    Enlighten will remain available as a baking backend and accessible for use in existing projects. However, it will continue to be labeled as deprecated. Since it’s possible to achieve higher-quality visual results and faster baking times using the PLM, we recommend discontinuing the use of Enlighten baking and upgrading your projects to use the CPU and GPU PLMs. The following flow chart describes our plans for Enlighten baking backend support, starting with the 2021.2 release:



    Enlighten as a baking backend will be maintained in Universal Render Pipeline and the Built-In renderer until Unity 2021 long-term support (LTS) ends. However, no new functionality will be added.

    Real-time Global Illumination
    One of our goals for 2021 is to enable more users to adopt the Universal Render Pipeline (URP) or High Definition Pipeline (HDRP) and improve the upgradability of existing projects from the Built-In Renderer.

    We understand from your feedback that Enlighten Real-time GI support is important for many of your projects. While it doesn’t provide the feature set needed for every type of project out there, you have let us know that Enlighten is still a solution that serves many of your projects’ use cases. We also hear that the lack of support for Enlighten Real-time GI in URP and HDRP has been a blocker for you in migrating your projects to SRPs. Your feedback is always valuable to us, and we want to make sure you can continue to be successful in your projects.

    Because of this, we will continue to support Enlighten Real-time GI. Our team will maintain Enlighten as-is, without adding any new features, until Unity 2024 LTS ends. As part of this plan, we will add support to URP and will re-enable support for HDRP. Additionally, we will extend the platform reach of Enlighten Real-time GI to Apple Silicon, Sony PlayStation(R) 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X|S platforms.

    We acknowledge that Enlighten Real-time GI support will not meet every use-case, and we understand that it will not scale to the needs of every product. Although we are committed to providing a solution that helps unlock the needs of more products in the future, we are not planning to deliver a Unity in-house Real-time GI solution in the 2021 release cycle.



    Thanks for reading. As ever, we appreciate your feedback and hope that this answers your questions. You can add further feedback or post questions in the comment thread for this post, and our team will be on-hand to answer.

    Unity Lighting Team
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  2. stuksgens

    stuksgens

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    I am happy that Enlighten GI real time is available again. is an essential resource for most games. so it’s a very welcome feature.:D

    Still, it's a little disappointing...:( I expected some announcement of a possible alternative solution to real-time lighting on Unity. Okay, that was not in the plans for 2021. But is it possible that this native solution will arrive by 2023? it would be really interesting to know more about it...o_O

    Still, thanks for sharing your plans, now I can better organize our team here...;)
     
    landonth, Salvador-Romero and NotaNaN like this.
  3. Passeridae

    Passeridae

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    Hi! Thanks for the info!

    But what have you been working on all this time since you'd deprecated Enlighten?

    Have you come up with any replacement for Enlighten real-time GI (except RTGI) and if yes, where is it now and what's gone wrong?

    Do you have any plans regarding real-time GI for the near future apart from Enlighten maintenance?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  4. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

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    Thanks for making it available to URP!
    One question about the GPU PLM, is Radeon Denoiser still planned to come to the Mac version of unity?
     
  5. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Doesn't the Intel one work on macs? From my limited testing it's much better than the Radeon Denoiser.
     
  6. Tzan

    Tzan

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    Thanks for the flow charts! It really helps.
    Maybe you could tell the other teams that have compatibility issues that they should do the same.
    Then set up all the flow charts together on a page somewhere.
     
  7. dgoyette

    dgoyette

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    Thanks for the update. Committing to support this through 2024 gives a lot of peace of mind. Nice to see that I have a path forward to keeping Realtime GI in my project while always remaining on a supported Unity version. We just won't speak anymore about the "dark" times between 2020.1 and 2021.2, where Enlighten was missing from HDRP. :)
     
  8. UnityLighting

    UnityLighting

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    Why do I advise you to use Enlighten to bake lightmaps?
    1. Enlighten is too fast for the first bake time compare to the Progressive CPU
    2. Enlighten is more faster when changing light settings (no needs to rebake the scene after changing light settings)
    3. No preparing time
    4. No crash

    Tips:
    1. Disable final gather
    2. Use very-low lightmap parameters
    The result is a bit noisy for interior white surfaces (non textured)

    My Q8400 old cpu can bake below scene in 1-2 minutes and 30 seconds when changing light settings for the next time:
    1.jpg
    2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  9. NotaNaN

    NotaNaN

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    Very happy about the news of URP and HDRP getting Real-time Global Illumination in the form of Enlighten for the foreseeable future! :D

    However, I still would totally love to know more about Unity's in-house RT GI solution, and how that fits into the grand puzzle. Obviously we're not getting Unity's RT GI anytime soon... But would it be reasonable to hope for previews of it in the 2022.x release cycle?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  10. alphabean11

    alphabean11

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    It stinks this won’t be included in the current release. We need real time gi for our game, but upgrading to 2021.2 will potentially break all of our plugins we have purchased.

    But I am also glad it will be available in our development cycle for our current game.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  11. sqallpl

    sqallpl

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    I'm wondering why there is nothing about the ProbeVolume in this update. Is it still an experimental feature so you don't want to mention it here? From the GitHub comments and updates it looks like you are using and working on this feature heavily. Probe Volumes are metioned int HDRP 11 / 2021.1 release notes. As far as I remember they were also ported to URP from HDRP some time ago.

    Allowing runtime baking/rebaking of whole Probe Volumes or just sections of them would cover much more use-cases than Enlighten or 'editor-only' ProbeVolumes which require editor baking. It still won't cover realtime scene changes (destruction, realtime building etc.) but at least it would cover procedurally generated scenes (as the probe volumes could be baked in runtime after the generation is done). Procedurally generated scenes are very common these days so it's a very common use case.

    TLDR: If you plan to introduce Probe Volumes it would be nice to expose some methods for baking/rebaking/updating them in the runtime and not only in the editor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  12. IgnisIncendio

    IgnisIncendio

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    Hi, thanks for the update. This is great news. However, I’m confused about the decision to continue labelling Enlighten as deprecated, especially with the reasoning that PLM is better for baked GI. For devs using real-time GI, wouldn’t the deprecated solution be the only working one for a few years? Continuing to label it as deprecated even when improving platform reach, adding more SRP support etc seems to be a bit confusing too.

    Of course, this is a minor point but I’m afraid that this might cause confusion in new devs, especially since the new real-time solution wouldn’t be out for quite some time.
     
    seldemirov and Marc-Saubion like this.
  13. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    We are currently working on determining the right path forward for our in-house RTGI solution. When we are ready we will share our plans with you.
     
    ccjay, seldemirov, Pr0x1d and 4 others like this.
  14. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    For clarity, we are leaving the deprecated label only on Enlighten baking (as it is currently). Enlighten real-time GI will not be labeled as deprecated.
     
    ccjay, ftejada, IgnisIncendio and 3 others like this.
  15. Onigiri

    Onigiri

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    What is the status of DDGI for HDRP?
     
    Pr0x1d, ftejada, florianBrn and 3 others like this.
  16. Shizola

    Shizola

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    I hope this doesn't mean Unity's RTGI wont be ready until 2024.
     
    chadfranklin47, Pr0x1d and ftejada like this.
  17. Kuba

    Kuba

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    Good question and well spotted! ^_^

    Probe Volumes are still in the R&D phase and they will likely get their own post in due course. :)

    This update is somewhat orthogonal to that feature. Our intention was to keep it focused on the timeline of the various backends for baked GI and real-time GI.

    Feedback received, thank you!
     
  18. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi Onigiri, HDRP DDGI/RTXGI support is not part of our roadmap for 2021 release cycle.
     
    NotaNaN likes this.
  19. Kuba

    Kuba

    Unity Technologies

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    Hey Lars!

    We're investigating the feasibility of supporting the Radeon Denoiser on Mac, both on Intel processors and on Apple silicon. We'll share more once we can.

    The Intel Denoiser (OIDN) has received speed and quality updates recently. We're expecting that this will help as well!
     
    NotaNaN, stuksgens and Lars-Steenhoff like this.
  20. aabogado

    aabogado

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    Is Skinned Mesh support being added? It was said It was in the backlog a few years ago. This would be a useful feature for HDRP.
     
    Ruchir and ftejada like this.
  21. alphabean11

    alphabean11

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    Is there any chance Enlighten GI will be added to 2020.3?
     
  22. NotaNaN

    NotaNaN

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    Assuming you meant 2020.2 — the chance of 2020.2.x getting Enlighten RTGI is ridiculously slim.

    2021.2 made a lot of changes to the URP development cycle (I.E. major features shipping with major unity versions, and only bugfixes throughout the rest of the version lifecycle).

    Considering this (and the fact they need to add support for Enlighten RTGI to URP), I believe it's safe to assume that only 2021.2+ versions of URP will get Enlighten RTGI.
     
  23. ftejada

    ftejada

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    HI @ali_mohebali !!! I'm testing Unity 2021.2.0a8 but I don't know how to use realtimeGI? I don't get the option in the Lighting window. Can you give me any indication?... Or is it only the option for upgraded projects that already used realtimeGI?

    Greetings
     
    stuksgens likes this.
  24. Salvador-Romero

    Salvador-Romero

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    Please, let me recap:

    So, the development of the current RTGI technology effectively halted almost two years ago, when you marked Enlighten as deprecated and soon to be passed out (Unity - Enlighten deprecation and replacement solution - Unity Forum). Enlighten was working, yes, but had plenty of room for improvement (i.e.: G.I. bleeds, and that forced us developers to do really weird things to hide it, when it is even possible).

    The reason why you stopped improving Enlighten in Unity was because you decided to drop it to develop an in-house engine, that should be available by now. That made sense.

    However, that effort failed. We don’t know if you just need some more time; if you have decided to scrap what has been done and start over, or; if PLM required so much effort above estimates that you didn’t really had enough workforce to put on RTGI. You wouldn’t say.

    Now we are back to where we started near to two years ago. We have Enlighten again, and we will have it until 2026 (2024 LTS). During all these five years to come of Enlighten support, it won’t be improved at all (so GI bleeding and all the nice stuff we “love”). We will work with 2019 tech until 2026.

    In the meantime, effort put into the development of an in house RTGI engine will come to fruition and you will deliver a Unity RTGI Engine that will phase out Enlighten.

    It might be frustrating, but it makes sense.

    What does not make sense is:
    • Pretending that you were dropping Enlighten support because it was sold and the new owners were kind of an a** company; instead of arguing that it made sense for Unity to make a transition to an in-house engine, adding a “sorry for the inconvenience during the transition”.
    • Announcing an in-house engine that was to be developed from the ground up in a year, a prediction that nobody believed.
    • Not saying anything, but anything at all about this new engine until this post. That lead to uncertainty: “Will the people at Unity surprise us with something awesome just on the deadline? Will they reenable Enlighten until they have something solid because they need more time? But if so, why didn’t they announced that they are planning to extend support for Enlighten already? Are they planning to ditch RTGI altogether?”
    The period of time that has passed from that infamous post announcing the retirement of Enlighten and this one has been very uncertain. Some has jumped ship and the rest of us were scared. Money and business hate uncertainty. Sorry if that sounds rude for you people, but this was unprofessional.

    We understand that developing technology is hard, because we work with computers.

    We understand that business sometimes get in the way, because we work with clients and/or companies.

    We are adults, we understand unexpected delays, but we need to plan for the future. We need a better communication policy. I encourage you to continue improving on the line of this post, clearly communicating what’s the situation for many years to come, and with staff members actively solving doubts:
    Thank you, Ali! Please, do!

    I wish you the best luck in the world with the development of this in-house RTGI solution!
     
  25. Temka_193

    Temka_193

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    I found that there is already source code for enlighten support in hdrp and urp on github.
    I even tested it and Realtime GI really works. But, unfortunately, it has not yet been added in 2021.2.0
     
    ali_mohebali and NotaNaN like this.
  26. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi @aabogado, This request has been under consideration, but it is currently not on our roadmap for 2021 release cycle. I have made a note of your feedback, and we will discuss it together with the team when we do the next round of planning and prioritization.
     
    aabogado likes this.
  27. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi @alphabean11. To assure stability of LTS versions, we very rarely backport features. This is especially true for larger features as it will require significant effort to do a backport and QA. For URP, Enlighten Realtime GI is a completely new feature implementation, and we will not backport this to 2020 LTS. For HDRP, as it was available as a feature in 2019 and reenabled, we have this under consideration. However, we are not committed to backporting it yet. We will reassess and evaluate the impact it will have for HDRP users VS the effort it requires to assure LTS stability at a later point. Our main focus and priority at the moment is the solid delivery of our goals in 21.2.
     
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  28. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    Hey @ftejada, HDRP has landed in master. URP hasn't landed yet. Both new and upgraded projects will have access to Enlighten Realtime GI.
     
    ftejada likes this.
  29. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

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    Thank you @Salvador-Romero, for taking the time to write your thoughts and providing your feedback. It is definitely appreciated. Our intention with this post was definitely to bring more clarity to our plans and the state of development. And we will continue to keep you and our other users posted, especially on significant milestones. To keep you informed, collect feedback, and validate our upcoming ideas and plans when needed. We are also working, as we speak, to add a tab for Global Illumination to our Graphics product board here, similar to what we have done for URP, HDRP, Shader & VFX Graph.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  30. alphabean11

    alphabean11

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    Good news! Thank you. Glad it is under consideration for HDRP. I have a few plugins, some which the developers only will support LTS versions. And it would be great if we could stay on 2020 instead of waiting to upgrade next year when we will be close to release.
     
    ali_mohebali likes this.
  31. DragonmoN

    DragonmoN

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    Any infos about the "Shader Quality Setting" Option? Would be really nice on URP, since it can boost the viual Quality a lot when set to "high" like it was possible in the builtin Renderpipeline.
     
  32. id0

    id0

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    Thanks for enlighten back, but this is such a comedy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  33. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    @DragonmoN great question, can I suggest asking the question in the dedicated URP subforum? cheers.
     
    DragonmoN likes this.
  34. ali_mohebali

    ali_mohebali

    Unity Technologies

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    Thank you everyone for your feedback and questions. We are closing this thread now. If you do have further feedback/questions for us, you can always post in the Global Illumination subforum. We have also added a section on Global illumination to our graphics roadmap page here and we are working on adding more details. You can also use this new board to provide your feedback, indicate your priorities and use cases on current items or make a new feature request.
     
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  35. kristijonas_unity

    kristijonas_unity

    Unity Technologies

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    NotaNaN and Gooren like this.
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