Last week, we talked about the lighting and shading improvements in Unity 5. Some other more subtle changes to the Unity workflow have really excited our animators as well.
 

Unity 5 Web Graphics Library (WebGL) screenshot
 

WebGL & Metal


One of the greatest aspects of Unity 3D is its support for so many platforms – 21 in all. Even Web browsers could display Unity content with the right plugin.

Unity 5 adds a Web Graphics Library (WebGL) toolkit, allowing most browsers to render its interactive 3D graphics using only JavaScript and HTML5. Users can eliminate a plugin and developers can reach more players in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. A device’s Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) can be accessed to provide first-class 2D and 3D graphics performance.

Games for iPhone and iPad can take advantage of Unity 5’s support of Metal, Apple’s year-old graphics API for iOS devices.
 

Audio Mixing


The importance of sound in any game is hard to overstate. Regrettably, audio tools were very limited in the previous version of Unity. Developers often needed to use external audio tools to get the right type of sound they needed into their games. Unity 5 brings a lot of improvement in this area with new Audio Mixing tools.

The new Audio Mixer tool in Unity Editor allows artists to mix and adjust individual audio levels right within the editor to match the mood of the game. The Snapshot feature enables capturing different audio mixer settings so they can be recalled later when needed, saving time and frustration.
 

Physics


One frustrating bug that developers had to face in the past was that fast moving objects often passed through each other instead of colliding. Integration of a new physics engine, PhysX 3.3, has vastly improved Continuous Collision Detection (CCD). Other updates include more realistic suspension and tire friction in vehicles and more dynamic cloth simulation for clothing and environments, which add a touch more realism into game scenarios.
 

Animation


Updates to Unity’s animation subsystem, called Mecanim, has made life a lot easier for animators and developers alike. Complex animations now require less code with “State Machine Transitions.” Objects whose characteristics change can have each configuration pre-set, so an animation can move between those configurations rather than needing each characteristic redefined.

Unity's complete toolset has helped our game developers drastically reduce the time, effort and cost of making interactive content. To see more about new features in Unity 5, check out the Unity 5.0 launch at GDC conference and Unity 5 Demo.


Tags: unity 5 features, webgl, unity 5, unity 3d, unity game development, physx

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