Under Unity 5’s Lighting system, today I experimented with Ambient Occlusion and Final Gathering based on the values from the new Skybox, all through Continuous Baking. It took about two hours to calculate all of this, but then it became part of the scene throughout, in realtime at any angle. Getting just one shot like this in Maya would’ve taken hours to render for one shot only and then lost until rendered again.
Here are a few of the shots showing off Unity 5’s realtime rendering and ultra-fast continuous baking abilities on a still mostly graybox work-in-progress environment. It’s actually perfect that I’m mainly testing this with graybox, so I can directly see Unity’s lighting power at work without obfuscation from texture details.
Even after it’s done, it says there are “No Lightmaps 0 B” and under the Occlusion tab, nothing has been baked there yet either. These new continuous bakes must have generated maps somewhere, but Unity isn’t reporting that they exist. Instead, kicking off a build took an extra three minutes as it compiled all of this (though I could easily pull out screenshots from the Game View sized to exactly 1920×800 2KSCOPE HD without even making a build at all). This also added about two minutes extra to the initial loading of the scene when starting up the project in the Unity editor. Not bad at all though.
Today I also programmed a PlayMaker FSM to cycle through all 14 camera angles (set back in the storyboard stage) with a simple press of the space bar.
Then I broke out the stand-in positioning human models onto a separate Maya file and thus GameObject in Unity from the rest of the set, and removed the Sky-sphere and Moon objects instead for a new Skybox used by Unity 5’s Lighting system directly.
I experimented with two screenshot plug-ins from the Unity Asset Store as well, which can allow you to capture at any resolution, like 8K, right out of the editor from any camera, including ones with final shot quality effects scripts attached. However, Screenshot Creator doesn’t seem to work with Unity 5 (update: we’re troubleshooting this now) and Instant Screenshot works but doesn’t capture camera effects. Another new related issue is how I’ll need to force the camera into a specific aspect ratio, because by currently being naturally dependent on the viewport size, the framing changes between the 2KSCOPE editor’s Game Window and running a build on a 16:9 monitor. A functional screenshot plug-in will also resolve this, so here’s hoping they can get this working in an update soon.
Overall, at this point, I’m pretty convinced this is the way to go, especially as an indie that needs to work as efficiently as possible. Very exciting!