Amplify Texture Plug-In for Unity

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.14.46 PMWe haven’t really used or needed a lot of plug-ins for RedFrame thus far, however there is one we started using that is pretty incredible. Amplify Texture is a plug-in for Unity that allows textures to be streamed into your game dynamically. What’s cool is that it only streams the visible parts of a potentially massive virtual texture, which contains all the textures you add to it. Consequently the scene loading time is negligible and you can have one Virtual Texture for each scene, making it virtually unlimited.

A few weeks ago, I was working on puzzles and prototyping some tutorial like gameplay while Mike was working on environmental story ideas. He asked me if I had gotten very far testing Amplify, as we had talked about using it in the past. I hadn’t really tried it out seriously but Mike had realized that a lot of his environmental story ideas would benefit from very detailed textures. For example, someones name carved in a wall or scuff marks, the kinds of things maybe only Sherlock Holmes would notice at first.

There where obviously other reasons to look for a good texture solution, we use tons of light maps and also have dozens of paintings, all of which are severely hurt if they are displayed at at small size. There were also performance reasons, once all the textures, sounds, and 2 million triangle house are put into RAM, there is not a lot of room for high resolution light maps. My previous solution was to load and unload light maps based on them coming into visibility while frustum and occlusion culling were running. This was an adequate solution but messy and not necessarily scalable. We also weren’t getting great performance on older hardware, this was expectable but not ideal.

I knew we could get the game to run fine but didn’t enjoy having to thread this needle, it would be much nicer to just work freely. It’s hard to except that there is now such a good solution but early tests seem to indicate that it is so.

The current version of Amplify doesn’t support light maps, however, because texture memory is not much of an issue, I did a test where I simply baked light and color all into one huge map with no need for repeating textures. I can also bake hi-rez normal maps into this map¬†so the level of detail is pretty stunning so far. As you can see the first tests are pretty promising and I look forward to continue testing this plug-in moving forward. You can learn more about Amplify Texture¬†here.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.11.48 PM

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4 comments on “Amplify Texture Plug-In for Unity
  1. saurabh says:

    Nice work,

    can you share the room with me for my learning purposes >??

  2. Leigh Hoyte says:

    Unbelievable – truly one of, if not, the best experiences on the rift. Your attention to detail is exceptional and its the one demo I show to anyone wanting to experience the rift because it really shows what the rift is capable of. I can happily wander around that room for hours looking at all the detail and freaking myself out by trying to touch everything (its feels all so real).

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. If you every need help just ask.

  3. Mick says:

    I’m uaing Unity 4.3 Pro. Amplify really makes your scene shine.. getting closer to photorealistic quality. I’m looking over Amplify now on the asset store.. looks interesting but I wonder what the learning curve it like ??

  4. Jim Berndt says:

    Hi. I thought your demo looked phenomenal and wanted to pick your brains if I may. I have used the amplify texture in a scene of ours and built it into a interactive room. My employer has a Oculus HD and wanted me to port the room into an Oculus experience. I opened the Tuscani demo scene and replaced the geometry with my room and added an amplify texture manager. Forthe cameras I added the right and the left cameras and rebuilt the textures. I am not getting the results I expected and would truly value your advice and tips, if you don’t mind too much. Your demo looks very very good. Thanks, Jim.

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