Unity Technologies today released version 4.3 of the Unity multi-platform engine and development tools. The important update includes the highly anticipated dedicated 2D development tools, huge additions to the Mecanim animation system, an upgrade to the re-written Umbra 3 occlusion culling, and much more.
“4.3 is a huge update in the history of Unity,” said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. “The addition of 2D tools is an important milestone that will help developers make incredible 2D games, and with major improvements to Mecanim and greatly increased performance, this is a weighty, productive update that we’re thrilled to release.”
Unity 4.3 is now available for download and introduces a massive variety of updates, improvements and new features that include:
2D Development Tools
While Unity has been used to create thousands of excellent 2D games, Unity 4.3 introduces new 2D development tools and metaphors specifically designed to streamline 2D workflow. Manipulating and optimizing 2D assets is made easier with the addition of a new Sprite Texture import mode, automated atlasing, an optimized 2D rendering, and drag-and-drop functionality for scene creation. Box2D physics have been integrated into Unity for better performance, stability, and smaller game builds. Additionally, polygon collider generation from sprite textures means quicker creation of accurate, but fully editable, physical collider meshes for refined physical response between objects in a scene.
Mecanim Animation Improvements
Unity’s signature character animation suite becomes more powerful with support for Blend Shapes, used to accurately and realistically blend complex geometry between model states, giving animators the ability to create, among other things, believable emotional facial animation.
On top of high-end improvements to character animation, Mecanim is now fully integrated with the Animation Window and its new dopesheet functionality. Support for animating simple scene elements, 2D sprite animations, camera settings, and more to make Mecanim an all-purpose animation solution.
Umbra 3 Occlusion Culling
Occlusion Culling in Unity has been rewritten for the upgrade to Umbra 3. Among other benefits, baking is much faster and generates much more accurate and better performing results. Rapid iteration allows for much more sophisticated environments containing highly detailed graphical content.
Unity 4.3 includes a slew of additional upgrades and additions, including major improvements to dynamic Navmesh creation, the “Optimize Transform Hierarchy” feature to reduce characters to a singular object instead of a 100 pieces, MonoDevelop 4.0.1, editor layouts saved by project, multiple shader enhancements, Plastic SCM integration, and a slew of Windows Store Apps updates. A complete list of improvements can be found in the Release Notes.
Unity 4.3 is available now and can be downloaded at http://unity3d.com/unity/download.
About Unity Technologies
Unity Technologies is the creator of Unity, a flexible and high-performance development platform used to make creative and intelligent interactive 3D and 2D experiences. The “author once, deploy everywhere” capability ensures developers can publish to all of the most popular platforms. Unity Technologies boasts a thriving community of over 2 million developers including large publishers, indie studios, students and hobbyists. To remain at the forefront of innovation, Unity Technologies tirelessly re-invests in its award-winning 3D development tools and its democratization initiatives, such as the Asset Store digital content marketplace and Unity Games publishing and distribution division. Unity Technologies is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Singapore, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit: http://unity3d.com.