Umbra Software, the provider of state of the art rendering optimization middleware, announced today that its Umbra 3.1 SDK is now available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation Vita, iOS and future platforms. In case you were unaware of, Bungie is using Umbra 3 for its unannounced project and other developers are taking full advantage of Umbra, including: 38 Studios, IO Interactive, Sony Online Entertainment, Tripwire, and Remedy Entertainment. Moreover, Remedy’s upcoming Alan Wake: American Nightmare is powered by the Umbra middleware.
Umbra Software’s Chief Technology Officer Otso Mäkinen said:
“Graphics development is moving from annotation to having all systems automatically reacting to polygon soups. It’s about making 3D content creation easier, automating processes that used to require tedious manual work. Umbra 3 is the key enabler in this paradigm shift.”
Umbra 3 is a rendering and performance optimizing middleware that is used to improve frame rates and help to create visually striking game worlds. Umbra 3 does this by optimizing critical parts of a game such as rendering, audio and game logic with highly effective content streaming. Umbra automatically generates portals in pre-process which are used for highly-efficient occlusion culling taking away tedious manual work from artists.
Umbra does not require content to be in a certain format or artists to change the way they work. Whatever polygon soup your engine wants to serve, Umbra can handle it and make it run smoother and faster.
Umbra 3.1’s New features:
This feature enables changes to be made to a scene so that only the affected areas visibility information needs to be re-computed instead of having to bake the entire scene again. The bake process can be easily distributed across multiple threads or over a network, and the results can be cached so that they are available to the entire development team without having to re-bake the entire scene locally.
“Grizzly” culling algorithm
Brand new culling algorithm resulting in significantly more accurate and robust culling than what has previously been available. The new system rasterizes a software depth buffer that is used to test visibility and allows practically unlimited number of dynamic object tests per frame. The accuracy of the algorithm is near that of hardware occlusion queries, but – being a purely a software implementation – void of any synchronization issues typical to hardware-based occlusion culling.
Umbra 3.1 is available for evaluations from its official website.
John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved – and still does – the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the “The Evolution of PC graphics cards.”