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26. May 2016


Houdini is a 3D content creation application with a procedural bent.  Substance is a Physically Based Renderer (PBR) for creating real world materials and texturing them.  The two products just came together:

VENICE, CA. – May 26, 2016 – Today, Allegorithmic announces the immediate integration of Substance Engine into Houdini 15. VFX artists can now import, visualize and tweak materials with the same freedom AAA game developers have enjoyed for years.

By employing the same nodal system as Houdini, Substance Engine arrives in a format Houdini artistsezgif-852304504 already understand. Materials can be created, customized and applied to any Houdini asset, including characters and environments. When finished, assets can be exported to the Unity game engine or sent to Mantra, Arnold or RenderMan (with a simple script) for a final render.

Using Houdini Expressions, variables can be attached to Substances, making the process of manipulating textures even more fluid for animated sequences. These expressions can also help artists produce thousands of randomized objects quickly, with all the scale and realism VFX requires.

“We’re thrilled to see this collaboration between SideFX and Allegorithmic spring to life,” said Rob Stauffer, Senior Production Consultant at SideFX. “Artists can now stretch the capabilities of both Houdini and Substance, with interactive workflows that cover the entire process - modeling, texturing and rendering."

“This integration makes Substance feel like it’s been in Houdini for years,” said Dr. Sébastien Deguy, Founder and CEO of Allegorithmic. “It’s truly plug-and-play.”


The Substance Engine integration is free, compatible with Houdini 15.5 and available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It can be downloaded now via Allegorithmic’s website:

GameDev News

25. May 2016


The developers over at Thunderbeast Games just released their fifth developer digest detailing the recent updates to the Atomic Game Engine.  The Atomic Game Engine is an open source (now) MIT licensed 2D/3D game engine that was built on top of Urho3D.  I did a Closer Look of both the Atomic Game Engine and Urho 3D should you wish to learn more about either engine.


Atomic Game Engine has gained several new features, including:


  • Chromium web view integration ( Webview with both 2D and 3D support)
  • Improved multiplayer support including NAT punch through support
  • Per project asset import settings
  • DXT compression
  • JavaScript editor plugins
  • Typescript integration
  • Extensibility hooks in the editor
  • Physically Based Rendering (PBR) support in the renderer (WIP)



Much more details about all of these features are available in the digest.

GameDev News

25. May 2016


Valve have just released version 1.0.0 of the OpenVR SDK on Github.  The OpenVR SDK is the primary API for developing VR applications that adhere to the OpenVR standard, most notably the HTC Vive. Changes in this release taken from the release notes:


  • Added VREvent_ApplicationListUpdated event. This is sent whenever an application manifest is added, removed, or updated.


  • Added VREvent_ModelSkinSettingsHaveChanged event. This is sent when the user has selected a new controller or base station/camera replacement model. If your application uses the IVRRenderModel interface to load the user's actual controllers it should reload them after receiving this event.
  • Added GetRenderModelOriginalPath function. This returns the non-overridden full path to the render model so controller/base station/camera skinning can be avoided if the application requires it.
  • Added GetRenderModelThumbnailURL function. This returns a URL (usually to a file) for a 4x3 aspect ratio thumbnail image that can be used to preview the render model.
  • Added GetRenderModelErrorNameFromEnum so applications don't need to provide their own lookup table to interpret these errors.


  • Added cumulative stats tracked per-application and associated accessor.
  • Added interface to access the mirror textures (per-eye). This is the undistorted view with chaperone and overlays (e.g. dashboard) drawn on top.
  • Added preliminary support for screenshots. This interface is not stable yet and should be ignored for now.


  • Exposed the initial version. Provides developers access to poll streaming frames from the HMD front facing camera with the associated tracked HMD pose. The image is available as either a pre-corrected distorted view or corrected undistorted view.
  • Added a thin Qt example for getting and showing the camera image/pose.


  • Added interface to get size of a texture used by an overlay. This is useful when setting the overlay texture by filename.
  • Added ability to render side-by-side stereo content and panoramas.

Driver Interface:

  • IVRCameraComponent is still in a development phase.
  • Added provider method GetInterfaceVersions. This contains all the version numbers of the other interfaces in the driver. Drivers should return vr::k_InterfaceVersions from the version of openvr_driver.h that they were compiled against.
  • GetTrackedDeviceDriver and FindTrackedDeviceDriver no longer take an interface version. The caller will expect the version of the interface returned in GetInterfaceVesions()

HelloVR sample:

  • Fixed compile error around glDebugMessageCallback that could happen with certain versions of the OpenGL headers.
  • Fixed compile error from LoadRenderModel->LoadRenderModel_Async name change.
  • Fixed compile error from LoadTexture->LoadTexture_Async name change.

GameDev News

25. May 2016


This week brings another Unity patch, this time 5.3.5P1.  This release is primarily composed of fixes with some minor Windows Store functionality improvements and better stack reporting on crash.  The patch is available here.


Patch Release Notes:


  • Runtime: During crashes even if the stack walking is aborted with error (RtlLookupFunctionEntry returned NULL function. Aborting stack walk), Unity will display stripped stack trace instead of displaying zero stack frames.
  • (791792) - Windows Store: Expanded UnityEngine.WSA.Cursor.SetCustomCursor, if you pass 0 to this function, it will restore the cursor to arror icon.
  • (792507) - Windows Store: Improved 'NULL != certificate' errors, it will now provide a human readable message why it failed to create a certificate.
  • (778825) - 2D: Generate sprite mesh correctly for sprite with outline data after changing texture's max size setting.
  • (770093) - Android: Pause choreographer when activity is paused to fix CPU usage of Unity apps when the app is in background.
  • (790261) - Animation: Fix for animation stopping before reaching designated position.
  • (780289) - AssetBundle: Fixed the issue that failed to asynchronously load the object with script that had the same name as other assets in a bundle.
  • (780836, 761626) - AssetBundles: Fixed intermittent crash due to thread-safety issues.
  • (784401) - Editor: Fixed: No auto license updates since Unity 5.1.
  • (784822, 794090, 759483) - Graphics: Fixed some cases of incorrectly "Releasing Render Texture that is set as Camera.targetTexture", resulting in losing Camera.targetTexture - e.g. in case of device resume after sleep on iOS/Android, context-loss on DirectX or changing Emulation Layer in the Editor.
  • (787701) - IL2CPP: Load the stack value as unsigned for the conv.r.un opcode in IL.
  • (789160) - iOS/IL2CPP: Corrected managed stack traces which could have one incorrect frame when a NullReferenceException occurred.
  • (792606) - iOS: Fixed a crash when releasing WebRequest components.
  • (788483) - Samsung TV: UnityEngine.Ping has been fixed and will no longer report permissions issues.
  • (784481) - Scripting: Avoid allocating GC memory during Coroutine iteration.
  • (none) - Substance: Avoid re-generating ProceduralMaterials twice when switching color space.
  • (780071) - Substance: Fxed "Mismatched LayoutGroup.Repaint" error message appearing in console when assigning a ProceduralMaterial to a mesh.
  • (776052) - Substance: Fixed baked ProceduralTextures being serialized without their baked data.
  • (779560) - Substance: Fixed a crash in VisibleIf expression evaluation caused by looking up an input by label instead of by identifier.
  • (781118) - Substance: Fixed a crash when undoing a modification of the shader assigned to a ProceduralMaterial .
  • (762285) - Substance: Fixed GetProceduralXYZ returning 0 when used with an input's label instead of its identifier.
  • (none) - Substance: Fixed normal maps textures being incorrectly processed when used as image inputs to a ProceduralMaterial.
  • (779574) - Substance: Fixed ProceduralMaterials being stuck in "Generating..." state when leaving playmode as they are being computed.
  • (795563) - Substance: frozen ProceduralMaterials can now be cloned. Procedural properties of a cloned frozen ProceduralMaterial cannot be changed anymore, but regular material properties can.
  • (none) - Substance: ProceduralTextures being cached to disk/flash now have their size correctly taken into account when querying Caching.spaceOccupied.
  • (776803) - Substance: Speed up the processing of BakeAndDiscard materials when loading scenes.
  • (none) - Substance: Now warn the user when an input of a BakeAndDiscard ProceduralMaterial is being set at runtime.
  • (774423) - UI: Fixed occasional crashes when modifying elements of non-Overlay Canvases.
  • (790264) - UI: Fixed World canvas not rendering in editor game view.
  • (507878) - Windows Standalone: Launcher will correctly display unicode symbols for input bindings.
  • (none) - Windows Store: Added command line argument -dontConnectAcceleratorEvent, which could help to solve issues with XAML controls used together with Unity.
  • (790408) - Windows Store: Do not overwrite solution file when building on top.
  • (778842) - Windows Store: Fixed DisconnectedException while pluging/unplugin joystick from usb multiple times.
  • (792589) - Windows Store: Fixed an issue where user couldn't enter @ symbol with touch screen keyboard when spanish language is selected.
  • (790319) - Windows Store: Fixed an issue with generics, causing access reduction exception at runtime.
  • (792618) - Windows Store: Fixed Screen.orientation sometimes reporting incorrect value on startup.
  • (786277) - Windows Store: NetworkTransport.ConnectEndPoint will work correctly on UWP (required by secure sockets), note this function will not work on older Windows Store SDKs.
  • (790537) - Windows Store: Workaround a driver bug in Lumia 950, the screen was flickering when navigation bar was spawning or despawning. Basically we replace ID3D11DeviceContext::ClearDepthStencilView (which corrupts stencil buffer somehow) with a full screen quad draw call which clears depth/stencil.

GameDev News

24. May 2016


Unreal Engine 4.12 gets one step closer with the release of preview 5.  Of course this is a work in progress build, so don’t use it in production.  Preview 5 adds some new features including foliage scalability, a new animation node, a pixel inspector tool ( click a pixel on screen to visualize the material and rendering state that made that pixel happen ).  Of course there are several fixes in this release as well:


Important Known Issues

  • For deployment to additional platforms such as Android, iOS, HTML5, Linux, and TVOS you must have the optional "Editor symbols for debugging" installed. This is available via the Launcher by selecting "Options" on the 4.12.0 Engine slot. This is a transitional phase to new functionality, and the workflow will be improved in an upcoming release.
  • Google VR (Daydream) doesn't work in the Launcher release, but is functional via Github (UE-31186)

Fixed in Preview 5 - CL 2986880
Fixed! UE-30836 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Engine!UNavigationSystem::RegisterNavData() [navigationsystem.cpp:1810]
Fixed! UE-30470 Restarting Project Resets Scoring Equation in EQS
Fixed! UE-30411 Attached Project Crashes When Setting RVO Avoidance
Fixed! UE-31118 Blueprints with ClassDefaultNodes compile very very slowly
Fixed! UE-30954 CRASH: One-off crash in editor when saving outdated packages while modifying blueprint
Fixed! UE-31027 Crash compiling blueprint after deprecating the blueprint
Fixed! UE-31034 Blueprints_GetClassDefaults Crashes the editor when class is changed to NONE...
Fixed! UE-30919 Actor Blueprint Asset Crashes when opened in Blueprint Editor
Fixed! UE-28536 Attached Project Crashes on Attempting to Play in Standalone
Fixed! UE-30556 Crash Report Client window missing functionality after disabling and re-enabling the GPU
Fixed! UE-29794 Crash opening QAGame after copying when logged into source control
Fixed! UE-30831 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_SceneOutliner!SceneOutliner::FGetVisibilityVisitor::RecurseChildren() [sceneoutlinergutter.cpp:24]
Fixed! UE-30968 Ctrl+Alt selection drag inside to outside of Matinee window will crash the editor
Fixed! UE-30613 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_UnrealEd!FMainMRUFavoritesList::ContainsFavoritesItem() [mrufavoriteslist.cpp:98]
Fixed! UE-30276 Standalone game window snaps back to original position after being moved
Fixed! UE-30677 Toggling WindowedFullscreen has issues with "creep" and bad window positioning
Fixed! UE-22691 Changing Media asset path can cause crash.
Fixed! UE-30698 In Cascade when using the Tab key in the module list will cause a crash
Fixed! UE-31101 Crash when clicking content browser filter dropdown
Fixed! UE-30891 CRASH: Editor crashes when Importing Actors via File > Import
Fixed! UE-30809 Merge actor panel crashes when selecting a mesh component without static mesh
Fixed! UE-30955 Morph Targets in Skeletal Mesh LODs do not behave correctly
Fixed! UE-31164 Negative rate scale on montages will not loop correctly
Fixed! UE-31119 Edits to additive animation curves do not show until applied
Fixed! UE-31039 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Engine!UAnimMontage::IsValidAdditive() [animmontage.cpp:702]
Fixed! UE-30949 Crash Importing Skeletal Mesh LODs with a lot of morph targets
Fixed! UE-30811 Marker sync crashes when used in derived anim class
Fixed! UE-30808 Issue with static mesh merging path in HLOD system
Fixed! UE-30917 Crash occurs when landscape is selected and simulating and selecting the landscape tab
Fixed! UE-30742 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Landscape!FLandscapeComponentSceneProxy::DrawStaticElements() [landscaperender.cpp:1122]
Fixed! UE-29083 Modulated shadows do not render in the correct area on older devices / versions of Android OS
Fixed! UE-31006 FAndroidMediaPlayer::Open() returns EMediaEvent::MediaOpenFailed even if opening is succeed.
Fixed! UE-30904 No Bloom Post-Process on device when using packaged project
Fixed! UE-20434 [CrashReport] Crash in FD3D11DynamicRHI::InitD3DDevice() [windowsd3d11device.cpp:402]
Fixed! UE-29231 Crash when shooting in Tm-Shadermodels with -Opengl
Fixed! UE-30133 Incompatible surface format error, certain maps rendering completely black on PS4 with Accurate Velocities enabled.
Fixed! UE-30341 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Engine!FReflectionTextureCubeResource::InitRHI() [reflectioncapturecomponent.cpp:703]
Fixed! UE-31054 ToggleRHIThread and ShowMaterialDrawEvents autocomplete on the commandline but don't do anything.
Fixed! UE-30902 Translucent per pixel lighting broken
Fixed! UE-30834 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_D3D11RHI!FD3D11DynamicRHI::RHIReadSurfaceData() [d3d11rendertarget.cpp:905]
Fixed! UE-30619 Face Distortion In Morph Targets Sample
Fixed! UE-26319 Crash when DFAO is disabled and a lower scalability is used while Distance Field Shadowing is enabled.
Fixed! UE-31132 Zen fails to package for Windows and Android
Fixed! UE-31108 No Default Game Map set for Subway Sequencer project
Fixed! UE-30979 Typo in Station 1.4 on Blueprint_Communications in Content Examples
Fixed! UE-30568 "Attempted to get an item from array PerRoomProperties out of bounds" warnings in some Content Examples maps
Fixed! UE-30706 Several texture sheets in Zen Garden have bad Opacity Maps
Fixed! UE-30570 Misspelling in StaticMeshes level of Content Examples
Fixed! UE-30575 Misspelling in Decals level of Content Examples
Fixed! UE-31106 Subway Sequencer will not open when packaged for Win64: "Project requires the LevelSequenceEditor plugin."
Fixed! UE-31050 Crash opening SubwaySequencerMASTER
Fixed! UE-30986 "Enable Texture Streaming" in Render Movie Settings doesn't seem to work
Fixed! UE-30978 Crash when rendering movie with "Capture frames in HDR" enabled
Fixed! UE-30944 Crash using component none in component classes to record
Fixed! UE-30923 Crash scrubbing in sequence after adding sound wave to an actor
Fixed! UE-30771 Button hit box offset in windowed mode
Fixed! UE-31049 Update Oculus Audio SDK
Fixed! UE-30611 [CrashReport] Crash When Enabling OSVR Plugin
Fixed! UE-20109 VR Preview crashes when the number of players is greater than one
Fixed! UE-31166 Morph targets do not work in cooked builds

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