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17. March 2020


Today at not-GDC, Khronos Group announced the release of Vulkan Ray Tracing, with initial support via beta drivers to NVidia cards.

Details from the Vulkan announcement:

Vulkan Ray Tracing consists of a number of Vulkan, SPIR-V, and GLSL extensions, some of which are optional. The primary VK_KHR_ray_tracing extension provides support for acceleration structure building and management, ray tracing shader stages and pipelines, and ray query intrinsics for all shader stages. VK_KHR_pipeline_library provides the ability to provide a set of shaders which can be efficiently linked into ray tracing pipelines. VK_KHR_deferred_host_operations enables intensive driver operations, including ray tracing pipeline compilation or CPU-based acceleration structure construction to be offloaded to application-managed CPU thread pools.

Vulkan Ray Tracing shaders are SPIR-V binaries which use two new extensions. The SPV_KHR_ray_tracing SPIR-V extension adds support for ray tracing shader stages and instructions; SPV_KHR_ray_query adds support for ray query shader instructions. Developers can generate those binaries in GLSL using two new GLSL extensions, GLSL_EXT_ray_tracing and GLSL_EXT_ray_query, which are supported in the open source glslang compiler. Engineers at Khronos member companies, including NVIDIA, have also added support for the SPIR-V extensions to DXC, Microsoft's open source HLSL compiler, enabling Vulkan Ray Tracing SPIR-V shaders to be authored in HLSL using the syntax defined by Microsoft, with minimal modifications.

Beta drivers are available from NVidia here although it should be cautioned, these drivers are very much for developers only!  You can read more about the announcement in this 20 page pdf presentation, as well as a more in-depth technical overview of raytracing support in this blog post.

You can learn more about raytracing support in Vulkan in the video below.

GameDev News


10. March 2020


This quick tutorial will walk you through the process of exporting 3D models and more importantly textures from the Unreal game engine for use in other engines or in content creation tools such as Blender.  There is a complete step by step video included below.

The first part is identifying the model to export.  In the Content Browser, find the mesh object you want to export, then right click and in the menu select Asset Actions->Export…

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A dialog will pop up, first asking where you want to export the asset to.  Pick an appropriate directory.  You will then be prompted for export details.

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The default settings should be fine in most cases.  If you have trouble opening the generated file you may want to try a different compatibility mode.  You will get a low polygon “cage” mesh if you select Collision for the Static Mesh, uncheck that option if you do not want this collision mesh generate.  Finally click export.


And done…


Well, unfortunately not quite.  We still need to get textures out.  The easiest way I have found to to this is via baking.  In the Asset viewer window, with the mesh open look for the Bake Out Materials button

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First let’s set the texture size for our baked textures:

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Next click the + icon in Properties for each texture channel you want to export.  In this case we will do color, normal and roughness.

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Now define each channel you want baked.

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Once complete click Confirm and your textures will be baked.  The textures will appear in the same folder as the Mesh (as will new materials).  You will have 3 textures for each material channel on the object ( 2x materials x 3 textures in this case for a total of 6 generated textures ).  Unfortunately CONTENT BROWSER DOES NOT REFRESH automatically, so navigate to a different directory and back to see the generated textures.

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Now right click each new texture and export it exactly the same way you did the FBX file earlier on.  You are now ready to use your model and textures in your application of choice.  In the video below we continue to show how to recreate the materials in Blender.

Art GameDev News


27. February 2020


Hot on the heels of Quixel Bridge 2020, Quixel have just released Mixer 2020.  Just like Bridge 2020, Mixer 2020 has also been made completely free!  This version contains a massively updated UI, a revamped 3D brush system, the Smart Material system and most importantly, the ability to directly paint on your own imported meshes, making Mixer much more of a competitor to Substance Painter in functionality.

From the Quixel announcement blog:

The wait is over! We’re excited to share with you the first Mixer 2020 preview release introducing the first look at early 3D support.

This first release unlocks features for texturing single objects and restyling Megascans assets, with Multi-channel 3D Painting, Megascans Smart Materials, Real-time 3D Curvature, Material ID Masking, Seamless Texture Projection and so much more.

For some odd reason, all of the download links on Quixel.com currently point to the 2019 release.  If you want to try the 2020 version it is available for download here.  Windows and Mac versions are available.

You can learn more about Quixel Mixer 2020 and see the new painting functionality in action in the video below.

GameDev News Art


23. February 2020


Verge3D is a toolkit for enabling artists to create web experiences with minimal or no coding using Blender, Max or Maya.  Founded by team members from the Blend4Web project Verge3D allows you to create content using your graphics application of choice, then using their (locally installed) web based tools you can add logic using their visual programming language Puzzles.

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Verge3D is available in a free fully functional trial version (watermarked) available for download here.  Verge3D is available for Windows, Mac and Linux for Blender 3D as well as Windows only for 3DS Max and Windows and Linux for Maya.

Check out Verge 3D for Blender in action in the video below.

GameDev News Art Design Programming


12. February 2020


Humble are running a new bundle of interest to game developers, this one is the Humble Best of POLYGON Game Dev Bundle.  It’s a collection of 3D model packs from Synty, with projects in both Unreal and Unity formats.  As with all Humble Bundles this one is organized into tiers, where if you buy a higher dollar value tier you get all of the lower value tiers as well.

Bundle Tiers

$1 USD

  • POLYGON Prototype
  • POLYGON Adventure
  • Simple Town

$15 USD

  • POLYGON City Pack
  • POLYGON Samurai Pack
  • POLYGON Knight Pack
  • Simple People
  • Simple Dungeons

$20 USD

  • POLYGON SCI-FI City Pack
  • POLYGON  Western Pack
  • POLYGON Heist Pack
  • POLYGON Vikings Pack
  • Simple Military
  • Simple Apocalypse
  • $10 Synty Discount Code


When you purchase a Humble Bundle you decide how your money is allocated between charity, the publisher, Humble and if you choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS if you use this link.  Learn more about the bundle in the video below.

As with any asset purchase, it’s important to read the license if you intend to use the assets in a commercial project.  The Synty Store license for Humble is available here.  It appears the Humble license is on a per seat basis and includes just a single seat license, so if you are working with a team, you may have to purchase multiple bundles.

EDIT – Since the bundle was released, it has been updated to now include a Source Files download on Humble. 

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These zip files contain model data in OBJ or FBX formats, enabling you to easily use this content in other game engines, as well as importing into DCC tools like Blender or Max for editing.

GameDev News Art


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