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14. March 2019


SideFX Software have just released Houdini 17.5.  You can learn more about the 17.5 release here with more detailed release notes being available here.  Houdini is such a unique procedural 3D software package that the release notes will make little sense, unless you are already familiar with Houdini.  Houdini is “built from the ground up to be a procedural system that empowers artists to work freely, create multiple iterations and rapidly share workflows with colleagues.”  Traditionally known for special effects work, Houdini is becoming more and more commonly used in game development.  In fact, they ship a runtime version, Houdini Engine, that enables you to bring their procedural approach directly into game engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity.

Perhaps more importantly, Houdini is also now available in the much cheaper Houdini Indie version (also on Steam), bringing Houdini within the price range of indie developers, so long as they make less that $100,000USD per year.  They also have the non-commercial but completely free Houdini Apprentice for people looking to learn or evaluate Houdini.  To go along with Apprentice they also have tons of free learning resources to get you started.  Be forewarned though, Houdini is a very unique application with a very harsh learning curve!

For a better idea of Houdini’s game related capabilities, be certain to check out their games reel and details available here.

Art GameDev News


14. March 2019


The Esenthel engine, previously previewed in this video, have moved from a license based business model to a donation supported one.   Additionally the source code has been released and is available on GitHub.  The source code is not under a recognized FOSS license, instead releasing under a proprietary one with one particularly poisonous condition:

Esenthel Engine code/algorithms/designs may NOT be used for development/improvement of other Game Engines.
You may NOT browse Esenthel Engine source code if you work on improving other Game Engines, in that case
you may only compile it with the included tool and work with the compiled binary version of Esenthel Engine.

If you are working on or contribute to a game engine then you want to stay far away from this source code! Other than this clause, the license is fairly liberal and allows you to use Esenthel freely and without requiring a splash screen or watermark.

The key features of the Esenthel engine include:
  • Very Easy to Use
  • Advanced Graphics and Physics
  • High Performance
  • Low Memory Usage
  • Unlimited Sized Worlds
  • Collaborative Development
  • Auto Publishing
  • 100+ Tutorials and 90+ Documentation Pages Included
  • Esenthel Store to sell your own Items
  • Frequent Updates
  • Rock Solid - Zero Bug Tolerance
  • Free!

Essenthel can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux here.

 

GameDev News


8. March 2019


Diligent Graphics just released Diligent Engine 2.4b.  Diligent Engine is a cross platform open source rendering framework that abstracts away the details of the underlying OpenGL, Direct3D 11/12 and Vulkan renderers.  The 2.4b release brings the following major new features:

  • Added cmake options to disable specific back-ends and glslang
  • Improved engine support of GLES3.0 devices
  • Added new module – DiligentFX, a high-level rendering framework
    • Reworked light scattering post-processing effect to be ready-to-use component

Diligent Engine is available on GitHub under the Apache 2 open source license.  In terms of why you would choose Diligent Engine over other cross platform graphics libraries, here the advantages the framework offers:

  • Better abstractions (such as one monolithic pipeline state object vs numerous fine-grain states) that map directly to next-generation APIs and reduce run-time overhead
  • Explicit control of resource state transitions.
  • Efficient shader resource binding model that takes advantage of descriptor tables in Direct3D12 and descriptor sets in Vulkan.
  • Multithreaded command list recording.
  • HLSL (VS, PS, GS, DS, HS, CS) as common shading language on all platforms and back-ends.
  • Vulkan back-end.

To learn more about Diligent Engine, in addition to getting started with Diligent Engine, watch the video below.  To learn about other cross platform rendering frameworks, check here.

GameDev News


5. February 2019


With the recent Adobe acquisition of Allegorithmic, I researched alternatives to Substance Painter and Designer.  One of the most prominent entries was Mixer by Quixel, which is currently available completely free while in beta form.   Quixel Mixer is a PBR texture creation tool where you create textures using an easy to use layer based system.  It integrates with their Megascans texture collection, although it also supports importing your own PBR textures, plenty of which are available here for free.


Quixel Mixer Features:


Mix & match.


Mix textures to quickly come up with brand new materials, and match colors and reflectance values with a single click. The non-destructive layer system keeps things simple and tidy, and happy accidents have never been easier. Texturing is more fun than ever!

Seamless painting experience.


Unleash your creative potential with buttery-smooth painting. Accurately perform straight brush strokes with canvas or camera aligned painting in orthographic mode. With multi-channel painting and 32 bit sculpting, designing tileable PBR materials has never been easier.

Zero learning curve.


Mixer is designed from the ground up to be artist-friendly, intuitive, and extremely fast to pick up. Whip up stunning mixes in minutes, or design deeply advanced materials with incredible control—whether you are in a hurry or want to indulge, Mixer has got you covered.

Complete Megascans integration.


Instantly access the entire Megascans library directly within Mixer. Leverage Megascans to guarantee photorealistic base textures, or transform them into fantastic stylized assets effortlessly. Mixer and Megascans together give you virtually limitless creative possibilities.

Design any material imaginable.


With its advanced painting, sculpting, masking and blending features, Mixer transforms the creation of realistic and hand-painted textures into a rich, creative and boundless experience. Organic or hard-surface, modern or medieval, man-made or alien—anything is possible.

Channel pack & export.


Create custom channel-packed export presets with your own naming conventions, and export in 8, 16 or 32 bit in any file format. Or save your materials directly to Quixel Bridge, to leverage powerful integrations with all major 3D software.


Quixel is currently completely free while in beta, with downloads available for Windows and Mac OS… sorry Linux users.  Watch Quixel in action in the video below.


Art


25. January 2019


With the recent announcement that Allegorithmic is being purchased by Adobe suddenly one of the most asked questions is “what is the best alternative to Substance Painter”?  Sadly, no direct replacement exists, Substance Painter was a pretty one of a kind program.  Fortunately there are a number of other PBR texture painting packages available.  We also look at a few PBR texture generation alternatives for Substance Designer.


Substance Painter Alternatives


Substance Designer Alternatives


For more details on each of these packages, be sure to what the video below.  Did I miss a program?  Let me know and I will add it to the list!  Also let me know if you want me to take a closer look at any of the above packages.

Art General Design


See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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