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27. June 2019


Back in April Unity launched Unity Learn, a completely free online learning portal for learning various aspects of using the Unity game engine.  Today they have announced Unity Premium, a paid expansion of Unity learn.  Unity Learn Premium costs 15$ a month, and is included in current Unity Pro subscriptions.  There is a 30 day free trial available.

Details of Unity Learn Premium from the Unity blog:

We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality, free learning resources for Unity, and we will continue to add to and maintain the free courses, projects, and tutorials on Unity Learn. More in-depth and advanced resources for serious hobbyists and professionals who want to specialize in an industry or get direct guidance will be available through Unity Learn Premium.

If you have a Unity Plus or Unity Pro license, you can access Unity Learn Premium for free with your current subscription. Just log in with your Unity ID and go to Unity Learn Premium to start learning!

Otherwise, you can try Unity Learn Premium for 30 days, free. After that, you can continue accessing all the great resources and interactive learning on Unity Learn Premium for $15 a month. 

In addition to content from Unity, Learn Premium also includes courses from partners such as Udemy and Pluralsight.  They are also offering bi-weekly online interactive sessions as well as Streaming Labs, quick start courses in a web hosted Unity Editor.

Check out the contents of Unity Premium in the video below.

GameDev News


21. March 2019


Earlier at their GDC 2019 keynote, Unity announced the beta release of Unity Distribution Portal, or UDP for short… thank goodness that acronym isn’t taken!  So what exactly is UDP?  Its a combination of a beta package in Unity that integrates with their existing analytics and IAP packages and enables you to submit to the UDP.  The UDP itself is an online portal for managing publishing, IAP and tracking of multiple different online stores around the world. 

Described succinctly as:

Create once, publish everywhere

UDP reduces the engineering complexities associated with publishing to multiple app stores, enables you to distribute and operate games in local markets, and connects you with hundreds of millions of players worldwide through participating app stores.


Currently limited to the Android platform and only a few live app stores ( Catappult and MOO Store), with more coming online soon.  Essentially it allows you to publish to more stores with very little extra effort, all managed and reported in a single interface.  More interesting, is the following question and answer pair from the FAQ:

Does UDP support non-Unity games?

Currently, UDP only supports games made with Unity. However, in the future, UDP will be engine-agnostic. More details on this will be coming soon.

For more details on the Unity Distribution Portal beta visit here.  See it in action in the video below.

GameDev News


27. January 2019


We just published a brand new 18 part text tutorial series over on DevGa.me, Getting Started with Godot Step by Step Tutorial Series.  This tutorial walks you through theEBookCoverA4Format entire game creation process using Godot 3.1, from creating your initial project, to publishing your game with details step by step instructions and screen shots.  Even better it’s got professional quality art assets from Game Developer Studios and is completely open source!

The tutorial consist of:

Getting Started with Godot

Setup and Project Creation

Creating your Title Screen

Playing Background Music

Global Data via Autorun

Creating a Simple UI

Creating the Main Game Scene

Creating Parallax Clouds

Creating the Player

Handling Input

Add a Scene Animation

Creating Bullets

Creating the Enemies

Configuring the Collisions

Populating the Game World

Adding Shooting to the Game

Making Things Explode

The Final Code

Building your Game for Windows

If you need more detailed information on any subject we cover, be sure to check our existing Godot 3 Tutorial series, that goes into much more technical detail.  There will be a step by step video version available shortly.  There is also a 70pg PDF version of this tutorial available for Patreons.

Programming Art Design


18. October 2018


Meshroom is a new, free and open source photogrammetry software from AliceVision.  Photogrammetry software enable you to create a 3D scene using a series of photographs, generally the more the merrier.  Currently documentation is a bit lacking, so I’ve decided to create this quick tutorial.  In this tutorial we are going to quickly walk through the process of using Meshroom using a photoset available here.  That post links to a zip file containing 50 images that are confirmed to work with Meshroom.  Simply extract them somewhere on your drive.  Of course you need to download Meshroom, which is available for download right here.  Simply download the archive, extract then execute the Meshroom application.  Note Meshroom requires a CUDA GPU and works on Windows and Linux!  So this process will only work on nVidia GPUs, at least as of time of writing.


Once you’ve got Meshroom loaded, follow the following simple steps.

Drag extracted images into the Images pane on the left.

image

Save your project somewhere

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Click the green Start button.

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As it’s running, you will see the progress across the top:

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This bar indicates a problem occurred.  You can divine more details by locating the current task in the Graph, like so:

image

With the node selected, check the Log (bottom right corner) for details.  This is the error message you receive if you run the process on a non-CUDA (nVidia) GPU.  Keep in mind, it can also be caused by the process running on a laptop with Optimus, not automatically selecting the right GPU.

image

Hopefully however you encounter no such errors and the process is entirely green.  On the bright side, it should pick right up where the error occured if you run the project again in the same directory, as Meshroom caches the results of each step as it goes.  You will find the vast majority of time is spent on the DepthMap section,  this is normal.  As the process continues, you should start seeing results in the 3D viewer.

image

You can pan, zoom and orbit the mouse using the LMB, scroll wheel and MMB respectively.  More detail in the point cloud will fill in as the process runs.  Once it completes successfully, you will see a button Load Model.

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You can now preview the results of your effort!

FinalGif

A few steps in, it will have evaluated all of your photos, acceptable/usable photos will be marked with a green checkmark.

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Review the remaining photos for flaws and inconsistency if you run it again.

Go make some tea… it’s going to be between 10 minutes and an hour depend on the speed of your machine.  Once the process is complete, there will be a folder called MeshroomCache, with the following contents:

image


This is a folder with all of the output files from each step in the process.  Generally what you are going to be interested in is the obj, mtl and texture file in the Texturing folder.  This can be imported into your 3D modelling application of choice, the obj format is fairly universal.  The resulting mesh is extremely dense and you may consider checking out Instant Meshes for optimizing the results.


Now that you know it works, it’s time to start refining the process or providing your own picture set.  I would recommend the following tips from my own experience:

  • use an actual camera, not a phone.  I got terrible results from my Pixel phone, but my Canon DLSR gave much better results.  YMMV
  • DO NOT green/white screen your background.  Unique markers in the background help Meshroom position each virtual camera
  • try to get the entire object in frame on each shot
  • get rid of any image with any blurring

So far we just default settings in the Graph Editor.  This graph represents a graph of nodes in the process, one for each directory shown in the screenshot above.  Note when you select a node, there are a number of properties you can edit:

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You can also connect pins to multiple nodes to create multiple results.  For example, if you wanted to create a set of TFF and lower resolution PNG textures, you can do the following.  Right click the graph editor and select Texturing:

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This will create a new node in the graph.  Now drag the output node from MeshFiltering and connect it to ini and inputMesh.

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Select the new Texturing node and have it create a lower detail texture set:

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Now when it runs, it will create two sets of textures for you.  Note there are other nodes such as Decimation that aren’t in the process by default.  You can see the entire thing in process in the video attached below:

Art


14. August 2018


Are you looking to learn how to use Unreal Engine?  If so, today Epic just launched their new online academy, which is home to all of their existing video tutorials, as well as several new videos, organized into courses by industry or job position.  Current courses are split into the following tracks:

  • Game Development
  • Architecture
  • Industrial Design
  • Media and Entertainment

Details of the new course from the Unreal Engine blog:

Additional tracks sort content by job roles like Designer or Programmer, and each series is labeled with levels from Getting Started to Master Level. Videos are available on demand, and series are broken into short chunks for convenient learning anytime, anywhere.

This new platform includes a lot of the great video content you’ve seen on our website in the past, plus dozens of new videos on common workflows, new features, and a whole lot more! The learning platform is open to everyone, and offered free of charge. More content will be added regularly.

You can access the Unreal Engine Online Learning platform through the Video Tutorials option under the Learn tab at the Unreal Engine website. Check out the videos and get started on your journey to mastering Unreal Engine!

You can access the courses by clicking the Vide Tutorials link in the Learning section of the Epic Game Launcher, or by going to the website academy.unrealengine.com.  Best of all, all of this content is completely free.

GameDev News


AppGameKit Studio

See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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