Geomerics Launches Major Update to Enlighten Middleware

New workflow features, new platform support and future game lighting technology on display at GDC 2013.

Cambridge, UKGeomerics, the leading lighting technology company in the video game industry, today announced that it has launched a major upgrade to Enlighten, its award-winning game lighting middleware. The new version focuses heavily on simplifying the workflow of artists working on games across an even broader range of platforms. The new release will be on display in Geomerics’ business suite (BS123) as well as in the ARM booth (booth #1124) on the show floor at this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC).

“With this release, we really focused on simplifying the creation of high-quality lighting for artists working on games across any type of platform,” said Geomerics’ head of development, Dr. Graham Hazel. 

With the recent PlayStation 4 announcements from Sony, and the wealth of new platforms discussed at CES, Geomerics has now extended runtime support to an ever increasing list of platforms – everything from latest Windows PC, Mac and Linux machines, to the PlayStation®4, to current generation consoles such as the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U and PS Vita, to mobile platforms running iOS and Android. They achieved this by keeping the runtime lightweight and optimising it for performance on every platform.

In addition to extended platform support, Geomerics has focused on making Enlighten as easy as possible for artists to use. “Enlighten is being actively used by some of the largest development teams in existence. This is giving us a huge amount of feedback on where bottlenecks may occur in workflow,” added Dr Hazel. “The results of this feedback are that we are able to find increasingly sophisticated ways to automate processes. For example, in the past, artists had to set various parameters to control Enlighten’s performance. Many of these settings are now computed automatically. We basically adopted a design philosophy that allows Enlighten to do the sensible thing in nearly all cases, and only requires artist input for a handful of scenarios where the right approach may be ambiguous.”

A further new feature is a new integration into the latest Unreal Engine technology. This integration has a re-designed and streamlined workflow that takes full advantage of the latest automation features in Enlighten. The integration is also able to take advantage of the latest editing and rendering features inside the Unreal Engine. 

In addition to these major enhancements, the new release includes:

  • Support forall game scenarios, from static baked lighting through to fully dynamic,with a range of unique hybrid lighting models. These are all authored in aconsistent, simplified framework.
  • A fullplug-in for Maya offering Enlighten computed radiosity in real-time in theMaya viewport. This enables artists to preview their assets beforecommitting them to the engine, knowing that their preview accuratelyreproduces how the asset will appear in game.  
  • Support forglossy ‘specular’ effects. Glossy reflections give a surface a shinyappearance and are an important part of global illumination.  Dynamicindirect glossy reflections had been viewed as computationally hard toachieve.  Geomerics’ new solution is so fast it can achieve real-timedynamic specular effects on a mobile device.

Enlighten at GDC 2013

At GDC, Geomerics will be showcasing the new release as well as future product enhancements. Mobile will play a key part of Geomerics’ presence at GDC 2013. In their business suite (BS123 in the North Hall) they will be showcasing Enlighten running on a range of mobile devices. Meanwhile, in the ARM booth in the main show floor, Geomerics will be showing Enlighten on the latest Mali-powered mobile architecture. 

“I’m delighted with the range of technologies we are bringing to GDC this year. With both a mature product and exciting new research, we are really looking forward to a great show,” said founder Dr. Chris Doran. 

Source: Geomerics

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