Now available for download, latest release features enhancements to improve productivity; upgrades include increased stability to artist, cinematic, and programmer tools as well as faster iteration and import times for editor and team workflows.
Unity has announced the release of Unity 2020.2 TECH Stream, introducing more than 400 improvements and enhancements to the existing tooling. The upgrade features faster iteration times, smoother workflows, and increased productivity.
“While we’re always making an effort to deliver on the needs of Unity’s users, this year, we put a particular focus on listening to specific requests from our community,” commented Unity chief product officer, Brett Bibby. “We want to make sure that our tools are delivering the best possible experience and enabling the right results. Thanks to the incredible insights we’ve received from our users, we’ve been able to deliver improved solutions and better workflows in Unity 2020.2 TECH Stream that have made it more stable and more robust than ever before.”
Unity 2020.2 TECH Stream offers access to the latest features and improvements with support prior to the LTS release, making it an excellent choice for creators with projects in pre-production, or for those who want to leverage the latest production-ready features to achieve a competitive edge. For creators who are about to embark on projects past the prototyping phase, Unity recommends the LTS release, which offers the highest level of stability and is fully supported for two years from release, giving users a robust foundation for shipping, operating, and monetizing your project post-release.
Quality of Life Improvements
- Arrays and Lists - These are now reorderable in the Inspector. Developers can use the attribute [NonReorderable] to disable this function according to preference.
- Texture Import Pipeline - When using this for 2D Array and 3D textures, users can import the flipbook array/3D textures to preview them directly without writing custom C# code.
- Mesh Inspector - Users can visualize blend shapes in the Mesh inspector when present and drag multiple Prefabs into the Scene simultaneously.
- Quick Search - Creators can now search through all the Scenes and Prefabs of their project at once with the updated Quick Search package.
Programmer Tools & Performance Improvements
- Unity Safe Mode - To counter any errors which may occur during startup, Unity now prompts users to enter the new Safe Mode, where they can manage their project, solve compilation errors, and bring the project environment back into a working state.
- Deterministic Compilation - When compiling C# scripts, deterministic compilation will optimize compilation times by avoiding unnecessary recompiling of assembly definition references, creating a more efficient conversion process that greatly improves workflow.
- PhysX - Improvements include linking RigidBody hierarchies to ArticulationBody hierarchies that have regular joints with PhysX. This is particularly helpful if you work in robotics or physics-based games.
- Performance and Stability Improvements - Unity 2020.2 features significant optimizations in several areas, including speedier searches in the Editor scripted importers registration function, which are up to 800 times faster, and improved Nested Prefabs, which are up to 250 times faster.
- Profiler - The Profiler includes more visualization options, allowing users to read and display statistics in Players with the API.
- C# 8 Support - This release adds support for C# 8 features and enhancements, while the Switch expression has been updated with pattern matching to offer a more streamlined way to write conditional code.
Graphics & Artist Tools
- High-Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) - This includes tools to help users debug lighting and comes with improvements to the decal system. It also contains new path-tracing elements and subsurface scattering, as well as modifications and new features for Ray tracing (in Preview).
- New HDRP Sample Template - This is a great starting point for projects aiming at high-fidelity graphics that are targeting high-end hardware. The template provides a great starting point for exploring, learning, and creating realistic scenes with different light intensities. Download it from the Unity Hub.
- Universal Render Pipeline (URP) - The updated URP introduces new features that bring it closer to parity with Unity’s built-in renderer. Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) improves the quality of ambient lighting, and there is a new Lit Shader with additional surface inputs.
- Shader Graph - The enhanced Shader Graph includes several new features that improve workflow for technical artists, such as better Graph Editor performance.
- 2D Animation - In addition to improved 2D default assets and menus, the latest 2D Animation comes with integrated 2D Inverse Kinematics (IK), allowing animators using 2D skeletal animation to expand animation possibilities and save time.
- Improved Workflows and More - There are new updates to the Shader Graph, VFX Graph, and Animation Rigging Package - now out of Preview. Global Illumination and Recorder API also help creators bring their projects to life with more precision and less effort.
More information about Unity 2020.2 Stream is available here.