Unity is a great engine with many wonderful features right at your fingertips. But perhaps the best part is that you can enhance it even further with a vast range of awesome plugins!
Today I wanna focus on a couple of plugins that will bring true AAA quality enhancements to Unity. I will only feature plugins that support both, DX and openGL.
So… is it expensive?
Most of these plugins are in a higher price range than the average Asset Store add-ons. But considering what they bring to the table and how long it would take to implement these features all by yourself (or pay a team of developers to do it) they are a real bargain.
A lot of these plugins require Unity Pro which costs 1500$, so keep that in mind as well.
Let’s get started.
Amplify Texture is a plugin that allows you to use huge (and i mean really huge) textures on your objects.
Instead of being loaded into VRAM all the textures you use in your game will be added to a big virtual texture which is optimized for streaming. The plugin will then only render those parts of the textures that are visible to the camera.
Since Amplify Texture handles the image files you use in your game, you are not restricted to Unity’s 4096×4096 size limit anymore. This way you can achieve a higher detail level on your objects with just one texture instead of using multiple textures and materials – which, on the other hand, will reduce drawcalls as well.
Another great side-effect that comes with the streaming technology is that transitions between texture details are much smoother than with Unity’s mipmaps.
Amplify Texture (upcoming version 2) costs 400$ and you can get it from the Amplify website.
There is a trial version without any limitations as well, so go and see for yourself. It’s an awesome technology!
Realtime global illumination is a AAA feature which is missing in Unity. Thanks to visual effects developer Chris Kahler the days of unnatural-lighted-scenes are over.
dynamic GI is based on the voxel cone tracing technique and looks really promising! The plugin is pretty new so there are a couple of things that need to be optimized, but Chris is working hard on it and adds feature after feature.
The most important thing: an openGL version of the plugin will be available soon! That means it will work on other systems than Windows as well. Supporting multiple platforms is important nowadays … who wants to be Windows-only?
dynamic GI is available at the Asset Store for 90.25$.
You probably should wait until the promised openGL support is available though.
Another awesome plugin by Amplify is Amplify Color. It allows you to do color grading in 3rd party applications like Photoshop and apply it to your game as an image effect.
I can’t stress enough how much a good color grading enhances the look of a game so you should definitely give this a try.
Relief Terrain Pack v3
3 weeks ago we wrote an article on How to create awesome terrains with Unity. Now there is a new version of Tomasz Stobierski’s Relief Terrain Pack out which can be easily added to the workflow.
The plugin includes additional features like dynamic snow and a water system.
You can get RTP3 for 70$ at the Asset Store!
I know… another Amplify plugin. But these guys really have the best plugins for Unity out there. Amplify Motion is a motion blur plugin which is vector based and far superior to Unity’s build-in motion blur image effect.
A good motion blur solution is an important ingredient to a AAA-looking game, and Amplify does it best.
First off, Shader Forge isn’t out yet. But it’s something you should have a close eye on. Writing shaders in Unity can be a bit of a hassle, but Shader Forge attempts to address this with a visual node based editor.
You can follow the development of Shader Forge in the Unity forums!
If you know any more AAA-ish plugins for Unity please let us know in the comment section or write us a message on Twitter!