Hardware manufacturers and software developers have been thick as thieves this week at GDC, announcing unique initiatives and partnerships which will hurl us all into the VR/DirectX12/Vulkan paradigm. The latest to be unveiled brings Unity Technologies and NVIDIA together, the former through the Unity Game Engine, and the latter with NVIDIA VRWorks.
The Unity Game Engine is one of those ubiquitous engines that crop up in a massively diverse selection of games, and the engine architects are determined not to be left behind in the upcoming push for VR. With that in mind they've partnered with NVIDIA to integrate support for VRWorks, the comprehensive suite of proprietary libraries and APIs that are specifically designed to leverage NVIDIA hardware to meet the performance and fidelity requirements of Virtual Reality.
Included amongst the tools are VR SLI, allowing the use of multiple GPUs to render 3D space whilst equitably dividing workloads between graphics resources. This will be the debut of Unity's incorporation of comprehensive SLI support, and comes at just the right time given the immense pixel-processing rates required for immersive gameplay.
Also a part of VRWorks is Multi-resolution Shading. A complicated process, in essence it divides up a scene into sections where higher resolutions are necessary (i.e. towards the centre) and others where the VR post-processing 'warping' effect mean that less detail pre-warp is required. As a result GPU resources can be put to better use, and that's once again critical VR experiences.
Developers who utilise the Unity will be able to leverage VRWorks from within the game engine, which will be far easier than external hacks to fudge support. Although Unity's use of VRWorks will tend to focus on the software side, the toolkit also incorporates aspects which are important to HMD hardware developers and developers of professional tools. You can read more about VRWorks at NVIDIA's developer portal.
Alongside the announcement Unity Technologies also showcased the first part of their Adam Tech demo, showing off the power of the Engine's latest iteration, and released the Unity 5.4 beta.
SOURCE: NVIDIA Official Blog