Unity, Autodesk announce work on a full integration between their apps.


(Ace Dragon) #1

And it’s been reported that Unity 2017.2 will already have some of that work as part of their new partnership.

Potentially great news if you can afford Max and Maya, but it could also mean potential bad news for Blender users (with Autodesk customers getting full priority, Blender users and their needs may fall by the wayside if they don’t find themselves willing to move to Godot or other solutions).

This partnership is also emphasized by their .fbx SDK now being fully accessible for Unity’s sourcecode (again, this may not be good news for Blender users, because Blender may never be able to have functionality like this simply because of the GPL, BForartists won’t be able to help either by the way).

And to think that Unity started as this Blender-friendly engine that can even read .blend files, my how times change (such as how GameMaker evolved from a little free app. to the most expensive 2D engine on the market).

If you use Unity now, what do you think about this?


(Ko.) #2

So, Stingray engine is EOL now?


(Ace Dragon) #3

The video embedded in the article talks about Stingray being used as a tool to build shaders with (so not EOL yet, but it might start moving away from being a full game engine).


(Romanji) #4

I don’t see how this is a bad thing for Blender users. Nothing changes for Blender users.
Blenders FBX problems have nothing to do with Unity.
Proprietary solutions/standard which are used often in the industry always have priority.

PS: I use Unreal Engine 4 and Epic gets more Blender friendly with every release.


(Ace Dragon) #5

There are a few things to consider.

  • Unity Tech. is placing Autodesk customers first, that means your pipeline will only be at its best if you use Max or Maya.
  • Unity Tech. doesn’t seem that interested in open technology and open formats in most areas (so while Maya users get better integration, Blender users get the same bugs and frustration that is using a closed yet constantly changing format in GPL software).
  • Any chance of Unity getting a .blend file reader like in the early days is pretty much zero

So Blender users may kind of wind up in the camp of “be thankful you can use Unity at all with FOSS” (considering the difficulty with FBX not only for the Blender devs, but for users too).

There is still hope for Blender as an asset creator though, and that is engines adopting the glTF 2.0 format (which is said to be quite good even compared to FBX). Its spread is one thing that both Reduz and Ton want to see happen (according to actual quotes from Twitter and other places).


(juang3d) #6

Unreal Engine …


(Dantus) #7

They have a tighter integration in 2017.2. That’s what the partnership was (?) for and that’s what we know. As FBX is as closed source as it gets, Unity very likely asked for source code access for the integration. I assume they tried it without the source code, but had a hard time.

I personally don’t see that as a bad thing, because it shows Unity’s effort to optimize the workflows for users. Integrating Autodesk’s solutions initially makes a lot of sense, because most artists use their software and the integration is more complicated due to the closed source nature.
To me, that does not mean that Blender permanently gets a worse integration. They have their hack week and I would be surprised if they didn’t bring Blender on par at one point, e.g. with glTF. It is also very likely that Unity exposes the API, such that an integration in Blender could even be possible with FBX.


(Romanji) #8

I totally see your point Ace Dragon, but i would argue/suspect that Unity Devs always placed Autodesk tools first because of their market share.

Is Unity.Techs disinterest in Open Source tools something that changed recently or a development over the last years?
If its the latter then i would say it is a general problem not necessarily related to their actual Autodesk partnership.

“Be thankful you can use Unity at all with FOSS!” If that is really their viewpoint it would cut in their own flesh. I don’t think they are that eager to cut a part of their customers loose, but who knows…maybe they got a lot “financial support” from Autodesk and its a deliberate move to cut off Blender.
If that is true, i would interpret it as a positive thing, because it means Autodesk acknowledges the “threat” of Blender, even if its bad for Unity devs.

gITF cannot come/spread soon enough.


(priyankar) #9

Hi I just saw the News of ADAM, and was about to ask this forum what Autodesk will do now about this developement… and I saw this thread. Well If my perception is right and as I saw the quality of the output of ADAM I think Autodesk will definitely going to / try to buy Unity with their full throttle.

Link of ADAM news :

https://edgylabs.com/unity-game-engine-just-proved-that-film-making-could-be-democratized/


(Ace Dragon) #10

That would just be speculation at this point, Unity’s current CEO however came directly from EA Games, so I don’t exactly see him as turning down a deal if Autodesk makes a generous enough offer.

Unity Tech. has also recently done another thing which seems a little odd, and that is going full steam ahead on version 2017.3 before 2017.2 is even out (which is seeing a delay due to bugs). Now they are managing two different versions plus backports to earlier releases (so I wonder if they could start seeing a strain on resources here).


(Dantus) #11

Unity’s marketing department seems to be doing a better job recently :slight_smile:
A massive amount of work went into that and from a technical point of view, this could also be achieved in Unreal.


(Indy_logic) #12

So, first off, I wouldn’t say your worries are unwarranted. But maybe a little to bombastic. Also, let me just say this:

I’m not sure I see how is this any different from the current situation? Unity works best with FBX. Blender can’t implement FBX unless it licenses it. None of that has changed/ will change.

If anything, who this doesn’t fare will for is Unreal. If Unity wanted to be real dicks, they could get Autodesk to implement tech that only works in Unity. Think about that for a second. I really don’t think that would happen.

Autodesk regularly makes changes to FBX not to be dicks but to add features for better integration. The reason we always get shafted is because Blender has to revers engineer FBX to figure out how to support those features. This is a real hassle but it’s not the fault of Blender or Autodesk. It’s just the nature of dealing with open source vs. closed source software.

What we should all be worrying about is the fact that GLtf’s development isn’t moving along fast enough. What they really need to do is just make official implementations for the various 3D software and engines so that no one can complain that there’s no exporter for their software. I mean, you can’t just offer up a better format (which at this point it’s not yet) and then sit back and wonder why no one is adopting it. GLtf need to take this very seriously and right now barely anyone knows about it.

  • Unity Tech. doesn’t seem that interested in open technology and open formats in most areas (so while Maya users get better integration, Blender users get the same bugs and frustration that is using a closed yet constantly changing format in GPL software).

Again, this has already been the case and doesn’t change that.

Any chance of Unity getting a .blend file reader like in the early days is pretty much zero.

Unity has a great asset store where users can buy and sell their scripts/plugins. If anyone was going to make a .Blend file importer, we would be best served by someone in our own community. Also, there’s already several utilities in the store that can load whole levels, covert rigidify, convert materials, etc. So, I’m not so sure this is as doom and gloomy as you say.


(dgorsman) #13

From my reading, a lot of driving behind the Autodesk/Unity work isn’t from games, artistic, or entertainment stuff, but rather from those on the technical side looking for streamlined presentation options. From both a conventional standpoint and from HMD VR devices.

As for the Stingray comment, it should be around for a little while at least. The core tech has been rolled into 3DSMAX, again aimed at streamlining the process of getting technical designs into a VR or walkthrough environment. The gaming-side may very be dropped if it isn’t competing well with the other available tools though.


#14

I don’t know why you tell allways that BF needs a lot of work to improve FBX support for new formats… if we still exporting in a old FBX version


(space_ace_65) #15

Adoption is going faster than you’d think, GLTF 2.0 export support has already been added to Substance Painter(2017.3), which is the main texturing software for AAA games. So it doesn’t matter if your modeling program supports it or not if you have Substance. You just need to export something Substance Painter can read, and substance can give you the GLTF file.

Right now the only thing left is for Unity and Unreal to add support on their end. Which understandably will take a little time. After all the roadmaps of these engines are made extremely far in advance. They can’t just add in support for a new format at the drop of a hat.


(xrg) #16

What happened that made them drop support for .blend files?


(Dantus) #17

There was never blend support in Unity. Under the hood blend files are converted into fbx files.


(m9105826) #18

It’s almost like money is a big motivating force for commercial organizations or something…


(apoclypse) #19

This won’t happen imo. Unreal is too big a player right now to ignore. Unless Autodesk starts adding some sort of super secret functionality into the FBX format that isn’t in the SDK, Unreal is going to be just fine.


(marcotronic) #20

LOL That made my day :smiley: