Speed increases ripple through Enlighten dot-update

Tweaks throughout the production process make this real-time global illumination engine run faster.

A dot-update to global real-time illumination engine Enlighten features changes that extend scalability, reduce solver time, and improve lighting placement flexibility in game development.

New features in Geomerics Enlighten 3.02 include:

High level build system (HLBS): A code refresh to the build system can deliver up to 16x faster performance, if only incremental changes are made to existing routines in the editor. Geomerics says the speed improvements are the result of tightening the set of dependencies for each task and allowing them to run earlier. Other areas of the HLBS were refreshed as well, including the scalability of the precompute.

Large terrains: Geomerics says the update offers a more streamlined approach to computing large terrain. By storing pixel validity information in a manner that can be easily accessed later on, the amount of ray tracing performed is reduced.

Enlighten 3.02 running inside Forge, Geomerics’ lighting editor purpose-built for use with Enlighten. (Source: Geomerics)
Enlighten 3.02 running inside Forge, Geomerics’ lighting editor purpose-built for use with Enlighten. (Source: Geomerics)

Area lights: Enlighten 3 enabled users to specify which Enlighten instances should be clustered together and which should be clustered separately.  Enlighten 3.02 has increased flexibility by adding the ability to cluster on a per-material basis rather than on an instance basis. Geomerics says for emissive materials this will help to avoid the creation of visual artefacts as it prevents the precompute from clustering tris from both emissive and non-emissive materials.

Cubemap solver: Enlighten 3 offered a CPU cluster-based cubemap solution. A GPU implementation of the cluster-based cubemap solution has been introduced into Enlighten 3.02; Geomerics says it balances both the performance and visual quality in an acceptable way while focusing on ease of integration.

Final gather: After pursuing ideas generated from Geomerics’ work around Unity 5, a final gather step has been implemented which delivers improvements to baked irradiance output quality. This new method delivers soft shadows for the irradiance lighting, as well as much improved contact shadows.

Automatic bevels: Bevelled edges are now automatically detected by the Enlighten precompute and lit with a smooth, physically accurate blend of indirect lighting. There is also an option for manually marking up bevelled geometry for any cases where the precompute fails to detect and create separate charts for both unders and the bevel. This feature works for bevelled edges with either two or three unders (for example, the corner of a bevelled cube).

In related news, Geomerics says confirmed Enlighten 3.02 will be the last version of Enlighten to ship with Enlighten 2 libraries. Customers concerned about the impact this will have on their current projects are advised to contact their support representative for further information.

Geomerics is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARM.