Unity Technologies recently announced the launch of Unity 2017.1 which boasts some incredible new features such as Timeline and Cinemachine. The new subscription program is here to help content creators and developers have easy access with a new entry-point that they can feel comfortable with.
Unity currently powers more than 50% of all new mobile games and nearly 75% of all AR and VR content. Interactive content made with Unity reaches nearly 3 billion devices worldwide. While a lot of details were uncovered during their press release, we wanted to dig deeper to find out more about Unity 2017.1 and how it’ll help developers in the VR/AR industry. So we talked to Sarah Stumbo, XR Technical Evangelist at Unity who is a developer herself.
SJ: How will Unity 2017.1 help content creators/developers in the VR/AR industry?
Sarah: Unity 2017.1 is a one-stop creation powerhouse that allows creators unlock their full creativity. It contains more than 100 new features and improvements devoted to increasing content creation and collaboration, improving runtime performance and graphics quality, and more. These help creators enhance the overall user experience, which is crucial in the VR/AR development. With Unity 2017.1’s powerful visual tools Timeline and Cinemachine, content creators can revolutionize users’ point of view without the need of an engineer, thereby spending more time doing and less time coding. Timeline lets creators create cinematic content and gameplay sequences, while Cinemachine’s unique smart camera system allows them to control shots like a movie director. While these tools are still evolving for VR, you can see how they will benefit creators for all types. For a short demo, please click here.
SJ: How will the subscription structure/model help young developers and enthusiasts start developing VR content?
Sarah: Unity 2017.1 subscription plans are available with enhanced features and services to support its customers’ individual needs: Unity Pro represents the top of the line in professional-grade tools while Unity Plus offers serious creators who intend to publish additional tools and services to help them be successful. Custom-tailored enterprise solutions are also available for teams of 21 or more. For hobbyists and aspiring creators, Unity Personal provides all the core features they need to get started for free. All plans are royalty-free and include all platforms, the complete details of which are available on https://store.unity.com.
SJ: What compelled Unity to develop “Timeline and “Cinemachine?”
Sarah: Unity strives to address and solve every problem creators face. Its robust and ever-growing ecosystem accelerates time-to-market and decreases production costs through its massive collection of resources in the Unity Asset Store. Unity’s “build once, deploy anywhere” flexibility also allows them the opportunity to reach users on the widest possible range of platforms.
With the new Timeline and Cinemachine, Unity empowers artists to create cinematic content and gameplay sequences without having the expertise of an engineer or the need for coding. Timeline allows artists to easily blend and tweak animations within Unity, allowing for freedom to experiment and refine their creations. Cinemachine optimizes the artist workflow and gives room for experimentation by eliminating hours of hand animation, camera programming, and revision by using smart cameras for shot composition in cinematic sequences and gameplay. Engineers can also easily integrate sequences created with Timeline through the powerful scripting API and extend Timeline with the Playable API to create custom track types.
What’s amazing about Unity 2017.1 is the fact that they’ve created a powerful visual tool which allows content creators to create POVs without the need of an engineer. This allows teams and studios to save resources, money, and time in developing their content. Additionally, the new Unity Personal subscription plan allows students and early developers the ability to jump in and start creating their own unique content for free. This model includes all the core features necessary to sculpt your imaginations into reality and practice your form of digital art.
We’re excited to see all of the amazing VR content that’ll be released in the near future through Unity Technologies’ new Unity 2017.1.