Unigine Engine Does Real-Time Global Illumination
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming on 20 October 2012 at 01:39 AM EDT. 8 Comments
The Unigine Engine has been revised with a number of new features and impressive capabilities. One of several new features is "real-time global illumination with spherical harmonics", which may be a mouthful but is for delivering even more beautiful graphics.

About the real-time global illumination with spherical harmonics, Unigine Corp says, "A new, real-time global illumination based on precomputed spherical harmonics allows to render high-detail diffuse lighting with interreflections and angle-dependent specular highlights. It is fully interactive: soft environment light illuminates both static geometry in the scene and dynamic objects moving around it...The stunning lightmap-like quality is achieved by using automatically generated LightProb...Global illumination is available across all APIs and is well scalable performance-wise... As you can see, GI makes a huge difference: it brings a truly photorealistic visual quality to a scene."

Here's the difference that the global illumination makes on rendering:

Other recently-committed improvements to this cross-platform graphics engine include hugh speed-up for skinned meshes in certain conditions, hardware anti-aliasing for GUI widgets and Flash movie clips, TTF font improvements, full support for ETC2 texture compression, and an interlaced lines stereo rendering move. There's also dynamic meshes enhancements, UnigineScript advancements, and various other changes to the promising but not widely-used engine.

More information on the latest improvements to the Unigine Engine can be read about from this devlog posting.

For those still wondering about when Unigine is going to release Unigine Valley, the latest I heard out of the company several weeks ago is that Valley is basically done and released to their customers, but nothing that's publicly available yet. This is rather upsetting and really sad to see, but hopefully it will get a public unveiling soon...
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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