Unity Raises the Visuals Bar with Stunning ‘Enemies’ Tech Demo

Alessio Palumbo

At GDC 2022, Unity unveiled a new tech demo titled 'Enemies' to showcase the latest improvements coming to the engine's HDRP (High Definition Render Pipeline).

Developed by the Unity Demo Team (led by Creative Director Veselin Efremov and known for Heretic, Book of the Dead, Neon, and Adam), Enemies can be checked out by GDC 2022 attendees from March 23th through 25th both as a standalone and running in the engine's editor. The Demo Team will release the updated Digital Human Package and the brand new Hair solution in Q2 2022.

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Digital humans in Unity

  • A better 4D pipeline
  • Skin Attachment system on the GPU to allow for high-density meshes (e.g., peach fuzz)
  • More realistic eyes with caustics on the iris
  • A new skin shader
  • Tension tech for blood flow simulation and wrinkle maps, eliminating the need for a facial rig for fine details

The tech behind Enemies

All High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) features have been improved and some new systems were introduced, including Adaptive Probe volumes and Screen Space Global Illumination (SSGI). Real-time ray traced reflections, ray traced ambient occlusion, and native support for NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) allow the demo to run at 4K with image quality comparable to native resolution.

Strand-based, real-time Hair solution

For the protagonist’s highly realistic locks, the Demo team and Unity’s R&D team collaborated on an all-new Hair solution for authoring, importing, simulating, and rendering strand-based hair. It works with any authoring tools that output data in the Alembic format. In Enemies, the team used Maya XGen, and is validating the pipeline with Weta Barbershop.

Take a look at the gorgeous video footage below. If you're interested in a deep dive on how the Enemies demo was put together, read the official blog post, or better yet wait for the upcoming breakdown session featuring Mark Schoennagel (senior developer advocate at Unity). The stream is scheduled to broadcast on Friday, March 25th, at 9:30 am PT on Twitch.

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