Earlier this month, the team behind the Unity game engine showed off an interesting little tech demo running on Xbox Series X during the Unite 2022 Keynote, focused around creating "lifelike characters" in Unity games.
This demo (which you can watch clips of in the timestamped video above) is called "Enemies", and it apparently runs at 4K on Xbox Series X. The highlight is obviously the main character herself who is packed with impressive detail, but the team also points out the shiny reflections in the environment, made possible with real-time raytracing:
"This is all made possible with the real-time ray tracing... and you can do that on the stable foundation of [DirectX 12]."
Another interesting thing about this demo is that Unity is using its acquisition of Ziva Dynamics to integrate a "lightweight puppet" version of the main character that can be puppeteered in real time, replacing the "heavy 4D data playback of the character's performance" in the process. Here's a bit more about what this means for developers:
"This toolset brings a level of quality and interactivity that is impossible with the facial animation methods used in games today. The Ziva puppet is only 50 megabytes, which is incredibly lightweight for such a high level of fidelity. This means that you will be able to produce facial animations at scale for all the characters in your entire game, and you will be able to maintain a high level of quality while staying within your memory budget."
Unity says all of this has been "optimised" for Xbox Series X, so that's obviously great to hear.
Fascinating stuff, then! As mentioned, you can check out the clips of the demo in the video above (rewind a little bit if you want to learn more about the Ziva integration) and we've also included some screenshots down below.
What do you make of this? Tell us in the comments!