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What’s new in Beautify 2? – Build Time, Performance & More

On March 2020 we released Beautify 2 as a new asset that in addition to built-in pipeline, it also included support for LWRP. On May 2020, we have updated it with native support for Universal Rendering Pipeline (URP).

So Beautify 2 now contains 3 packages in one: the classic Beautify package for built-in pipeline, a version for LWRP (now deprecated and superseded by URP) and the new shining package for URP.

The new URP version leverages the integrated Post Processing volume interface to customize the different options:

A plethora of optimizations and utilities

URP is supposed to be fast.. so we doubled-down on the performance experience both in terms of runtime performance but also in editor.

  1. Build times. As we know, URP comes with an integrated post-processing stack which adds a lot of compilation overhead (even if you don’t use it!). We extended the ability of Beautify to strip unused features to cover those of Unity’s post processing. So now, you can simply check that you want to strip some or all post-processing shader variants, resulting in a lighting fast compilation.

2. Runtime performance. We added two new general options to boost effects performance: “Prioritize Shader Performance” and “Direct Write To Camera”. The first option will automatically use a variant of certain effects which are less accurate but a bit faster. For example, sharpen, bloom and anamorphic flares will use less texture fetches and render passes, and dithering will use a numerical algorithm instead of using a reference blue noise texture. The second option, “Direct Write to Camera” forces the output of Beautify to write to camera framebuffer directly instead of following the post processing chain. This saves a full screen blit (however it will also cancel any other non-Beautify effects).

In addition to these two options, some effects like depth of field or Sun flares include additional settings to balance quality vs performance. Also remember that Universal Rendering Pipeline provides a “Render Scale” option that let you reduce the resolution of the screen.

We recommend providing 2 or 3 quality modes in your game with different quality/performance settings in each profile. So the user has more choices based on his/her device capabilities.

3. Customization helpers. You can also enable the Compare Mode, which renders the normal scene image side by side to the same image with the current filters applied. This is a fantastic tool to get the final touch you want. Now you can also exclude the SceneView from Beautify altogether or visualize some internal buffers like depth of field CoC calculation or bloom buffers.

To learn more about Beautify, please visit the Asset Store using this link.

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