Enlighten will be replaced with a robust solution for Baked and Real-time GIobal Illumination
Unity is required to remove Enlighten but will continue support as-is through 2020 LTS. We have a robust replacement for Enlighten Baking with the CPU and GPU Progressive Lightmapper. A real-time GI replacement solution will be delivered in 2021.1.
Due to Geomerics shutting down Enlighten as a product, Unity is required to remove Enlighten.
Unity will continue support for Enlighten in the built-in renderer as it currently exists today (as-is, with no new platform support). The 2020 LTS will be the last version to contain Enlighten functionality for the built-in renderer, and it is fully removed in 2021.1.
Projects authored with HDRP Preview Enlighten functionality will continue to be supported as it currently exists today (as-is, with no new platform support) in 2019 LTS, with full removal of Enlighten functionality from HDRP in 2020.1.
Our Lighting team has been focused on making a robust solution to replace Enlighten baking over the last years as well as provide great alternatives for the fast workflow possible with real-time Enlighten pathway through improved baking. The CPU Progressive Lightmapper is production-ready. Our GPU-based Progressive Lightmapper is used widely now with a great set of features and is targeted to be production-ready in the 2020.1 release. We’re continuing to add improvements, focusing on highly-iterative workflows, with every release. For example, in Unity 2019.1, we’ve added NVIDIA® OptiX™-based AI denoising, which gives you perceptually noise-free lightmaps up to 10x faster than before and many other features targeted for easier, more intuitive workflows and faster iteration for artists.
In 2019.2, we’re adding Intel® Open Image Denoise, which makes this fast iteration functionality available on all Editor platforms for our users. We’re also adding sophisticated sampling methods to improve baking iteration speed such as multiple importance sampling from offline rendering which gives you clean bakes when using HDRI environments. We’re improving the control of lightmap layouts by letting you specify the number of lightmaps you want, and adding more convenient artist options. If there is any feature parity missing from Progressive Lightmapper in order for you to make the transition please give us feedback on our Global Illumination forum.
Light Probe workflows will receive significant attention over the coming releases. Light Probes offer a great quality of lighting and flexibility for authoring – they do not require UVs and they are fast to compute. We’re working on workflows to enable easier Light Probe placement with volumes and automatically place Light Probes for terrains. We are also adding support for streaming light probe data sets to make workflows better suited for streamed worlds and large team development.
We are also fully committed to delivering a real-time GI replacement solution in 2021.1. The Unity team has a solid plan to solve this complex problem the right way, with great artists workflow and optimal runtime performance for 2021.1.
We understand it is frustrating if you are affected by this. Deprecating features is not something we take lightly. This is not the outcome we wanted. We are committed to providing great workflows for authoring lighting, whether for baked lighting or for real-time global illumination. Please join us over in the Global Illumination forum and discuss this with us, we are here to help you make the transition.