Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Graphine releases Granite SDK 3.0

Nurulize’s Rise VR demo uses Graphine’s Granite texture-streaming technology to display very large textures in real time on Unreal Engine 4. Both the Granite SDK and the Unreal Engine plugin have just been updated.

Graphine has released Granite SDK 3.0, the latest update to its texture streaming middleware, removing restrictions on texture layering and reducing processor usage by 50%.

The company has also updated its Unreal Engine plugin, Granite for Unreal, based on the new SDK.

Use huge textures in games and VR apps without crippling performance
Granite enables games artists to use textures larger than will normally fit into memory by streaming only those parts visible to the camera from disk at runtime.

Users include The Mill, game developer The Farm 51 and tech firms Oculus and Allegorithmic.

Graphine has a good article discussing the technology and how it works on the Unreal blog, headline-grabbingly entitled ‘Two thousand gigapixels of textures, anyone?’

Granite SDK 3.0: New layer system, improved resource use
Key changes in Granite SDK 3.0 include the revamped layer system, which enables artists to use different resolution textures within a stacked texture, or to mix UDIM, single and tiled textures.

According to Graphine, this “does not have any impact on memory, disk size, bandwidth, etc”.

Processor and memory use have also been improved: Graphine claims that the new version of Granite requires “50% less CPU and GPU work per frame” and “25% less [disk space] in a typical game scenario”.

There are also a number of other new features, including the option to use individual texture caches larger than the maximum texture size supported by the GPU, which you can read about in Graphine’s blog post.

Graphine has also released Granite for Unreal 4.10.1, a new version of its Unreal Engine plugin based on the new SDK, although at time of posting, its Unity plugin hadn’t been updated.

Pricing and availability
Granite SDK 3.0 is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS C, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It can be licensed for a specific platform or on a per-game basis, and is priced on enquiry.

Granite for Unreal 4.10.1 costs $890 for an unlimited licence, up $300 from previous releases; but Graphine has also introduced a new $249 Indie licence, which caps the texture data streamed per project.

Graphine also offers a rental option for the Pro edition, priced at $490/year.

Read a full list of new features in Graphine SDK 3.0

Read more about Granite for Unreal 4.10.1 on Graphine’s blog