Graphine releases Granite SDK 4.0
Graphine has released Granite SDK 4.0, the latest update to its texture streaming middleware, improving workflow with version control systems and adding a new mipmap streaming system for smaller textures.
A versatile texture-streaming system for games and VR experiences
Developed to enable artists to use textures larger than will fit into memory by streaming only those parts visible to the camera at runtime, Granite was initially used mainly for very large texture maps.
Since then, it has become a more generic texture streaming system, with VR developers like Survios using it to add detail to environments without compromising frame rates.
Other users include VFX facility The Mill and texturing tools developer Allegorithmic.
New intermediate file type improves version control workflow
New features in Granite SDK 4.0 include better support for version control systems like Git and Perforce, including the introduction of a new intermediate .gtex file type.
A tiled and compressed version of the source images, .gtex files can be used to generate the files required by the Granite runtime in around 90 seconds per 2GB of compressed texture content.
By using .gtex files, rather than complete tile sets, in a version control system, users “switch from checking in large files that are modified frequently to smaller files that are modified much less frequently”.
You can read a fuller discussion of the workflow on Graphine’s blog.
New mipmap streaming system for smaller texture files
The update also adds a more conventional mipmap streaming system that can be used in in parallel with Granite’s existing tile-based streaming system.
The new system is intended for use with small files like particle textures or reusable noise textures; while tile-based streaming works well with large files like hero character textures or high-res lightmaps.
In addition, Granite SDK 4.0 adds beta support for DirectX 12 and OpenGL ES 3.
Pricing and availability
Granite SDK 4.0 is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It can be licensed for a specific platform or on a per-game basis, and is priced on enquiry.
The technology is also available as plugins for Unreal Engine and Unity. The Indie editions, which cap maximum texture size and materials per project, cost $249 and $65; the Pro versions cost $890 and $349.