Unity Game Engine Can Make Extremely Realistic Humans

Unity has released its latest tech demo, titled "Enemies," which shows off just how close the game development platform has come to displaying realistic-looking humans.

The two-minute video shows how far Unity has come since its previous demo, "The Heretic," which came out in 2020. While not as story-driven as "The Heretic," "Enemies" showcases an impressive assortment of visual effects on both its human character and their environment throughout its runtime.

Unity human model lighting example

Unity Technologies

According to Unity, some changes have been made to the engine specifically to help it display more realistic looking digital humans. This includes making the eyes more realistic while improving the way light reflects and refracts off of irises, a new shader for skin, and the ability to handle finer model meshes like peach fuzz.

It also utilizes technology to simulate wrinkles and blood flow, which Unity claims will eliminate the need for creating a facial rig for finer details.

Hair, which has always been a difficult element to animate in 3D, is also seeing improvements. Unity says its R&D and Demo teams worked together to figure out a way to simulate and render strand-based hair in-engine, which you can see in action towards the end of the clip.

It also states that the new hair technology will work with any tools that can output in Alembic—a commonly used animation file type—format. Meaning it should be compatible with most animation software (i.e., it should be doable for many developers and teams).

A demo of "Enemies" will be on display at GDC (Game Developer's Conference) 2022 in San Francisco, From March 23rd through the 25th. Unity's new Hair solution and an updated Digital Human Package are due out in the second quarter of this year.

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