Friday, January 17, 2020

Update: VR3DMediaViewer v2.4



VR3DMediaViewer has been updated to v2.4!

While waiting for publishing approval for TwIRC I decided to check in on VR3DMediaViewer to see if there was anything on my list that was worth looking into. SinglePass rendering support was the best task, so I gave it a shot.

SinglePass rendering requires use of shaders. As is, my asset is not designed around that, so I figured it was to contrasting of a option to support and integrate into my asset as is. After messing with it a little though I realized that I could fit it in as an option well enough. So, as much as I hate shaders, I wrote up what I could and got single pass rendering working. Setup is about 2/3 the same as the other method. You just don't need to setup a camera now for the SinglePass method.

The old, Layered, method is still an option. Selecting between the 2 options is available via a global option on any canvas. I would have just programmatically selected Layered if you had MultiPass selected, and Shader if you had SinglePass selected. But MultiPass mode supports both options, so I wanted to allow users a choice.

A common default question will probably be "which option do I choose for my project?". IDK. All I can say is, I think the SinglePass/Shader method will be more efficient considering performance. But I don't believe it will be significant in most cases. I think for it to be noticeable, you would have to have MANY instances of VR3D canvases in your scene. Like a gallery. Since the SinglePass option is so new and for me, experimental, I can't clearly declare it as the better default option though. The Layered method just works. It's been the only/primary method since the old RenderSwap method was dropped. About the only other difference is that Layered supports use of any shader, while the Shader method naturally requires the use of my assets Unlit shaders. So SinglePass+Shader for minor performance, and MultiPass+Layered for stability and customizablity?

Moving on, the next most interesting inclusion in this version is (limited) support for taking Panoramic Screenshots. The limits are that Unity v2018.1 and up is required, and the method/APIs used to achieve it are flawed as I've noticed quirks with the output when looking up/down. I just followed Unity own guidelines and use of APIs that they created specifically for this, and as such the issues with this method are out of my hands. I'd still recommend eVRydays free asset for capturing Pano media instead. In theory his is largely the same technique, just his Cubemap to Equirect code seems to be better than Unitys.

Finally, worth mentioning is a new addition/change to all my assets that I'll be trying out.

I've been trying to find ways are improving my sales. And when you come right down to it, one thing that helps the most is people leaving reviews. But very VERY few people do, and it really hurts new assets. People are reluctant to try and buy an asset because it has no/few reviews, and it has none/few because of the few that do by it don't leave a review. The only working method I have found to help get reviews was to ask people when they contacted me about issues. But ideally, my assets would be so good that people wouldn't be contacting me with issues. So then what? I don't want to purposely make flawed assets. So what can I do?

I came up with the idea to remind people with my asset itself somehow. But I needed to find a way to do it that seemed like a fair reasonable balance of actually reminding people, but not completely annoying.

My idea was to create an on load pop-up you see for many assets, but mine only shows up every 3 days. You can easily click it away and not see it for another 3 days, or you have a couple options to never see it again. The main way to never see it again is to simply wait 3 minutes for a countdown to complete, and a checkbox in the window to permanently hide the popup will become accessible. The idea is, if you want to wait, you can go and leave that feedback while you do. Seems reasonable to me! If you want to not be reminded, don't want to wait, don't care about helping support asset devs with a simple review, than you could also just edit or delete the script. It would then of course be gone until the next time to update or re-import the asset. I obviously don't like that option, but its peoples right to chose that.

This reminder is a trial I guess. My hope is of course that it gets more glowing 5 star reviews! But it could always backfire and cause customers to over exaggerate and leave a bad review solely based on perceiving a minor inconvenience as annoying and completely negating all the positive they get from the asset. IDK. Time will tell. I'll hopefully be adding this to my other assets too.

Change Log:

2.4:
  • Added SinglePass Stereo rendering support.
  • Optimized demo files.
  • Added review reminder popup. (Removed for now.)
  • Fixed misc minor camera setup bugs.
  • Fixed an issue with the Mono_TwoImages format not working as intended.
  • Fixed some script/shader errors.
  • Addressed issue with shaders not being included in builds.
  • Added Panoramic support to the Stereoscopic3DScreenshot script. Requires Unity 2018.1+. Its imperfect though, but out of my hands.

Available now on the Unity Asset Store!

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