Granite SDK 4.3 is out!

Guess what? We just released the latest version of our technology: Granite SDK 4.3! This is the result of months of work and we hope you will enjoy the new features. What's new? Here's a little breakdown of the main things we brought to Granite:

  • A new paging strategy for the Tile Set files that allows having one page file (.GTP) per asset (stacked texture). This makes file versioning and distribution during production much more efficient. It also allows for small patches to end-users.
  • A new (but still in Beta) mip stripping option that removes redundant data from our tile sets. This can reduce file sizes up to 18%.
  • A number of bug fixes.

We’ve already had a good year with the release of a number of successful titles that use our Granite SDK (Conan Exiles, Osiris: New Dawn, Aven Colony, etc.) on Windows PC, PS4, PS4 Pro and Xbox One. We also have a number of unannounced projects that will be the biggest IPs ever to use our virtual texturing system. All the same, more and more VFX studios are enjoying the capabilities of our technology to make the most of real time for their productions' needs.

Some of these projects required us to add new features and we’ve now collated all our changes and released them in Granite SDK 4.3. You can find more info on the two new features below. Two important things to note:

  • The Tile Set files will need to be regenerated for these options to have effect. The files will change so this can result in updating all content.
  • The 4.3 tools are using a new file format. Tile Sets generated with the 4.3 tools will not be readable for SDK runtimes lower than 4.3.

Page Strategy GTPPerGTEX

With SDK 4.0 we already focused on improving file versioning. You could check-in .GTEX files and generate the runtime files (.GTS/.GTP) on your local machine. However we saw that there was still a need to version the Tile Sets with every project build and distribute this to team members. With our new GTPPerGTEX paging strategy, you can now break up the larger runtime files into one page file per Stacked Texture. You can find more info in the Tile Set Studio project settings (Advanced). To make sure that the .GTP files only change if the content of their Stacked Texture is modified, disable “tile redirection” in the project settings.

Mip Stripping (Beta)

You can now activate a new feature that removes redundant data from file format using the “Mip stripping” checkbox in the project settings. This can reduce the file size by up to 18% if you are using the BC1,3,5,7 compression formats (not Granite) for your layers.

GTEX's are shared between multiple machines to speed up the generation of Tile Set files.

Workflow

The Granite SDK import tools have become very configurable and allow for a range of different workflows. With all this flexibility, it can be difficult to know how to best structure your project. We’ve written down some best practices in our online documentation here. There is a section on how you can speed up working with Tile Sets by using multiple smaller ones instead of a few big ones. We also have a section on how sharing .GTEX files can help you to generate Tile Sets faster on different machines. For larger teams that want to distribute the generation of .GTEX files, we’ve added a chapter on that shows you how to generate Tile Sets directly from .GTEX files that were generated remotely using other project files. And to reduce the pressure on your file versioning system, we’ve added a chapter on what settings help you to minimize changes in your Tile Sets files.

That's it for now! What do you think of our update? Do not hesitate to let us know if you have suggestions, and we'll see if/how we can incorporate them into our roadmap! And do not forget, we are always open to develop custome features if need be as part of our services offer. Until then, stay tuned as we have a few projects to announce in the coming weeks!

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