We're still a few weeks away from a likely HoloLens 2 release, but Microsoft's immersive computing team is still working on other aspects of its mixed reality ecosystem.
Earlier this week, Microsoft released a new extension for Unity and the Mixed Reality With Tookit, developers can better reproduce the natural light in Augmented Reality experiences on the HoloLens as well as on ARKit, ARCore, and other AR platforms using the Light Capture tool Twitter on Wednesday. Developers can access the open source tool through GitHub.
The Light Capture tool creates a replica of the natural environment Lighting, also called Cubemap, is based on images, which are detected by AR devices relative to the position of the device while moving in physical space. The tool then inserts the data into Unity's lighting system to apply it to shaders used in the 3D models.
Klingensmith found that the tool works especially well on HoloLens and other AR headsets with additive ads. But with the ARFoundation package for Unity, developers can also apply the tool to ARKit and ARCore apps.
However, there are some limitations. While HoloLens' camera is set to a specific exposure to more accurately detect changes in lighting, other devices will not, which may lead to "muddy" lighting. Because the Light Capture tool uses the device's camera, it may not work with other camera-based activities at the same time. B. Vuforia marker tracking or camera streaming via mixed reality capture.
Lighting is a critical component when trying 3D content appears as realistic as possible in an augmented reality scene, so the new tool is a welcome advancement for both developers and end users.