From the first time I saw the 2D doors of Yoshi's Island (SNES) fall forward, revealing themselves to be 3D objects, I've had something of an obession for mixing 2D pixel art with 3D. Many years ago I experimented with this in 1-bit Ninja on iOS. Since then, I've wanted to see how much further that idea could be taken, mixing 3D objects seamlessly with 2D, or rendering whole 3D scenes as pixel art. For the past month I've been working on a Unity3D asset to do just that & today I'm happy to release PixelRender into the wild!
PixelRender is a complete system of shaders, effects, scripts & tools for rendering 3D scenes as 2D pixel art. The key components are the PixelArt shader for rendering meshs using palette based shading, the PixelOutline image effect for drawing pixel-perfect outlines & the Palette Editor which provides several features for creating, generating & manipulating palettes used by the PixelArt shader directly within Unity3D. PixelRender also includes components for quantizing animation, several examples & full documentation (in both pdf & epub format). It also works on mobile!
Rather than selling PixelRender in the Unity3D Asset Store, I've decided to try something different. The project is hosted on GitHub & is free to use for non-commercial purposes.
If you'd like to use PixelRender for commercial purposes, or support this & future kode80 development, commercial licenses are available for purchase from my new online store!
Bypassing the Asset Store allows me to offer PixelRender under separate commercial & non-commercial licenses, spend time on development rather than bureaucracy & keep development open & public. However, it also removes the in-editor promotion that the Asset Store provides. If you like PixelRender, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it with others via Twitter, Facebook and whatever other internet doodads the kids are using these days!