Volumetric Light Beam is fully compatible and is constantly tested in depth on the following platforms:
- Computers: Windows PC, Mac OSX, Linux, WebGL
- Mobile: iOS, Android (SD Beams only)
- AR: iOS ARKit, Android ARCore (SD Beams only)
- VR high-end headsets: Oculus/Meta Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index...
- VR standalone headsets: Oculus/Meta Quest, Oculus/Meta Go, Gear VR, Daydream (SD Beams only)
- Mixed reality: HoloLens (SD Beams only)
- Consoles: although not officially supported, the plugin is known to run smoothly on the Sony Playstation 4 and the Nintendo Switch
Volumetric Light Beam is fully compatible with the following features:
- Deferred and Forward rendering path (like any semi-transparent objects, beams are rendered using a Forward rendering pass on top of the Deferred one. This is a well known limitation of the Deferred Rendering technique).
- Gamma and Linear color spaces.
- All Render Pipelines: Built-in / Legacy, Scriptable Render Pipelines (URP, HDRP).
- All Graphics APIs: DirectX, OpenGL, OpenGLES, Vulkan, Metal...
- All Virtual Reality Stereo Rendering Methods: Multi Pass, Single Pass and Single Pass Instanced.
- Augmented Reality: ARKit (Apple iOS) & ARCore (Google Android).
- Batching techniques such as GPU Instancing and SRP Batcher.
- 3D and 2D.
Unity Editor Version
Volumetric Light Beam is compatible with all Unity versions from 2018.4.0 to the latest 2019.X, 2020.X, 2021.X, 2022.X and 2023.X releases. Each time a new version of Unity is in alpha, beta or is released, we test the plugin and make sure it runs smoothly on it.
SD vs HD Beams
SD Beams implementation
A SD Beam is simply a procedurally generated cone geometry rendered with a special transparent shader. We render both the inner and outer sides of the geometry to keep a cool looking effect from pretty much any position. It's not physically accurate at all, but it has been slowly and carefully crafted with a lot of trial and error to make it look fine in most situations. The huge advantage is that it's super fast to render and optimized on low end platforms. You can put dozens of SD beams on mobile without any problem.
On the con side, it's not really "volumetric" per say. It still looks good if you put the camera in it. But if you start having opaque objects intersecting with the beam while keeping the camera inside, it will break the illusion. The plugin offers some features like Dynamic Occlusion to simulate shadows, but they are not real shadows and tiny objects might be ignored. So it's more designed for thin beams than very large beams like the sun.
HD Beams implementation
A HD Beam is also a procedurally generated cone geometry render with a special shader, but this shader performs raymarching. Idk if you are familiar with the concept, but in short it will sample multiple areas in the beam for each pixel. So with this solution you'll have true volume, meaning intersections with opaque geometry are handled perfectly, and you can have more advanced features like true volumetric shadows or cookies.
On the con side, like you can imagine, it's heavier on performance, so we won't recommend having HD beams on mobile devices. It's more suited for PC or consoles.
Platform & Device compatibility
|Plaftorm||SD Beams||HD Beams|
Other plugins and assets
Volumetric Light Beam is designed to be as less intrusive as possible. However, we obviously cannot test it with all other plugins on the market.
Volumetric Light Beam offers some dedicated features to ease the compatibility with other plugins, such as the ability to specify a custom Renderer to be used by depth camera, when you are using URP with a custom renderer that doesn't support writing to depth render texture: Custom renderer index for Depth Camera property.
Despite our effort to maximize the compatibility, do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you encounter this kind of issues, we'll try to do our best to help you.