I dont recall taking a look at the Unity3D engine before – perhaps it was that it was encamped on the Mac side – but with players for the Mac, PC, browser, Wii, iPhone and more – it is a classy 3D engine for sure. I was flat out astonished at the quality the current version can bring to even a browser-based interface. We get a beautifully rich environment with waving trees, grass, dynamic shadows, physics, particle effects, reflections and more – all running real-time in the browser via a small plug-in = awesome.

[screengrab of the Unity3D site showing off the Tropical Island through (in my case) Firefox]

Diving onto their Tropical Island demo-page allowed me to grab the plugin (I was using firefox) and then see the demo environments. The landscape is lovely and the real-time lighting and shadows with physics is fun. The quality isnt what we can get from Crysis or Unreal3, but this baby can get its stuff to play on a dizzying array of hardware and still look great.

For FBE, the cost is something we are looking at from an Education perspective, but it is the Mac only editor that makes for some tricky integration for us. So much of our other software is Windows only, that the Mac percentage of hardware is low – even though we like the platform. COFA have licenses, but have apparently been exploring a cross-platform option (hope to find out what soon).

I love the idea of being able to create quality visualisations that can then be experienced by many both online and using controls like the iPhone and Wii. Plus since I am sitting here on my Mac – it feels like a nice fit (cost is an issue to get the quality – needs Pro).

Anyhow here are some of the promo stills from the site:

[promo images from the Unity3D engine via their site]

And some vids of the engine in action: