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Unity 2021 LTS for artists and designers

Discover the latest artist workflows and tools. Unlock faster iteration and greater flexibility for an empowered game creation experience.

Quality first.

Endless possibilities.

Unity 2021 LTS delivers new features and improvements dedicated to helping artists and designers optimize creative workflows. Build immersive experiences more quickly with improvements to how you work in-Editor, and craft stunning visuals with powerful rendering solutions supported by an ecosystem of tools.

Unity 2021 LTS art

What’s new in Unity 2021 LTS

Discover some of the major 2021 updates relevant to programmers. For full details, check out the release notes.

UI Toolkit and browser window

Design engaging user interfaces

UI Toolkit is a collection of features and tools for developing user interfaces and Editor extensions. UI Toolkit now supports the authoring of runtime UI, so you can use it to create UI for games and applications.

Inspired by web technologies, UI Toolkit offers an intuitive authoring experience to help artists and designers get started faster with dedicated tools like the UI Builder and UI Debugger.

Although Unity recommends using UI Toolkit for new UI projects, there are still cases where it makes sense to use older systems. Compare UI systems to evaluate what works best for you.

Discover UI Toolkit
Tree scene made with Terrain Tools

Improved worldbuilding and environments

Creating high-fidelity environments for your game can be a massive undertaking.

In the 2021 LTS, Terrain Tools is now verified and includes new Terrain stamping brushes, refined material painting controls, GPU instancing capabilities for Terrain Details, and SpeedTree integration, among other improvements to the authoring experience.

See some of these latest updates in action with the newly released Unity Terrain Demo Scenes for High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) and Universal Render Pipeline (URP).

Read about Terrain Tools

Create stunning 2D experiences

Sprite Atlas v2 now supports folders and has two new APIs for a more efficient sprite packing, while Sprite Swap’s integration into the Unity Editor workflow offers better sprite organization.

2D PSD Importer improved usability and has features to turn layers or groups into sprites. 2D Animation includes UX improvements in the skinning editor, plus you can now reuse existing character skeletons with the 2D PSD Importer.

See the new graphics features for URP, and get with the 2D URP template directly from the Hub. Try the new 2D Light and Camera Sorting Layer Texture nodes in Shader Graph, work with the Sprite visualization option in the Main Preview, access 2D Lights in the Light Explorer window, and more.

See more about 2D tools
Enemies Demo Card

Render with quality and flexibility

URP has enhanced support for decals, improved SSAO, Light Cookies, Light Anchors, Light Layers, and Lens Flares, plus refined implementation of Reflection Probes. You can now also use either Forward or Deferred rendering paths to balance between performance and quality of real-time lights on all platforms including mobile. AMD FidelityFX™ Super Resolution (FSR) is also available on supported platforms, including mobile. 

HDRP introduces Volumetric Clouds and Cloud Layers for creating dynamic skies. You’ll also find improved lighting with dynamic prebaked (Enlighten), real-time (SSGI) and baked (Experimental Probe volumes) Global Illumination, Light Anchors, and Lens Flares. Plus, boost performance with “Burstified” render loop, mixed cached shadow maps, and upsampling technologies.

Gigaya Enemies AI screenshot

Creative control with artist-friendly tools

Use HDRP Tessellation from Shader Graph to add dynamic details to meshes or create waves or traces in snow or sand. With Shader Graph’s new custom interpolators and vertex animation functionalities, you can create effects like flapping wings or wobbling particles. 

VFX Graph is now officially supported on PC and consoles for URP and 2D, with better support for mobile compute capable devices. Interacting with data is more powerful with skinned mesh sampling, an SDF baking tool, and Graphics Buffer support.

Read more about artist tools
Visual scripting with 3D model

Create gameplay logic without writing lines of code

 

Unity Visual Scripting empowers creators to develop gameplay mechanics or interaction logic using a visual, graph-based system instead of writing lines of traditional code. In 2021 LTS, visual scripting is available natively within the Unity Editor, so artists, designers, and programmers alike can get started faster.

Artists and designers can create visual scripts to test ideas, make changes, and maintain more control over their work. Programmers can also make use of custom nodes and graphs to empower their team and streamline collaboration.

Check out this quick-start tutorial for an introduction to the basics.

More on visual scripting
Mich-L header

Produce beautiful cinematics

Sequences is available to build and organize timelines, while Recorder is verified and supports new codecs like Apple ProRes. We’ve also integrated AOV recording, path tracing, and Accumulation Motion Blur.

You can now use Cinemachine’s simplified impulse to reduce the complexity of connecting cameras to events. The latest release of Alembic supports streaming an Alembic file from an arbitrary location.

Both powered by Live Capture, Unity Face Capture is a new app that allows facial animation without an animator, while Unity Virtual Camera uses a mobile device to drive a camera in the scene.

More on cinematics

Artist resources

Choose the right release

We offer two different release versions, so you can download the solution that best fits your needs.

More for artists in 2021 LTS

Discover new features and improvements dedicated to help artists and designers optimize their creative workflows and produce powerful immersive experiences.

Unity 2021 LTS for programmers

Updates and iteration speedups help you optimize your games while making better use of your coding time.

Download Unity 2021 LTS

Get Unity 2021 LTS from the Unity Hub – our tool to help you manage Unity Editor installations, create new projects, and access your work in one place. If you’re a new professional user, start by getting a Unity Pro license from your team or the Unity Store.

Frequently asked questions

What’s an LTS release?

LTS is the release for creators who value maximum stability and support for their next project. This is our default release, and it’s primarily recommended for creators past the preproduction phase of development who are about to lock in production on a specific version of Unity. Learn more about our different releases here.

What version do you recommend for my project?

If you are in production or want to upgrade a live project, we recommend the latest LTS release. If you want to use the latest Unity features and are just getting started with production, the Tech Stream is recommended. Learn more about our different releases here.

What is a Tech Stream release?

The Tech Stream release is for creators who value exploring in-progress features to stay on the cutting edge for their next project. This version is primarily recommended for the preproduction, discovery, and prototyping phases of development. Learn more about our different releases here.

How often is Unity 2021 LTS updated?

The 2021 LTS releases will receive biweekly fixes until mid-2023, then monthly updates until mid-2024.

What has changed from Unity 2021.2 to Unity 2021 LTS?

The LTS releases do not include any new features or breaking API changes, only fixes and non-breaking improvements.

Where can I get a free trial?

Try the world’s most popular real-time 3D platform for 30 days, free. Unity Pro gives you premier access to our dynamic real-time 3D platform, start your free trial here today.

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