[Dev Blog] Splitting The Atom: Introducing Lumberyard's New Photorealistic Renderer

Hello Lumbernauts!

Checkout the latest Lumberyard dev blog at

We are planning a series of Lumberyard related dev blogs with lots of interesting topics so keep an eye out for those in the future!

Let us know your thoughts and feedback regarding Lumberyard’s new renderer by replying to this post!


Can’t wait to see the new render in action, looks great, very intuitive it seems, and a new future for Lumberyard indeed. Keep up the great work Devs! :+1:

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One question about the renderer though, I read through the blog post, and it shows that the new renderer is going to be metallic/roughness workflow, right now I believe we are using specular/glossiness. So when/if this change comes in a future release will all previous projects have to be redone material wise? I am guessing yes due to the large difference between the two types of workflows for materials, but never to sure on anything.

Hi @WashedUpStudios, unfortunately legacy assets are not compatible. FBX’s will need to be re-imported and materials need to be converted. This is because Atom uses new mesh and material formats and the PBR model for materials is not compatible with it.

We are looking into the possibility of releasing a conversion tool and will keep the community updated when that is ready.


Well this is interesting. :slight_smile:

Glad to see that the new rendering engine is being shown off finally. Got a few questions though.

  1. How is performance on older hardware? I am currently stuck on a RX570 8GB Card because of the GPU / Chip Shortage going on at the moment.
  2. When can we expect this to hit? Next major release or is it a bit farther out than that?
  3. Will there be a Node based material Editor for AZSL for designers?
  4. Will amazon game tech be updating the “Toon Rendering” sample for Atom and AZSL?
  5. On the topic of the rendering engine. Will we be able introduce custom light types as either modules and/or plugins to the engine? For example: Vertex lights (Point, Spotlight, etc.) for example.

Thank you for your time,

The one thing I believe I can answer is there is not going to be a node based material editor, at least not yet because they talk about the AZSL materials, how they will add more, and how you can add your own through this coding type.

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I saw that they mentioned a node based material editor in the blog. They are working on it but they did not show it off yet :slight_smile:

Wow, new renderer nice! When we can test it in action?


I’ll try my best to answer your questions:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or Radeon Pro 560 card or higher is recommended in order to work with Atom. We’re still optimizing and profiling the renderer so requirements are always subject to change. We don’t have release date yet but its coming :slight_smile: We currently don’t have any plans to update existing samples but are working on new stuff that will be shown at a later date. As Saulty mentioned, we have done some work on conversion tools but nothing we’d feel comfortable releasing…yet. As for adding your own light types - yes, it should be straightforward for you to add new light types. We designed Atom to be as flexible as possible (see feature processors) and to empower developers to build their own solutions to fit their requirements.



Hi, I have one more question on the new renderer, is it going to have the same materials that are right now supported in lumberyard. I know it is a different system so all materials are needing to be rebuilt, which is alright, I just was wondering if it will have all the same “templates” that is has now, like Eye, Glass, Illum, Water, Humanskin, etc. ?


While we wont have a 1:1 offering of “templates” that we currently provide, we will provide some material types out of the box. I can’t give a specific list as we’re still working on them but more info about what material types we’ll provide will be communicated in the future.


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Thanks for the info, with that said, will they have the vertex deformation on the new materials? I know this is all new and a lot of info is not known yet, but a few of the models in my game semi depend on the deformation modifier in the materials.

More promising work from the devs. Good to see.

As ever though, it’s a pity that LY isn’t being promoted enough for many people to care. If this were Godot’s new renderer about to be released, the internet would be abuzz about it. For this news, there’s barely a peep, because there’s so little interest. And I would suggest that Godot’s promotional budget might be slightly smaller than Amazon’s.

Could someone stick a note on Jassy’s door, explaining what a big push Lumberyard needs if it’s going to get anywhere? Hope springs eternal!


The news is amazing!
Every day I am more and more convinced that I chose this engine for a reason! After all, he has a great future!
Thank you to the development team for this amazing news!!!


Lumberyard is not a huge community, but I have been here for a long time, and can say it is growing the engine is getting better with every update, for the people out there talking about Amazon being bad with their engine, well you are wrong. This engine is going in a great direction I talk to newcomers every couple weeks and help them through build processes and how to use the tools in the engine. Amazon as a company has many different parts, the shopping, the services, the game engine, etc. They seem to handle everything pretty well knowing how much they have to handle. I am just happy this engine is still holding strong, and should continue into the future.


HI HeadClot,

To answer your questions:

  1. Performance and optimization: we are working on optimizing performance and this will become a focal point in the coming half year, however in the new renderer you can now choose pipeline or create your own and therefore go for lower bar, for example with / without MSAA etc… Since changing shaders become so easy, you can always also change lighting loop, make it simpler or single light etc…
  2. The new renderer is already fully operational and tested and will be the standard LY renderer as of the next major release.
  3. We have node base editing in our planning and initial testing has been done, but it will not be part of the release.
  4. Toon shader as per legacy LY render is currently not planned. As a side note, since I wrote it I can tell you that with the new renderer this should be fairly easy to port / do yourself at minimal amount of time.
  5. Introducing a new light type can definitely be done by any graphics developer with not much effort. We introduced various light types via shaders and components - they can be used as reference and show you the easy way to add one yourself. All of our lights are tied to the PBR lighting equation in the lighting stage and you can simply plug yours in.



What’s the limit of lights per object/scene?

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One last question - Will the new rendering engine support mobile and Desktop based VR headsets such as the Oculus Quest 2 and Valve Index?

doesn’t all renderers support vr?
edit* - Never mind I think your talking will the support files be built into the engine so its supports it out of the box.

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Yes. You got it with the edit :slight_smile:

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