Version: 2021.3
Language : English
XR SDK Display subsystem
XR SDK PreInit interface

XR SDK Meshing subsystem

The Meshing subsystem extracts meshThe main graphics primitive of Unity. Meshes make up a large part of your 3D worlds. Unity supports triangulated or Quadrangulated polygon meshes. Nurbs, Nurms, Subdiv surfaces must be converted to polygons. More info
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data from an external Provider and converts it to a UnityEngine.Mesh. It can also generate an optional UnityEngine.MeshCollider without incurring any main thread stalls.

The main use case for the Meshing subsystem is to surface procedurally-generated meshes, generally from a spatial mappingThe process of mapping real-world surfaces into the virtual world.
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algorithm like the one generated from a depth cameraA component which creates an image of a particular viewpoint in your scene. The output is either drawn to the screen or captured as a texture. More info
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. There is no limit on the size of the mesh, or the frequency of updates.

Mesh generation occurs asynchronously on a background thread, so extracting data from an external provider doesn’t block the main thread to, for example, bake the mesh colliderAn invisible shape that is used to handle physical collisions for an object. A collider doesn’t need to be exactly the same shape as the object’s mesh - a rough approximation is often more efficient and indistinguishable in gameplay. More info
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Control flow

The Meshing subsystem has two basic queries:

  • Get the state of all tracked meshes (for example, New, Changed, Unchanged, Removed).
  • Generate a particular mesh. Meshes are identified using the MeshId identifier.

Getting MeshInfos

C# users can get the mesh infos from the XRMeshSubsystem instance method:

public bool TryGetMeshInfos(List<MeshInfo> meshInfosOut);

This maps directly to the C call to UnityXRMeshProvider::GetMeshInfos and is typically called once per frame to obtain the current list of tracked meshes.

The following C implementation can use the provided allocator object to allocate an array of UnityXRMeshInfos which it should then fill out:

UnitySubsystemErrorCode(UNITY_INTERFACE_API * GetMeshInfos)(
        UnitySubsystemHandle handle, void* pluginData, UnityXRMeshInfoAllocator * allocator);

The allocated memory is owned by Unity (typically using a stack allocator, so allocations are very fast):

typedef struct UnityXRMeshInfo
    UnityXRMeshId meshId;
    bool updated;
    int priorityHint;
} UnityXRMeshInfo;

If nothing has changed since the last call to TryGetMeshInfos, you can return false to avoid filling out the array each frame.

Field Description
meshId A 128-bit unique identifier. The Provider generates these values, which can be a pointer to mesh data, but you need to be able to generate a specific mesh by its ID.
updated The only state Unity needs is whether the mesh has been updated since the last time it was generated. Determining whether the mesh was added or removed is done automatically; reporting the existence of a mesh that Unity doesn’t know about is surfaced as Added, while not reporting a mesh that was previously reported marks the mesh as Removed.
priorityHint C# interprets this value, but you might want to, for example, provide a C# component that prioritizes which mesh to generate based on it. Unity doesn’t use this value.

In C#, TryGetMeshInfos populates a List<MeshInfo>, which includes the mesh state:

public enum MeshChangeState

Based on the mesh change state and the priority hint value, a C# component can then decide which mesh(es) to generate next.

Mesh generation

From C#, you can generate a specific mesh asynchronously using the XRMeshSubsystem instance method:

public extern void GenerateMeshAsync(
    MeshId meshId,
    Mesh mesh,
    MeshCollider meshCollider,
    MeshVertexAttributes attributes,
    Action<MeshGenerationResult> onMeshGenerationComplete);

This enqueues a mesh for generation. You can enqueue as many meshes as you need, but you might want to limit the number of meshes that are concurrently generated to a few at a time.

Unity always calls the provided onMeshGenerationComplete delegate, even if an error occurs.

Meshes are generated in two phases, following an acquire and release model:

UnitySubsystemErrorCode(UNITY_INTERFACE_API * AcquireMesh)(
    UnitySubsystemHandle handle,
    void* pluginData,
    const UnityXRMeshId * meshId,
    UnityXRMeshDataAllocator * allocator);

AcquireMesh is called on a background thread, so you can do as much processing in this method as you like, including computationally-intensive work such as generating the mesh itself. This function can return immediately or span several frames.

If you provide a MeshCollider to GenerateMeshAsync, Unity also computes the MeshCollider’s acceleration structure (“Bake Physics” in the above diagram). This can be time-consuming for large meshes, so it also occurs on the worker thread.

Finally, when the data is ready, Unity writes it to the UnityEngine.Mesh and/or UnityEngine.MeshCollider on the main thread. Afterwards, Unity calls ReleaseMesh, also on the main thread:

UnitySubsystemErrorCode(UNITY_INTERFACE_API * ReleaseMesh)(
    UnitySubsystemHandle handle,
    void* pluginData,
    const UnityXRMeshId * meshId,
    const UnityXRMeshDescriptor * mesh,
    void* userData);

BecauseReleaseMesh is called on the main thread, it should return quickly. Typically, this is used to free resources allocated during AcquireMesh.

Memory management

AcquireMesh offers two means of providing mesh data to Unity: Unity-managed and provider-managed.

Unity-managed memory

To let Unity manage the memory, use:

UnityXRMeshDescriptor* (UNITY_INTERFACE_API * MeshDataAllocator_AllocateMesh)(
    UnityXRMeshDataAllocator * allocator,
    size_t vertexCount,
    size_t indexCount,
    UnityXRIndexFormat indexFormat,
    UnityXRMeshVertexAttributeFlags attributes,
    UnityXRMeshTopology topology);

This returns a struct with pointers to buffers based on an intersection of these attributes and the vertex attributes requested from C#. The provider should then copy the appropriate data to the buffers.

When you use this paradigm, you don’t have to free the memory, because Unity will recycle the memory after the call to ReleaseMesh.

Provider-managed memory

Instead of letting Unity manage the memory, you can point it at your own data. The data must remain valid until ReleaseMesh is called.

Use MeshDataAllocator_SetMesh to provide your own UnityXRMeshDescriptor whose non-null pointers point to valid data:

void(UNITY_INTERFACE_API * MeshDataAllocator_SetMesh)(
    UnityXRMeshDataAllocator * allocator, const UnityXRMeshDescriptor * meshDescriptor);

User data

Your AcquireMesh implementation can call:

void(UNITY_INTERFACE_API * MeshDataAllocator_SetUserData)(
    UnityXRMeshDataAllocator * allocator, void* userData);

Unity passes the userData pointer back to your ReleaseMesh implementation. This is particularly useful when you’re using provider-managed memory.

Example C# component

void Update()
    if (s_MeshSubsystem.TryGetMeshInfos(s_MeshInfos))
        foreach (var meshInfo in s_MeshInfos)
            switch (meshInfo.ChangeState)
                case MeshChangeState.Added:
                case MeshChangeState.Updated:

                case MeshChangeState.Removed:

                    // Remove from processing queue

                    // Destroy the GameObject
                    GameObject meshGameObject;
                    if (meshIdToGameObjectMap.TryGetValue(meshInfo.MeshId, out meshGameObject))



    // ...

    while (m_MeshesBeingGenerated.Count < meshQueueSize && m_MeshesNeedingGeneration.Count > 0)
        // Get the next mesh to generate. Could be based on the mesh's
        // priorityHint, whether it is new vs updated, etc.
        var meshId = GetNextMeshToGenerate();

        // Gather the necessary Unity objects for the generation request
        var meshGameObject = GetOrCreateGameObjectForMesh(meshId);
        var meshCollider = meshGameObject.GetComponent<MeshCollider>();
        var mesh = meshGameObject.GetComponent<MeshFilter>().mesh;
        var meshAttributes = shouldComputeNormals ? MeshVertexAttributes.Normals : MeshVertexAttributes.None;

        // Request generation
        s_MeshSubsystem.GenerateMeshAsync(meshId, mesh, meshCollider, meshAttributes, OnMeshGenerated);

        // Update internal state
        m_MeshesBeingGenerated.Add(meshId, m_MeshesNeedingGeneration[meshId]);

void OnMeshGenerated(MeshGenerationResult result)
    if (result.Status != MeshGenerationStatus.Success)
        // Handle error, regenerate, etc.

XR SDK Display subsystem
XR SDK PreInit interface