Introduction to Post-Processing Effects in Unity

by Liam Cubicle Published April 2, 2024

Unity supports various visual effects to enhance the overall visual ambiance and depth of your game. These visual effects are part of the post-processing stack in Unity. This article will delve into the post-processing stack in Unity and how you can use its effects in your game projects.

Unity’s Post-processing stack

The Unity’s post-processing stack is rich in various visual effects you can apply to the camera’s output before it is displayed on the screen.

The stack includes a large number of cinematography effects. However, be aware that the Post-Processing Stack only works on Unity’s Built-In Render Pipeline.

Unity also offers Post-Processing on the Universal Render Pipeline and High Definition Render Pipeline via the Volume Framework.

The best solution for Post-Processing Effects in Unity’s Universal Render Pipeline is OccaSoftware’s cinematography suite. These post-processing effects work perfectly with Unity and offer a more unique visual style than you would get with Unity’s post-processing alone.

Examples of Post-Processing Effects

  • Ambient Occlusion: for darkening areas in your scene.
  • Anti-aliasing: for softening edges in your scene.
  • Bloom: for enhancing brightness in your scene
  • Color Curves: for tweaking the hue, saturation, and luminosity of the lighting in your scenes.
  • Depth of Field: for blurring the background of images and objects out of focus
  • Fog: for simulating extreme weather conditions like mist and fog in your scenes.
  • Motion Blur: for making fast-moving objects appear blurred.
  • Screen Space Reflection: for rendering subtle reflections in your scenes.
  • White Balance: for focusing the white parts in your scene.

Other effects include Vignette, Tonemapping, Split Toning, Shadows Midtones Highlights, Lens Distortion, Auto Exposure, Color Adjustments, etc.

📄 Resources:

How to use the post-processing effects in Unity

First, using the post-processing effects depends on the render pipeline you are using. The built-in render pipeline does not have the post-processing stack by default, you have to download the package.

However, with the Universal Render Pipeline (URP) and the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP), a post-processing stack is included.

Check out Unity’s documentation on Render Pipelines for more information on render pipelines.

To implement the post-processing stack in the Built-In Render Pipeline in Unity:

  • Click Window > Package Manager.

  • Search for Post-Processing.

  • Click Install.

  • Then, you have to create a new post-processing profile asset by right-clicking in your Project window, clicking Create, and then Post-process Volume Profile. This will enable you to add post-processing effects to your scene.

  • Next, add a post-process volume to your scene. Go to Rendering, then click on Post-process Volume. You can add this Post Process Volume to any GameObject, as well as the Main Camera GameObject. This component is empty by default. Post-process also comes with properties like Blend Distance, Weight, Priority, and Profile you can tweak as you want.
  • Next, assign the post-processing profile you created earlier to the post-process volume.
  • Now, you can start adding and applying post-processing effects. Just select the effect you want to add and click on the Add Effect button. Modify the settings and properties of the properties to achieve your desired taste.

  • Continuously iterate until you achieve your desired result.

Check out this resource for a better understanding of implementing the post-processing stack in Unity.

Conclusion

Using the post-processing effects will make your game projects stand out with enhanced realism and visual ambiance. Try out the effects today!

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