Enabling 3D post processing

Objective: Set up Unity 3D project to use post processing (built in renderer).

A Unity 3D project does not start with post processing installed, so in Unity go to Windows > Package Manager. In the search field type “post” to find post processing and install, which will take a few minutes.

Right click in hierarchy window to create a empty game object named Post_Processing_Volume, and add component Post-process Volume. Within this component, select Is Global and create a new profile, Post_Processing_Volume. This is where effects are added and stored.

Post_Process_Volume game object.

Before post processing can be seen, a Post-process Layer component must be added to the Main Camera, this also adds the Toolkit and Custom Effect Sorting components. By default, there is nothing assigned to the layer so a dedicated layer should be created. Just under the Main Camera use the layer drop down menu to add layer, Post Processing, and set it as the Post-process layer.

Essential post-process layer needs a dedicated layer.

Effects can now render in Unity, so select the Post_Process_Volume game object and within the Post-Process Volume add an effect, or override, select Unity and add Bloom. Bloom is an effect which makes bright areas glow, Intensity, based on a brightness Threshold. Select All to enable the effects. Also make sure the Bloom toggle is on.

Bloom effects are “on” in Post-process Volume.

Repeat this process and add Color Grading. Color grading allows a developer or artist to adjust the colors and luminance of the image rendered by Unity.

White balance effects in Color Grading.

For color grading to work go to edit menu and select project settings. Under Player, other settings change color space from gamma to linear, which will enable high definition range.

Set Player color space to linear in project settings.

The post-processing effects are now enabled, and the effects of bloom intensity, and color grading’s white balance can be seen. Notice how too much bloom or color distracts from the game, but this illustrates how to use post processing. The post processing still needs to be optimized to produce an aesthetically pleasing finished product.

Effects of bloom and color grading on the Unity rendered image. Bloom increases the brightness, notably the shield and explosion, while color grading’s white balance was used decreases temperature, bluer, and increase purple tint.

Software engineer