Optimizing post processing in Unity

Objective: Clean up the rendered Unity image using post processing.

Every AAA game has a polished look. The image below shows several visual artifacts that will be fixed using post processing. There are three visual artifacts that will be addressed: 1) the explosion has a halo that reveals the sprite art box, 2) the thruster has a odd green plume at the bottom, 3) add luminous areas to the explosions.

Focus areas to improve. Box frame around explosion. Green plume on thruster. Color contrast and glow of shields and galaxies.

Initial adjustment will be on the color grading to add Tonemapping mode ACES, which is Academy Color Encoding System. Just this alone significantly improves the explosion, hiding the sprite box.

Tonemapping mode set to ACES.

The Color Grading allows the adjustment of the colors using the hue vs. hue plot. This allows fine control by placing keys along the curve which are used to adjust the colors by changing the point box position and slope, yellow line. The x position is the original color of the image and the y position is the new color. Below the green is decreased and the blue is enhanced. This adjustment removes the green artifact from the thruster.

Hue vs. Hue plot

The Bloom is adjusted by increasing the intensity to 30, threshold to 1.3, and decreasing the diffusion to 4. Below we can see the impact of these changes. The explosions have intense spots due to the bloom.

Bloom effect on the explosions. Notice the thruster appearance.

Notice in the sequence below that the post processing has has brought out the yellows and blues in the background. Bloom also produces a nice burning effect on player’s damaged wing. Post process is a powerful tool that can significantly alter the appearance of the game.

Software engineer