Two topics that often come up in comments on Before are lighting and post processing. Several people on reddit, polycount and twitter have asked me how I achieve the look in screenshots I’ve posted, so I thought I’d write a brief post explaining how I set up my scenes in Unity.
First off I will say that my assets are clearly simple, low poly models with little or no use of smoothing groups. The majority of my meshes do not have diffuse maps, or even UVs, just plain colours. I am using the Unity Toon shader (the Lighted variant) for the majority of my materials, again with a few exceptions such as the skydome and clouds.
So onto the central topic, lighting and post processing, or Image Effects, as they are referred to in Unity.
My basic scene looks like this:
Tonemapping is the first script I add to my camera. There are a variety of options here, I’m trying to create a pastel-y, somewhat washed-out look with my image, so balance the settings until I’m happy with the result.
I prefer Global Fog to the fog found in Render Settings, and it’s an important addition. Fog helps create a sense of scale and distance, adding hugely to the atmosphere.
Depth of Field comes next. I use a script to find my focal point when the game is running.
One of the most dramatic changes comes with Colour Correction. You could spend hours playing with curves and depth settings here, creating really drastic effects. I’m not 100% happy with the balance I have in this scene, which is often the case!
Last but not least, everyone’s favourite (and often mocked) post-processing technique: BLOOM! This helps the colours bleed around the image, creating that hazy feel.