After explaining how to set up Unity’s Post Processing package in a project, it’s time to play around with some settings. This short article will cover some of the different effects that you can use to enhance your visuals.
My game is starting to take shape. I am making good use of Particle Systems to generate some visual noise and interest. Even though I have taken great care while creating the assets, the visuals could use a little push over the edge. Let’s see how I can enhance the look and feel of my scene.
Last time, I set my project up to begin using Post Processing. Adding effects is extremely simple at this point. On my Post Processing GameObject, in the Volume Component, I can click on Add Effect.
One of the most common and visually pleasing effects is the Vignette. This effect focuses the attention of the viewer to the center of the frame. It also blurs the edges of the screen with a smooth gradient.
I adjust the effect’s strength to 0.35. My goal is to give the image some dimensionality. Here you can see the before and after so far.
The effect is very subtle. I could push it further, but I don’t want to obscure the edges of my game too much.
This effect is a tricky one and can make or break the visuals in your game. Pushing any one of these effects too far can certainly be counterproductive. After adding the Color Grading effect, I applied the following values.
These are the values that I am using for my game so far.
You will notice that these changes have altered the image quite drastically.
Every step is building on the last to achieve the final look of my game.
Lens Distortion is a fun effect to apply. However, like any other effect, perhaps more so, this one can get out of hand quickly. It’s best to use this effect in moderation. It will distort the image bulging from the center, mimicking an old monitor.
Even with a small amount, the effect is quite visible. You can notice its effect most prominently on the edges of the image.
Chromatic Aberration goes hand-in-hand with Lens Distortion. As the curved glass of an old monitor turns away from the viewer towards the edges, it may create a chromatic effect like a prism. Abusing this effect can harm the image and the player’s eyes. The value I use is almost undetectable but adds slight color variation to the edges.
You can hardly tell I added anything.
Without question, Bloom is the most popular effect. It enhances the lighter portions of the image, giving them a glowing look. This effect is probably the most fun to use. It is also quite forgiving. You can get away with applying a lot of it. The difference it makes is very satisfying.
You can observe the effect it has on the lights at the bottom of the screen.
This effect will add visual noise to your screen. If used lightly, it can reinforce the digital look of your game. In my case, I want to feel closer to old technology.
The effect seems less pronounced when you play the game full-screen.
I hope to have given you an idea of how you can use some of these effects to punch up your visuals. I went all out to show you how you can stack some of these elements to create a specific look. I’m not sure I was entirely successful, but I can always go back and adjust the values later. I encourage you to try it out on your own as well. It is loads of fun!