Installing Post Processing in Unity

To finish up our little section of VFX improvement, I can’t overstate the importance of adding Post-Processing to your game. It has the ability to give you game that extra flair you’ve been looking for.

While it can get complex, keeping it simple and using only a few parameters can do wonders for the aesthetic of your game!

Here is a little A/B comparison:

Installing the Post-Processing Package (Unity 2019.3.14f1)

Depending on which version of Unity you are using, it may or may not already come pre-installed. For Unity 2019.3.14f1, we have to install Post Processing via the Package Manager, and this is how:

First open up your Window tab and Select Package Manager:

Now, make sure “All Packages” is selected up top, and scroll down until you see Post Processing. Click “Install” and wait for Unity to do it’s thing.

Creating the Post Processing Volume and Layer

The next step towards visual-goodness is to create our Post Processing Volume and Layer. The volume sends the data, while the layer receives the data and outputs it through our Camera.

For our Post Processing Volume, we’ll create an Empty Game Object, name it, and attach a Post Processing Volume component:

This will automatically create a Post Processing Volume Profile in your Project Window:

Now we’ll set our Post-Processing Layer by Adding a new Layer and applying it to our Volume:

Create new User Layer:

And applying:

Post Processing Layer on Main Camera

Since our Main Camera is what we’ll be actively viewing in our Game Screen, we need it to interact with the Post Processing Volume and Layer we’ve just created.

On our Main Camera we’ll add a Post Processing Layer component. Then set it’s Layer to Post Processing:

Short Intro to Post Processing types

Explaining in-depth the types of Post Processing you can apply to your game is beyond the scope of this article (and truthfully beyond my current knowledge; I just know the basics!). The best way to see what visual improvements can be made is to get your hands dirty and play with some parameters and see what happens!

You never know what crazy combination will look good, and it’s one of the best ways to learn!

Here is a list of types of Post Processing available in Unity’s Package:

Fixing a Color Grading component Problem

If you are messing around with the different types of Post Processing and you happen upon Color Grading and switching to High Definition Range (HDR), you will most likely bet greeted with this error message:

This is a problem with our build settings, but can easily be fixed.

Head into your Build Settings, then Player Settings, and in the Player menu in the Other Settings sub-menu, you will see Color Space. Change this from Gamma to Linear.

This now enables you to use HDR colour grading, enhancing your colours!

After a little playing around I’ve chosen this as my aesthetic moving forward for the game:

I’ve applied a Vignette to give it that arcade screen-border feel, added Bloom to make explosions and other whites stand out, changed Color Grading to HDR and changed the tonemapping to ACES to give it a darker feel, and finally added a bit of Grain.

Now go explore the complex world of Post Processing! It can be quite the rabbit hole for the artists that come into GameDev, and is a great tool for any experienced designer!

Next article we’ll be diving into Unity’s Built-in Audio System and features!

Audio Engineer turned Unity Game Dev. Will be combining both my skillsets when appropriate, and will be documenting my Unity Dev growth in these Medium Articles