My journey becoming a Unity game developer: How to use Post Processing in Unity

Objective: Install the Post Processing package from Unity to add special visual effects to the game. There will be 2 effects in particular that will be used which are Bloom and Color Grading.

Post Processing being used with Bloom and Color Grading effects added to the game.

Post Processing effects can quickly improve a game’s visuals to simulate a physical camera and film properties, or to create stylized visuals using a variety of customizable filters.

Begin by installing the Post Processing package from Unity’s Package Manager (Windows->Package Manager->Packages: Unity Registry->Post Processing).

Post Processing package installed.

Next we need to create a Post Processing Volume by creating an Empty game object name Post Processing Volume. Then, Add the Post Processing Volume Component to this object. Since we want these effects to influence the entire game, turn on Is Global so the effects works on the entire environment of the game. Leave Weight and Priority as is, and create a new Post Processing Volume Profile. This Profile will keep all effects used and modified to be shown in the scene. You can have more than 1 Volume Profile in a scene by setting the Priority with higher numbers given top priority over lower numbers.

Post Processing Volume created.

For the Post Processing Volume to work we need a Post Processing Layer between the Main Camera and the Post Processing Volume game object. On the Post Processing Volume object, select Layer and Add a new Layer name Post Processing. Now, set the Layer on this Post Processing Volume object to Post Processing.

Go to the Main Camera, and Add a new Component name Post-Process Layer. Inside the Post-Process Layer, inside the Layer setting’s drop-down menu under Volume blending select Post Processing layer. This means this Camera will only be affected by Volumes in the selected scene layers. Since the Post Processing Volume object layer is set to Post Processing, the Main Camera will focus on this Post Processing Volume object because of its layer setting.

Post Processing Layer created.

With Post Processing Volume object still selected, the 1st Effect we Added was the Bloom effect. This effect produces light extending from the borders of bright areas in an image, giving the appearance of an extremely bright light overwhelming the camera capturing the scene. Play around with the different settings to get the right Bloom effect you want on your game.

Bloom effect added.
More Bloom effects.

Another Post Processing Volume effect we used is Color Grading. Color Grading comes from a term in the film industry to use color to create or enhance a Scene’s mood. For the Mode setting, if you use High Definition Range, you need to go to File->Build Settings->Player Settings->Player->Other Settings and change the Color Space from Gamma to Linear as there will be a warning message informing us about the need to change to Linear in order for High Definition Range to work. Play around with these settings to achieve the right mood for your game.

Color Grading added.

As we play the game, we can see the Post Processing effects from Bloom and Color Grading coming to life in this game.

Post Processing effects active.

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