In this article, I’ll show the way to improve quality of graphics in Unity game engine. This is the attempt to squeeze the best possible quality from the outdated default rendering pipeline. Of course, we can’t get the exact Unreal Engine graphics quality in Unity since it has more advanced rendering technologies and fidelity, but let’s see what we can do.
This is my demo scene:
This is the new fresh Unity project with all default settings, only color space changed to linear. Well as it can be seen the quality of graphics is really far away from Next-Gen. Unity team works hard now to release High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) but it is still not finished yet.
First step is to adjust sharpness. By default, there is too much blur and to fix this, you need to get Beautify 2 asset from Unity Asset Store ->>> asset store link. It is a full-screen image post-processing effect that improves the image quality in real time. This is the best post-processing tool for Unity game engine in my opinion.
Here is the same scene with sharpness changed:
The next step is tone mapping. Beautify 2 asset also has ACES tone mapping functionality to play with. The idea is to improve the overall image brightness and contrast.
Here is my result:
Next step is to add some Ambient Occlusion to the scene. The best tool to do this is Amplify Occlusion asset from Unity Asset Store ->>> asset store link. It provides better fidelity by offering GTAO (Ground Truth Ambient Occlusion) instead of HBAO+ based techniques, along with several configuration options that allow to tweak the effect beyond what is usually provided. Really amazing asset!
My scene now looks better:
Next step is improvement of shadows. If you want to improve overall quality of graphics, you need to do something with shadows - they are awful. Thanks to smart guys who do amazing stuff for Unity! Next-Gen Soft-Shadows asset is the perfect example of what people can do when they have enough skills and motivation ->>> asset store link. I would recommend this asset if you are interested in having a very strong control over your shadows.
Here is my result - as you may notice, shadows are much better now:
Next step is Anti-Aliasing. For Anti-Aliasing there is a good free asset available on Asset Store - FXAA Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing ->>> asset store link.
Finally, the last step – Bloom from Unity Post Processing Stack:
Well improving the quality of graphics in Unity game engine is not so hard process if you have enough time and money. While in Unreal Engine you have all the high quality tools built in editor already, in Unity you need to spend money for additional assets. A lot of people use Unity game engine because it is easy to begin to do something with it. Unity is good for some small mobile game but if you want to make more serious game you really need Unreal Engine. Once you understand how Unreal Engine works, you will never look back at Unity.
P.S. Unity game engine 2018.4 Long Term Support (LTS) version crashed during preparation of these screenshots. Good job Unity team as usual!