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Project Conclusion: Creating A Beautiful Unity Scene

Over the last 6 weeks, I have completed the Beautiful Games GDHQ course, and have created 2 high-quality Unity environments.

The Sci-Fi Science Lab:

The goal of this scene was to utilize high-quality models and textures, good environmental design principles, efficient lighting, and effective post-processing effects to create a cold, technological sci-fi hallway and testing room.

To suit the “cold”/scientific/metallic atmosphere, I used mostly metallic models and materials, and kept the colors mostly to the greyscale range.

Since I wanted to highlight the brighter colors of the screens and tubes, I made most of the scene quite dark, using only emissive materials in the columns and walls to light the scene.

I also use blue lights on the corner columns to give a cooler atmosphere.

As the focal point of the scene, the test tubes and computer screens are brightly lit in almost neon-like colors to contrast the rest of the pretty-much grey scene.

With all the smooth metal surfaces in the scene, I use Screen Space Reflections to get (mostly) accurate reflections of the environment.

The Cozy Home Office:

The goal of this scene was to, again, utilize high-quality models and textures, good environmental design principles, efficient lighting, and effective post-processing effects to create a warm, comfortable home office.

Going for a warmer feel, I used warmer colors such as yellows, oranges and browns in this scene. The bright sunlight coming in through the window lights most of the room using indirect lighting, casting accurate shadows on the sofa and floor.

The room was designed for an old-fashioned feel, with old wooden furniture, lamps, and miscellaneous items.

For the rest of the scene lighting, to bring some parts out of excessive darkness, I used 2 lamps and a ceiling light to add some minor additional lighting to the room.

These are small lights, and affect quite a limited area.

The computer and lamps use emissive materials to add a little extra realistic light coloring to the scene, while actual realtime light objects are used for their more bright lighting effects.

Since it is an office, and I am a game developer, I brought it into the modern age a bit by adding a modern computer with some custom screen textures, and a game dev at work (no, it’s not me ;) ).

An old-style mirror adds some very nice and accurate realtime reflections to the scene, making moving around the room look very good when viewing the mirror.

Particle Systems in the area of the sunlight and desk lamp show floating dust which would be found in such an old looking room.

To be realistic, the particle systems do not cover the area outside of where the light shines, as would usually be the case in real life.

This has been a pretty fun project for me to work on for the past few weeks, since I have not had a lot of experience working in Unity’s HDR Pipeline before. The features available to create high visual quality in scenes is very impressive and fun to play round with.

In particular, I have some ideas on how I can use the post-processing, lighting, mirrors, and various material shaders in other planned projects. These features are available to a lesser extent in URP/Standard pipeline (depending on the feature), but HDRP really brings out their full potential.

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