Inspired byÂ this videoÂ from Unite Europe 2015, I decided to play with image effects for the first time. Firstly I took the advice of Iestyn Lloyd and boughtÂ SE Natural Bloom & Dirty LensÂ andÂ Amplify ColorÂ from the Unity Asset store.
You can get both assets for about â‚¬50 total at the time of writing
First thing I did was play with the Natural bloom effect until I got it looking how I wanted it. I used a built in dirt texture to simulate a dirty camera lense. I didnâ€™t want to take it too far, so the effect is quite subtle.
SE Natural Bloom effect
Using Amplify color was slightly less successful. Since I had no idea how to color grade myself, I threw out a $20 competition onÂ Freelancer.co.ukÂ to get a professional to do it. The results were less than impressive, so in the end I went with a very subtle color amplification.
Amplify color effect
Determined to get some use out of this new asset Iâ€™d just dropped â‚¬25 on, I decided to use it to make the game turn black and white when you pause. I used a grayscale lut blend texture and tweened up the blend amount when you pause.
Using Amplify color to apply a black and white fade effect
The final effect I applied to the main camera was Unityâ€™s built-in Vignette and Chromatic Aberration effect. This turned out to be my favorite of all of them and really gave the game the dark and eerie feeling that I was going for.
Built-in Unity vignette effect
Itâ€™s worth mentioning there are actually two more things which are technically image effects running. Firstly I added a brightness adjust, because the game looked darker on different monitors and I felt it was necessary to have an in-game control to fix that. The second effect is the highlighting effect I mentioned inÂ blog #4.
Brightness adjust in case your monitor is too dark or light
Getting all of these image effects which came from multiple vendors, as well as making sure they donâ€™t interfere with CrazyTalk, was a bit tricky, but I got there in the end by playing with camera depths and effect order.
The final stack of image effects on the main camera
Finally, for certain cut scene cameras I also added a depth of field effect (another built-in Unity effect). The effect looked great, however to my despair I uncovered a bug whereby the game would crash when played on non DX11 compatible systems. Thankfully the Unity team say they have addressed this in 5.3.2 so Iâ€™ve left the effect in
All effects include depth of field added to cutscenes
All main camera effects turned off and on
So there we have it, I feel like the gameâ€™s graphics have improved significantly with very little effort. Performance was affected, but not enough to make me want to tear any effects back out. Iâ€™ll go into detail about some performance optimisations we have made next week. Thanks for reading.