Shortly after joining Unity, I wrote a Best Practice Guide for Unity’s official documentation, about the lighting and rendering pipelines in Unity, because the multitude of lighting features and permutations in Unity can initially seem daunting. Indeed, Unity provides several lighting systems and rendering pipelines, to accommodate the very large variety of platforms and project types, and it can be difficult to have a great overview of the lighting pipeline.
In the document, I explain important lighting principles and how the renderer generates a frame. To facilitate the understanding of these concepts, I have created several diagrams, decision flowcharts, and tables to give a high-level perspective of the lighting pipeline and to help users decide which render pipeline and which global lighting settings would best suit their requirements.
Pierre Yves Donzallaz (Writer, Senior Rendering & Lighting Artist)