High Fidelity Graphics for games with HDRP

For Unite Now, Unity’s online conference, I created an hour-long video session about Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline. HDRP is tailored for high quality visuals on high-end platforms, such as PC and and consoles.

Unity’s Lights, Shadows, Reflections, and Volumetric Fog settings are covered in detail, to help Unity users maximize the visual quality in their projects. I end the session talking about some of the most important post-processing effects, such as tonemapping, white balance, and depth of field.

I present several key features of HDRP, such as the volume system, the anti-aliasing techniques, the exposure system, the volumetric effects, and the different lighting components required to set up the lighting in Unity.

I also describe precisely the physically-based lighting concepts and the photography theory required to light a scene correctly with HDRP, using real-world exposures and light intensities for natural and artificial lights.

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High-end visualizations in Unity

I produced these real-time renders with Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline. They were the fruit of the collaboration between Lexus and Unity in September 2019, to showcase Unity as a virtual production tool for automotive. I was in charge of all the visual quality aspects for this demo, from lighting to materials, as well as post-processing and color grading setups.

In the following official Unity article, I explained in detail how to set up the lighting in the context of this demo and how physically-correct lighting and camera setups can help Unity users to reach an impressive level of visual fidelity for high-end visualizations.

Read the full article… 

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Create high-quality light fixtures in Unity

I have published an official and comprehensive Unity expert guide (PDF) on advanced techniques to create high-quality light fixtures for real-time applications. Read it and find out how you can use light cookies and advanced shaders to create convincing artificial light sources in any project made with Unity, from games or architectural visualizations to films and more!

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After pointing out some of the common lighting mistakes still found in CGI nowadays and giving you recommendations on how to prevent them, the expert guide walks you through all the steps required to generate beautiful noise-free cookies with a variety of 2D and 3D programs, such as Photoshop, 3ds Max and Unity itself.

Moreover, I will explain how to set up critical post-processing settings in Unity, such as Exposure and Tone Mapping, so that your interior scenes can be lit in a more physically-correct way, one of HDRP’s mottos.

Finally, I introduce an original workflow to generate appealing caustics to bring the final ultra-realistic touch to your light sources, by adding micro-details to simulate the self-reflections of the light fitting and the structural imperfections found in the reflectors and the lampshades.

Read the full guide (PDF)

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Interview for the NZZ Swiss newspaper

In November 2018, I was interviewed by Marc Bodmer, a Swiss journalist, for the Sunday edition of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a renown Swiss-German newspaper. The title of the article is “Mehr als ein Game, ein Kunstwerk”, which translates as “More than a game, a piece of Art”; the theme of the article is about the success and the quality of Red Dead Redemption 2.

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In the interview, I explain the importance of dynamic lighting in an open-world game such as RDR2, as well as the challenges related to the production of such an enormous project.

Unity’s Rendering and Lighting Pipeline

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 render generate 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.

Download

Unity’s Lighting Pipeline PDF
Unity’s official article
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GDC Europe 2013: Shining the Light on Crysis 3

GDC Europe 2013 Session: Shining the Light on Crysis 3  (Monday, 8/19)

This presentation is part of my talk at the GDC Europe 2013 in Cologne, Germany. The 50 minutes session goes through the production of Crysis 3 and showcases important lighting principles for creating appealing scenes.

I also explain how physics can help create better materials and textures, using physically-based rules, and how the CryENGINE lighting features were used in Crysis 3 to create one of the best visual experiences in a video game.

Furthermore, several case studies provide a clearer demonstration of the methods and workflows I used to design the lighting for outdoor, indoor and cinematic scenes.

Enjoy 30 additional bonus slides as well, that were not shown during the talk, as 50 minutes is rarely enough to talk about such a wide topic of discussion.

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GDC Talk Video
Shining the Light on Crysis 3 PDF

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FMX 2013: The Art and Technology behind Crysis 3

This presentation is part of my talk at the FMX 2013 conference in Stuttgart. The session goes through the different phases of the art production, from concepting to full production. Tiago Sousa describes some of the technical features implemented to create one of the best visual experience to date in a video game.

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The Art and Technology behind Crysis 3 PDF


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GDC Europe 2011: Lighting in Crysis 2

This presentation is part of my talk at the GDC Europe 2011 in Cologne with Tiago Sousa. It introduces the lighting features of the different iterations of the CryENGINE and presents the lighting challenges encountered in Crysis 2 from both an artistic and a technical point of view.

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GDC Talk Video
Lighting in Crysis 2 PDF
Lighting in Crysis 2 PPTX
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Making of Crysis 2 DirextX11 Upgrade

The following article presents the new features introduced in the DirectX 11 pack for Crysis 2, from Realtime Local Reflection (RLR) to improved tonemapping as well as Screen Space Directional Occlusion (SSDO) and Realistic Shadows with Variable Penumbra.

 

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Crysis 2 DX11 Ultra Upgrade PDF from MyCrysis.com
Crysis 2 DX11 Ultra Upgrade PDF from WordPress.com
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