Our small team quickly mashed up Snaps, KitBash3D, and other Asset Store packages to demonstrate what can be achieved with a little work and a whole lot of prefabs.
“Kitbashing” is combining different assets to create something original and new. The idea comes from modeling hobbyists, who would mash up model train or airplane kits to build their own custom projects. Today, it’s popular in special effects and game design worlds, where blockbusters like Thunderbirds, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope pointed to its potential for creating rich storytelling worlds. Kitbashing enables teams to produce prototypes and polished final projects much more quickly than they could by building everything from scratch.
Our vision for this demo was to create a fresh take on a sci-fi environment by mixing a gloomy, dark, and wet space at the ground level, then shifting into a warm, dry skyline as the camera ascends. We achieved this dramatic mood in Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) by kitbashing assets from Snaps and KitBash3D, a premium asset creator that we’ve worked closely with to bring their library of dozens of high-quality packages into the Unity Asset Store. In this blog post, we’ll share an overview of our production process and highlight some of the kits and effects we used. We hope you’ll walk away with a few ideas to take your kitbashed projects and prototypes to the next level.
The kitbashing pipeline
Our production unfolded in three phases. First, we developed a creative concept and scoped assets from the Snaps and KitBash3D libraries to support our art direction. We added these packages to a library scene for quick development, then mocked up a greybox with basic lighting. We split the project into three scenes, which allowed team members to work independently on the backdrop, lighting, and core environment. In the second phase, we started with our greybox blockout, then subbed in the KitBash3D and Snaps assets. Finally, we polished the demo by adding lighting, VFX, and shader updates.
We developed this project to create the look and feel of an in-engine captured game trailer or an AAA in-game opening cinematic, which allowed our team to push all the visual features and settings to the max to achieve quality and fidelity: the level of detail (LOD) levels are pushed out or set to 1, and we used a lot of VFX, lighting, and planar reflection volumes. Forward rendering is turned on, which lets us use Multisampling anti-aliasing (MSAA) and additional temporal anti-aliasing (TAA). For prototyping, these options are easy to implement and allow for fast iteration. Keeping our scene clean also lets us turn off expensive elements like VFX and planar reflections during production, so we could continue developing and iterating quickly.
We created most of the environment’s stunning backdrop using a mix of KitBash3D packages with a futuristic cyber-city vibe and East Asian visual references. KitBash3D is the Unity Asset Store’s first library partner, bringing a robust collection of premium 3D art assets for building virtual environments – they’re also used in major film productions by Disney, Fox, Marvel and HBO, as well as by AAA studios like Ubisoft, EA, and Tencent, as well as indies. For our project, we used the Neo Tokyo 2 andContinue reading