Explore, learn and create with the new HDRP Scene template

We are excited to share our brand-new template for the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP), which helps beginners get started with multi-room lighting setups, physically based lighting intensities, and much more.

The scene has been created by a small group of game industry veterans composed of 3D environment artists, VFX artists, lighting artists, and technical artists. They worked previously on world-renowned game licenses such as Assassin’s Creed, Batman: Arkham, Crysis, FIFA, Grand Theft Auto, Need for Speed, Red Dead Redemption, and Watch Dogs.

Get started

You can run the HDRP template on your machine by downloading Unity 2020.2 and starting an HDRP project in the Unity Hub. Create a New Project, Select the High Definition Render Pipeline template, and hit the Create button.

I also encourage you to stream the template from the cloud using Unity’s Furioos cloud platform – you only need a web browser! This template requires mouse and keyboard inputs, and your session time will be limited to 5 minutes.

Why a new template?

HDRP has a feature set tailored for high-fidelity graphics on high-end hardware (desktop PC and game consoles). Some techniques and concepts used in HDRP can be difficult to understand for newcomers or anyone who’s not familiar with industry standards and photographic concepts. This is why we created this new HDRP template as a learning tool.

For the past couple of years, you might have used the following template, which features a tiny construction site. This template lacks a physically correct lighting setup, which is a major drawback when it comes to understanding HDRP’s features.

Explore, learn and create with the new HDRP Scene template - image17

Former HDRP template

To be more precise, the sun intensity in the older template was set at ten thousand lux, 10 times lower than its real counterpart. This has dramatic implications on the entire lighting setup, notably on the exposure, and the calibration of other light sources. This incorrect setup created a lot of confusion for artists and designers who wanted to adopt a physically based workflow, and beginners were bound to be confused by the randomness of the selected values.

Listening to user feedback, we heard that you want more examples for interior and exterior transitions. These scenarios can be very difficult to handle due to the immense exposure variations between a brightly lit outdoor area and a darker, artificially lit interior.

To help you understand how the lighting is set up, I prepared a cheat sheet with important values. You will find color temperatures and intensities of common light sources, and exposure values, set via the Exposure Volume Component, for several types of scenes.

Finally, HDRP’s Volume System, although common in many AAA engines, can be daunting for beginners who aren’t familiar with the hierarchical concepts of global volumes and local overrides that are necessary to handle rendering settings on a per-location basis. As a consequence, the former template, made of one area only, was not able to showcase the great potential of the volume system.

What’s new in the HDRP template?

The new template is set up in a physically based way, with a realistic sun intensity at 100,000 lux and correct exposures for each location. Beginners now have

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