Post processing effects can make very dramatic changes to a scene with very little work. You can use as many of them as you want in combination, but it only takes a few to create an entirely new feeling for a place.
Types of Post Processing Effects in Core
There are two main ways to use a post process effect.
Unbounded post process volumes are limitless in size, and encompass the entire map.
Bounded post process volumes use a cube volume to determine what space that post processing effects in the world.
Several post processing effects have both a regular version and an advanced version. Use whichever suits your needs, but in this tutorial we’ll go over the advanced versions of these effects.
Advanced Bloom Post Process
Bloom is a glow effect. It gives everything that emits light in your scene a sort of magical halo, as though the atmosphere has thickened.
Start by dragging the Advanced Bloom Post Process effect into the project Hierarchy. With default settings, it’ll just make a subtle change. The overall scene is darker and the contrast is higher. Even though it is called bloom, by default it seems to have decreased the bloom from our first scene.
Click on the Advanced Bloom Post Process effect in the Hierarchy, and check out the Properties window. We can mess with all sorts of values in here. To expose all the options we want to change, check the Advanced Settings box to make sure it is on. Wiggle all those settings around to see what happens! Trying yourself can be the best way to understand what is happening.
I’ll first show you the settings I chose, and then explain a bit about them. I chose these properties: Which makes my map look like this: As you can see, you can go pretty intense with this effect. I went super dramatic to showcase just how much can change, but feel free to find the right balance for your project.
Each of the properties you can change has a tooltip to explain what it does. Hover over the name of the property to see the tooltip. In general though, Blend Weight is the strength of the entire effect on the scene. It is essentially a slider from off to on. That is different from Intensity, which controls the strength of the bloom itself. This has a cap on the slider, but you can type in any number you want to increase the intensity even more. While I was able to drag the slider to 15, I instead typed in a value of 100 to make things ridiculous and blown out. And it’s fun–who knows, maybe you’ll think of a cool place to use something like this!
There are a lot of properties in Core that can be overdriven. This means you can manually type in a number higher than what the slider allows. This usually works for properties that act as a multiplier, like the Intensity in this case.
The other fun properties to change on this post process effect are the different colors. This can really change the mood of the entire scene, and is a fun way to affect temperature. Have fun experimenting with different settings! If you don’t see a change immediately, try changing the number very dramatically to get an idea of what is happening.
Ambient Occlusion Post Process
Ambient Occlusion (often abbreviated to AO) can be generally referred to as contact shadows. In the real world, when two objects are close together, less light is able to reach the cracks between them. So, to simulate this virtually, we use ambient occlusion!
Drag the Ambient Occlusion Post Process into the project Hierarchy from Core Content to get started. The default settings give a subtle effect, but it still makes a difference. The main noticeable part of the change in this image is underneath the roof close to the camera. It becomes darker, and the shadows of the beams on the ceiling are more dramatic.
In the Properties window, make sure to turn on the Advanced Settings button to have access to everything.
In this case, I want to make the AO dramatic for the scene, so I cranked up the settings. This creates really obvious contact shadows, which grounds everything together. It creates a feeling that things were built intentionally this way, which can help eliminate the feeling of