The annual Unite event stands as a testament to the unity within the development community,…
At GDC 2022, the Unity demo team announced Gigaya, their upcoming playable sample game for URP (Universal Rendering Pipeline). Although the project is still under development, the demo team showcased many of the features of the project using the latest Unity technology. Our asset Volumetric Fog & Mist 2, is used in Gigaya to provide an immersive atmosphere to the whole game, including fog and light scattering effects.
Volumetric Fog & Mist was launched first in 2015 and since then has been evolved in many ways. The release of Volumetric Fog & Mist 2 in 2020 with native support for URP and enhanced effects represented a major milestone for the asset. Volumetric Fog & Mist 2 includes all features that a fog effect needs and more, starting with its appearance and behaviour (geometry, animation, scene integration) plus extra features like fog of war, fade effects, sub-volumes, authoring tools inside Unity Editor and more.
Before diving into the Gigaya project and what Volumetric Fog & Mist delivers in this project, watch the video below to get a better perspective of what comes next.
Gigaya has been created by composing many essential elements that count when developing a game. As the official page states, the goal is to “Spark your creative ambitions”, “A Learning tool to help you grow”, “Improve your artistry and workflows” and ultimately “Learn programming patterns and techniques”. In other words, a way to showcase how URP can be used to create stylized and immersive visual experiences that works across a wide range of platforms. To implement the world of Gigaya, the team used features as decals, Shader Graph, VFX Graph and post-processing effects.
In this article, we will focus on the atmospheric part related to the use of Volumetric Fog & Mist.
The interest behind using Volumetric Fog & Mist goes beyond using this asset to simply add a mist effect. We’ve been testing many different types of ways of enhancing an environment. From global fog to cold or sandy wind and even god rays effect & terrain fit. The reason this asset is so special it’s because its versatility to create global and local atmospheric effects that match the desired realism.
Getting to create all of the effects mentioned before could take a long time, many different assets or shaders, and in most cases, the visual result wouldn’t be cohesive. Having an asset to cover all of them by only tweaking several simple values covers all of that, and most importantly, from the start, you already know the result will be vivid, realistic and beautiful.
Here are several screenshots of the use of Volumetric Fog & Mist in Gigaya:
Misty effect: Open-world atmosphere has some misty visuals regardless of the time of the day, time of the year or season, even if it is to mark the horizon sky haze and merge the sky with it.
Sandy wind: The appearance parameter of Volumetric Fog & Mist will give you the freedom to create a cold wind effect, hot wind effect and much more. In this case, Gigaya used the asset to give the sandy wind effect that we see along the scene.
God rays: As we mentioned before, Volumetric Fog & Mist strives to stay as true as possible to real-world physics and behavior. My favourite feature of the asset has also been used for the Gigaya project. This feature is mainly known by the term “God Rays.” This effect occurs when the sun’s light is projected towards an area surrounded by mist. It is usually visible in the morning and vegetation areas or dusty buildings while the light comes across the window. The occlusion of objects, while the light is projected among them in this misty or dusty environment, creates the effect of a beautiful ray that is also commonly used in movies. Oh, by the way, if you want to learn how to setup god rays with Volumetric Fog & Mist just click here 🙂
Here is an example of the use of God Rays effect used in Game Of Thrones:
Watch this Gigaya Demo using Volumetric Fog & Mist for the mentioned effects above…
At the moment, Gigaya has been announced to be released in 2022. We feel the same excitement as you do to know more about this project and explore every tiny bit of its elements.
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P.S.: We receive daily screenshots and reels regarding uses and implementations in different scenes and game development categories. These beautiful results motivate us to build and update our tools to their best version. What do you think about this project? Let us know in the comments below!