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Hi! At Unity we are currently developing a number of new Image Effects. The idea behind these effects is that they should look amazing and scale to different hardware levels (where possible).

Screen Space Raytraced Reflections

The effects currently in development are:

  • Screen Space Reflections
  • Tonemapping & Color Grading
  • New Antialiasing (SMAA)
  • Depth of Field

We will be adding more as we start to finish these current effects up.

Open Source development

Each of the listed effects are at a different phase of development, but we don’t feel that this should stop you from getting your hands on them now. For these new image effects we will be developing them, and shipping them, on a public bitbucket account, as well as periodically on the asset store. This means that the unity developers that modify these effects, as well as you (?) will be developing in the public space. We will be actively taking pull requests and engaging in discussion about issues and fixes. We would love to hear your feedback and see some pull requests from you.

Where to Download

You will be able to get the project either from BitBucket or the Asset Store. The version on the Asset Store will be periodically updated, and that version tagged in the main Effect repository.

Asset Store

Open Source

tonemapping and colour grading
Two variations using the Tone Mapping and Color Grading tools in our Unity labs scene

Current Status

Screen Space Reflections – We just missed the cutoff for 5.3 due to one or two outstanding issues. These have since been fixed. You should be able to use this effect now in your project and achieve desirable results. Note: This effect requires Deferred Rendering. Not designed for or tested on mobile.

  • Tonemapping & Colour Grading – Still in development, but in a decent beta state. Supports texture LUT and other custom grading settings.
  • Depth of Field – Still in development, but in a decent beta state.
  • SMAA – Still in development and buggy. We have had success in some scenes, but not in others. It might work well for your project but we are actively working on improving it.

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback on these effects and building shiny things with you!
-Tim C

Depth of Field effect
Depth of Field used in our Shader Calibration scene


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  1. Daniel Andersson

    January 15, 2016 at 10:12 am

    There should be a Presets drop down under camera, where you can select a bunch of effects with pre-set settings and also add your own.

    I really like the Tonemapping, but everything slows to a dead crawl with error when I launch a particle effect with Tonemapping on the camera.

    Also, it doesn’t seem possible to have multiple cameras with tonemapping.

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  3. While open sourcing everything – you should really put some more work into keeping everything up to date and responding to pull requests.

    All other open source repositories are always lagging behind public releases. The development is not “public” – only a single commit with changes per released version, pull requests are never picked up (there’s no real “conversation” going on). I have already submitted 3 different pull requests to various projects but i don’t ever recall getting any reply.

    1. The image effects project is run completely publicly. All development is done directly in bitbucket, every single commit is done there. We hope that this will make working with the community on the code in an equal way much better.

      1. I was referring to the other repositories, such as the UI code. I recall submitting a PR to the UI repo as well as the XcodeAPI, but received no reply. The UI repo is still on 5.2, it wasn’t updated to the released 5.3…

        1. So I’ll take the responsibility for the UI bitbucket repo. Each update take a while and public releases don’t always align nicely with my “free” time but I try to do it within a week of the public release. As for the PR’s on the repo yes we need to get better at looking at them. Its something i’m trying to get a process going for so we can have better communication going forward.

  4. Unity team, thanks to start this. My suggestions: Well, free and open SMAA from Github works very good without bugs, SSR from Kode80 and others SSRs (like Livenda , candela) too , we need this advanced images effects by default.

    Keijiro developer makes a lot of new good image effects for free too: like KineBokeh, KineBLur, HexBokeh, Deffered AO, new Bloom, Color Suite and etc…

    Why Unity not buy the new Livenda CTAA (Temporal Antialiasing) to solve lot of problems like Bloom Flicker and Shimmer (to eliminate antialising frequency problems) ?

    And SCION from JOVE Software:!/content/41369

    Btw this is a good update ! Thanks

  5. We need to have image effects by default guys, we shouldn’t have to import them seperately.
    Also we need the best AA possible, and working perfectly on mobile too (it’s been a huge issue). Hope the temporal filter is on track because AA is a game:)changer.
    Good luck.

  6. Very impressive Aras and the rest of the Unity team.
    Very impressive indeed.

  7. we are already successfully using this SMAA implementation:

  8. Agreed with Sergio, People always says that unreal engine is better than unity in terms of graphics. But they dont know that their default rendering has many well designed image effects… Unity should use the same system.
    Also I heard that Sébastien Lagarde started to work for unity. I really wonder what he is currently working on?:)

    1. Aras Pranckevičius

      December 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      “physically based, physically based, physically physically physically based” :)

      Sébastien and his team are working on a lot of things, you’ll hear about them soon(ish).

      1. I understood from message that you and unity team are well motivated to make whole engine physically based:) Really good…

  9. Agreed with Sergio, just like there’s a single Übershader that has features that get enabled/disabled, based on what you’re using, there should be an Überposteffect script on the camera, which not only improves the workflow, but means that whatever framebuffer effects can be combined into a single pass can be, thus saving a lot of fillrate compared to stacking multiple framebuffer effects all in separate passes.

  10. there should be just ONE uber effect to make the most common posteffects in just ONE component,
    with AA, SSAO, SSRR, Vigneting & chromatic A, DOF, blur, noise, bloom and glow and color correction.

    Already added to the camera by default, and already adjusted for the best result.

    It would improve Unity default render which would give people the impresion that Unity is a high-end graphics engine, right out of the box.

    It would also help on workflow since we could just copy ONE component for the effects, and not 8 or 10.

    Then the ability to plug a material (shader material) to a camera to overlay the render, and to plug a material to a light.

    1. Aras Pranckevičius

      December 11, 2015 at 5:36 am

      Agree, that’s the plan for “eventually”. Right now we want to get the individual effects up to good quality level, later on see how to combine them into one, sort of, “standard” configurable effect.

  11. Can you guys put some post effect tutorials so we can make our own.Btw i love unity and i recommend it to enyone……………………even my mom ,and she doesn’t know anything about game development.

    1. Aras Pranckevičius

      December 11, 2015 at 5:35 am

      In 5.3 docs we actually started having some introductory text on “here’s how to write them”,

  12. Finally new Post effects please put an hbao+ because the ssao is way outdated.

    1. That’s unlikely to happen due to restrictive license. But you can add it yourself. It is super easy. Download HBAO+ unity plugin from NVidia, import it to your project and you’re good to go. Just make sure you read the license carefully, it is pretty heavy.

  13. Bitbucket? Why not Github ?

    1. Because Github doesn’t support Mercurial.

  14. Tim C.
    I didnt know that you are graphics programmer:) Are there any area you didnt work?

    1. Love this community! Big thanks to Unity. They keep coming out with awesome things for us.

  15. Nice to see you guys adding some nice new effects. It’s also awesome that Unity is open sourcing as much as possible. It’s very encouraging.

  16. This new Antialiasing is amazing!! Oh, by the way, it looks like there is a conflict when you have the default Effects package and this Cinematic Image Effects package in the same project, the SSR deactivates itself and I get 2 warnings on my console and when I try to activate it again these warnings logs again:
    “Missing shader for image effect Main Camera (UnityStandardAssets.CinematicEffects.ScreenSpaceReflection)”
    “The image effect Main Camera (UnityStandardAssets.CinematicEffects.ScreenSpaceReflection) has been disabled as it’s not supported on the current platform.”
    Everything works fine if I only have the Cinematic Image Effects in my project.

    1. The issue should be fixed now if you pull the latest package from the asset store (we had a GUID clash). We consider the SMAA to be very alpha, I’m happy you like it but we feel it has a way to go still :)

      1. Ah, nice! I see, well, it already looks way better than the other post process solutions! Can’t wait to see how it will become in the future!

      2. Hmm, we are having the exact same problem but downloading the asset doesn’t work. What platforms are required for the SMAA to work?

  17. Just checked the Tone-Mapping, and it’s uses Reinhard, which is not amazing, especially if not designed to run on mobile :(

    1. Forgot to say that even if I don’t think it’s the best operator, still think the initiative is good :)

    2. If you wish to improve / add a different operator feel free, we would happily accept the pull request :). It would be great if we could expose multiple options via the UI for people to select from.

  18. I use deferred rendering with DX11 and add SSRR script to my camera and dont work.

    1. Do you have any errors or feedback in the log file?

      1. no errors, simply reflects dont work, only skybox is reflected.

        1. Same thing happens to me

        2. Same thing happens to me

    2. I’d point out that a lot of things don’t work correctly with Deferred Rendering. It’s not just SSRR. Even image effects like bloom or even layered cameras break Unity’s deferred rendering pipeline.

  19. just please don’t use them for evil!

    ie Depth of Field :)