Upgrading to the Universal Render Pipeline (URP)

A render pipeline or a graphics pipeline is a model that describes how a graphics system needs to display a 3D scene on a 2D display. Whether this is through a game engine or for computer animation, a render pipeline is present.

Unity currently has 3 render pipelines to choose from: The Built-in Render Pipeline, the Universal Render Pipeline (URP), and the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). The default for Unity is the Built-in Render Pipeline. When you start a new project, the graphics pipeline that is in use is the Built-in Render Pipeline.
The Built-in Render Pipeline is a general use graphics pipeline. You can do quite a bit with it but it is still limited in some aspects.

One way to expand upon that is by upgrading to the URP or HDRP options available in Unity. HDRP is for really high quality graphics. Think AAA quality uses. The focus of this article though is the URP — The Universal Render Pipeline.

  1. Upgrading the Unity project to URP. What this does is it allows you to use the features of the URP. It has many of the features of the Built-in Render Pipeline but they are expanded upon.
  2. URP is based on Unity’s Scriptable Render Pipeline, which allows you to use C# scripts to interact with the render pipeline. It also has tools just for working in the URP, and allows for a artist friendly workflow for easy to create optimized graphics. Such tools are VFX Graph and Shader Graph. Both of them are visual “scripting” tools for Visual effects (particle systems) and Shader graph for shaders.

The URP is quite a plus to Unity. Maybe it warrants a look at Shader Graph or VFX Graph sometime.

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