Version: 2022.3
Language : English
Render pipelines
Choose a render pipeline

Introduction to render pipelines

A render pipelineA series of operations that take the contents of a Scene, and displays them on a screen. Unity lets you choose from pre-built render pipelines, or write your own. More info
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takes the objects in a sceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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and displays them on-screen.

How a render pipeline works

A render pipeline follows these steps:

  1. Culling, where the pipeline decides which objects from the scene to display. This usually means it removes objects that are outside the cameraA component which creates an image of a particular viewpoint in your scene. The output is either drawn to the screen or captured as a texture. More info
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    view (frustum culling) or hidden behind other objects (occlusion cullingA process that disables rendering GameObjects that are hidden (occluded) from the view of the camera. More info
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  2. Rendering, where the pipeline draws the objects with their correct lighting into pixelThe smallest unit in a computer image. Pixel size depends on your screen resolution. Pixel lighting is calculated at every screen pixel. More info
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  3. Post-processingA process that improves product visuals by applying filters and effects before the image appears on screen. You can use post-processing effects to simulate physical camera and film properties, for example Bloom and Depth of Field. More info post processing, postprocessing, postprocess
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    , where the pipeline modifies the pixel buffers to generate the final output frame for the display. Example of modifications include color grading, bloom, and depth of fieldA post-processing effect that simulates the focus properties of a camera lens. More info
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A render pipeline repeats these steps each time Unity generates a new frame.

Render pipelines in Unity

In Unity, you can use one of the following pre-built render pipelines for your project.

The Built-In Render Pipeline is Unity’s default render pipeline. It’s a general purpose render pipeline with limited options for customization.

The Universal Render Pipeline (URP) is a Scriptable Render Pipeline that you can customize. It lets you create scalable graphics across a wide range of platforms.

The High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) is a Scriptable Render Pipeline that lets you create cutting-edge, high-fidelity graphics on high-end platforms.

The Scriptable Render Pipelines let you inspect and change how culling, rendering, and post-processing work directly in C#. This level of customization is also possible in the Built-In Render Pipeline when you purchase access to the Unity engine’s source code in C++.

If you’re an experienced graphics developer with advanced customization needs, you can also create your own custom render pipeline using Unity’s Scriptable Render Pipeline API.

Refer to Choose a render pipeline for more information about choosing the right pipeline for your project.

Additional resources

Render pipelines
Choose a render pipeline