Upgrading to the Universal Render Pipeline in Unity

To enhance the sci fi scene we created previously — read more here — we can introduce one of Unity’s built in Rendering Pipeline.

The Universal Render Pipeline (URP) is one of Unity’s scriptable rendering pipelines and allows for user-friendly workflows for quick and easy optimized graphics, covering high end PC’s to mobile devices.

Without being a dedicated artist, using a prebuilt Render Pipeline allows us to flesh out a lot more atmosphere. Being focused on game audio, means this is a big plus for me, as having a visually pleasant atmosphere, allows better building blocks for creating an immersive audio experience.

Since we already created our project without URP, we need to upgrade it. Ultimately, there’s two options, the first being to add in the URP Package. This can lead to a bunch of discrepancies trying to initiate and change everything from scratch. Alternatively, we can export our existing scene as it’s own package, and add it to Unity’s URP Template.

URP Sample Scene

When opening up our existing scene, we do run into one problem. Everything is pink! This is because all of our assets are using standard shaders as opposed to URP shaders. To fix this, we can go to Edit > Render Pipeline > URP > Upgrade Project Materials. This will swap out just about all our shaders to be compatible with URP, although there may be some that are missed due to having alternate shaders to begin with. Unless its something crazy custom, we can generally fix this manually by accessing the material and changing the shader property to one of URP’s — with the standard being ‘lit’.

With our scene imported into the URP. We can get to work on making it look pretty!

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