Unity Tech Art: Realistic Lighting For Game Development (Udemy.com)

Learn AAA cinematic tech art techniques in the Unity game engine (Global Illumination and Shader Graph)

Created by: Wilmer Lin

Produced in 2022

What you will learn

  • Complete A to Z of lighting in Unity
  • Enhance your 3D game worlds with clever lighting strategies
  • Build fast and efficient lighting setups for early prototyping of games
  • Build complex lighting setups with direct lighting and global illumination
  • Customize stock or Asset Store assets through lighting
  • Create dramatic cinematic atmosphere using lighting
  • Creating shader effects using the visual ShaderGraph editor

Quality Score

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Overall Score : 96 / 100

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Course Description

2019 Update: Check out our new Section on the ShaderGraph! Creating shaders can now be done without writing a single line of code!
Making your Unity games look amazing is easier than you think. You don't need to be great at programming and don't need incredible 3D art skills.
Creating immersive games starts with understanding the secrets of lighting and being able to squeeze maximum value from your technical art pipeline.
This course assumes that you're a little bit familiar with Unity but doesn't require you to have any programming or art experience. We will take you through Unity's lighting toolset and discuss everything from colour theory to shadows to materials that emit light.
More specifically, the course will start off with basic light set ups such as a single point light and build up to complex lighting setups. Among other things, the course covers:
  • Direct realtime lighting including directional lights, point lights and spotlights.
  • Global illumination theory and principles, both realtime and baked (pre-rendered).
  • Emissive materials and how they can be used to make specific items in your scene stand out.
  • Three- and four-point lighting set ups - how to create them, how to vary them and how to use them for different effects in your games.
  • ShaderGraph: get started using Unity's visual editor for creating shaders!
Want to get started with Unity 3D from scratch? Check-out our Complete Unity Developer 3D course. Want to create great environments in Blender instead of Unity? Check out our Blender Environment Artist course.
We follow a project-and-challenge approach which means you don't just sit there and watch us, you follow along and flex your own creative muscles to create interesting game moments. We all learn best by doing (rather than just watching)!
You will also be asked to take on a bigger challenge and light your own scene. This serves as a great portfolio piece, or just something to show yourself what you're capable of once you've finished the course.
Unity is a fantastic engine which enables you to make production-quality games. Furthermore these games can be created for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Web from a single source!
This course is perfect for programmers who want to make their game more interesting, for 3D artists who want to triple how amazing their artwork looks, designers who dream of creating cinematic moments worthy of AAA games, and anyone else who is interested in leveling up their tech art skills.
Come and join us in this course now - you'll be amazed at what you're capable of creating!
Note: the project files for this course have been updated to use Unity 2019 with version 2 of the PostProcessing stack. We recommend that you complete the using Unity 2019 or above.Who this course is for:
  • Unity developers (or anyone) interested in 3d art
  • Beginning 3d technical artists interested in Unity3d
  • No programming or scripting is required for this course!

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Instructor Details

Wilmer Lin

Wilmer Lin is a 3D and visual effects artist with over fifteen years of industry experience in film and television. He has trained tens of thousands students over the course of a decade.
Now an independent game developer and educator, Wilmer helps aspiring gamedevs learn technical art and the craft of programming, using Unity3D, Maya and Photoshop.

Rick Davidson has been making video games for a living for more than 14 years as a Designer, Producer, Creative Director, and Executive Producer, creating games for console, mobile, PC and Facebook. He founded an Indie game studio, Inspirado Games, which was acquired in 2012 by Electronic Arts / PopCap. He has worked on cool IPs such as Mario, Transformers, Captain America and Mortal Kombat and created successful new IPs from scratch (such as "GardenMind" which was nominated for Canadian Game of the Year in the social / mobile category).
As a qualified Career Coach, Rick has helped thousands of people achieve their dream of making games for a living - both as Indie Game Developers and as valuable game industry employees.GameDev tv was created by best-selling Udemy instructor Ben Tristem to help anyone learn how to develop, design, and sell indie games. Our team supports Ben in making and maintaining high quality courses that are engaging and entertaining for our students.
GameDev tv offers comprehensive courses on Unity, Blender, Unreal and coding in C#,



99 total reviews

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By Jason Sutton on 2 weeks ago

Another excellent course from the GameDev.tv team! Especially beneficial if you are working to become a technical artist, but also very useful knowledge to have if you are in or wanting to break into another branch of game development. If you're into VFX, you will love the shader graph section! Looking forward to seeing more updates to that section :-)

By Tony Mbatia on 4 weeks ago

This was a very well taught,well paced and informative course about aspects of Unity's lighting, shading and rendering processes that you simply can't find all in one place elsewhere. And, it's constantly being evolved and updated. I recommend it highly to any Unity developer seeking deeper insights into how to achieve performant , Triple A graphics in their work.Thank you Wilmer.

By Jose Ivan Lopez Romo on a month ago

Very good introduction to lighting in Unity!My only feedback would be to tackle a bit more in-depth the artistic aspect of lighting. For example, it would be good to show a breakdown of a more complex environment lit in Unity (not necessarily lighting it from scratch, just explaining how the concepts apply to it). Other than that I would be interested in seeing content specific to the High Definition Render Pipeline and maybe contrasting it with the Universal Render Pipeline.

By Benedek Balogh on 2 months ago

If you ever wanted to understand how lightning in unity works, or just wondered what are those paramaters doing, this is the perfect course. I would say this is probably a must have.

By Liwen Wang on 3 months ago

Best for Lighting Beginners, Artists. Thoroughgoing about Basics Lighting and Post-Processing. Something is too simple however.

By Spieljaeger on 3 months ago

This is an excellent course, clear, concise, and thorough. It's value-added because it includes very useful presentations on post-processing and shader graphs.

By Sarah Re on a week ago

Very good beginner course. The instructor went at an easy to follow pace and there are interesting links in the material for more advanced digging into the topics.

By Alexey Grigoriev on 2 months ago

This course teaches fundamentals of today realtime graphics as applied to Unity. The same concepts you can use in other game engines to make your game look cool. Also there is great overview and tutorials on ShaderGraph which allows you to make animated Visual Effects and materials. The course is continue to improve with advanced topics like culling techniques and lighting pipelines overview.Overall I learned a lot to improve graphics in my games. Teacher has a great knowledge of the stuff.

By Minh Dao on 3 months ago

Although a bit short, since the course is somewhat incomplete and could receive changes in the future. I learned a lot more about Unity. Would highly recommend once you have some basic understanding of Unity.

By Adam Rust on 4 months ago

I've been tinkering with Unity for a couple of years and while I don't consider myself a novice, I've been avoiding many settings related to lighting due to a lack of understanding. Wilmer does an excellent job of clearing those muddy waters in this course, and I now have complete confidence when making adjustments while baking light maps, or using mixed lighting in my 3D projects. Here, in a progressive and concise way, he has successfully laid out a foundation of principles to be practiced for years. If anything regarding lighting in Unity is unclear to you, I highly recommend this course.

By Keith Maksimik on 6 months ago

You NEED this course! If, you want to really understand how the lighting systems in Unity work and make them as efficient as possible. In my opinion, each of the sections in the course are worth the asking price of the whole thing.Just as importantly, you WANT this course. The instructor is that rare blend of experienced expert who knows the topics in great depth but also has gift of being able to explain complex material in a clear, concise and accessible way. He is also very active in keeping the course updated and in the Q&A forums (quickly answering questions and providing quality critiques) almost a year after the course was made.The provided resources are top-notch and combine with the well laid out course progression to take you from knowing little or nothing about the subject to being fully competent and able to move forward with confidence.I give this my highest recommendations and look forward to starting another one of Wilmer's courses that I have already purchased.

By Bevan Calliess on 6 months ago

A really great resource to learn more about lighting in Unity. This course has greatly improved my basic understanding of lighting in general. I now have a much better idea of where to start and how to tweak my lighting to achieve the effect I am trying to achieve.The shader Graph section was especially interesting as I have never works with shaders other than the ones in Unity by default. It really opened my eyes to whole new set of possibilities.