For my final, I really wanted to stick to what I thought would benefit me the most in terms of my own future endeavors within the game-making space. I have been recently working on a low poly environment for a game that I have started recently titled Office: Infinite. Right now it is in its infancy and is not a full build quite yet however after completing one of the indoor scenes here I wanted to try and add some more life to the scene overall. And while I do plan on adding more and more over time I thought that a really good Idea was to recreate flowing clouds within the scene using the unity shader graph as I thought that would have been a really practical use for the Package and would add so much to the scene overall.
The clouds were done completely in shader graph using a combination of floats, vector 2 and come color functions. I created a base pattern for the clouds using a simple noise node that I then attached tiling to in order to be able to manipulate or animate the clouds. I did this by creating a cloud speed float and time node to the tiling node allowing the clouds to move over time which is also totally adjustable with a slider that is a part of the plane that is connected to the shader material itself. I wanted to be able to mess around with an alternate slider that could change the look and feel of the clouds so I added in a power and colour node which allows me to fine tune the clouds depending on how I’m feeling or how I want the scene to appear. Once the shader was functioning on the 2d plane that I assigned it to I realized I didn’t really like the look of it because of that reason, the rendering on the camera in unity was being weird with the plane so I went into blender and created a high poly plane that had a large curve kind of like it was blanketing the rest of the scene and imported that into unity. Once I applied the shader to that plane instead of the 2d plane I was happy with the way that the shader was looking. Finally, I added Alpha clipping to the shader in an attempt to allow light to be cast through the clouds onto the plane however this gave me problems.
The biggest thing I struggled with was trying to get real-time shadows cast down onto the plane through the clouds. This has been a struggle for me as I’ve tested multiple different render modes and different lightmaps and global illumination options but none of them seem to work which is very odd and annoying to me. I believe it has something to do with the universal render pipeline for the shader that I definitely want to look further into and figure out because I feel it would add a lot more atmospheric qualities to the scene overall. In the end. I’m very pleased with the results and feel of this shader. I will attach an itch.io downloadable and playable file to the submission of this project so that you can check it out yourself 🙂
Youtube Link to in-game footage: https://youtu.be/xNWWD_2OzMI