Unity has two main rendering technologies, each suited for different tasks. Understand how HDRP and URP differ and which you should choose.
- [George] Hi there, I'm George Mastry. A lot of times, I get questions on LinkedIn and one of the questions I get a lot is which renderer do I use in Unity? Now, Unity has a couple of different renderers. Up until this point, we have been using what's called HDRP and that's the High-Definition Render Pipeline. Now, this particular series is aimed mostly at visualization and high-quality visual effects and HDRP is perfect for that. Now, if you want to know what render pipeline you're using, you can always go into Project Settings and under Graphics, you should have an entry here. Now, I'm using HD Render Pipe or HRP. Now, if you start a new project in Unity, it will ask you what pipeline you want to use. Now, you have the 2D pipeline, which is for 2D games. You have the 3D pipeline which is more archival and it's basically the old renderer. Now, if you're doing 3D, you probably should choose between URP, which is the Universal Render Pipeline and HDRP, the High Definition Render Pipeline. So with that in mind, let's take a look at some of the features and why you would choose one over the other. Now, HDRP versus URP. Now, both of these use the same core technology and that's called SRP, which is the Scriptable Render Pipeline. Now, what does that give you? Well, SRP or the Scriptable Render Pipeline gives you things such as volumes. Now, you've used those for fog, lighting and post-processing. It gives you things such as shader graphs and visual effects graphs. Now, HDRP and URP are different in that they use different types of shaders but both of those can be authored in the shader graph. And then finally, you can script the render pipeline. So if you know C# or want to use C#, you can use it for both. Now, let's take a look at URP. URP stands for the Universal Render Pipeline. Now, by universal, that means it pretty much works everywhere but URP is mostly known for performance. Performance is key. It is the fastest renderer and that means it's better for things, such as mobile and 2D where rendering resources are scarce. But it can be used anywhere you want. Now, URP is also what you need to use if you want to use the 2D renderer or 2D lights. So anything involving 2D effects need to be done in URP. Now, URP does have fewer rendering features but on the plus side, that does make it more straightforward. So if you're a single-person studio creating a game, URP might be the best way to go simply because it's easier to use and you can get your results faster. Now, let's take a look at HDRP. That stands for the High-Definition Render Pipeline. So what does HDRP give you? Well, the most important thing is quality and visual fidelity. Now, along with more visual fidelity is higher system requirements. Now, HDRP is basically used for consoles or PCs with a good graphics card. HDRP does have more features and because of that, it's really suited for things, such as visualization, architectural or product, as well as AAA games. Now, because it has more features, there is a higher learning curve and a little bit more work. Now, going a little bit deeper into HDRP, one of the nice things about it is it does have higher shader complexity. So there's more shader types of features, such as subsurface scattering, detail maps, and height maps. It also has custom shaders for things such as hair and fabric and you can also do layered shaders. Now, another thing that HDRP has is more lighting options. We actually have more lights. So we have area, line, and cube lights. We also have the ability to do volumetric lighting and global illumination, although it is in research for URP. So that may show up over there. And finally, HDRP also has more features for rendering and post. It allows you to do ambient occlusion, things such as autoexposure, as well as screen space reflections. And if you're using an Nvidia RTX card, raytracing will come to the renderer very soon. So hopefully, this gives you a little bit of a taste of both of these. Now, URP is basically best for performance, 2D and mobile and HDRP is best for quality. So consoles, PC gaming, as well as visualization. So I would encourage you to explore both just to understand how both of them work but hopefully, this gives you a little bit more insight into which renderer you should choose for your Unity projects.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.