At first, I gathered some inspiring images from the internet and from my collection on my PC - all kinds of environments, from real photographs to renders and game environments, which I like. After looking at them, I had a little idea of how my scene should look like. The idea was that my scene would have an old cabin as a main point of interest.
Creating the scene
After having an idea of what I should create, I started making the scene by adding some random terrain prefabs. Having a vast library of assets helped me a lot. You can easily put things together randomly and get new ideas quickly. Then I started populating the scene with trees, logs, and some rocks. Added some terrain assets to block out that empty background. And in the end, I added a few cloud prefabs in the sky so it won't look that empty.
As always, I started by setting Rendering Color Space to Linear instead of Gamma - to make colors more nice and realistic.
For the lighting, I used only one light source - Directional Light, let's call it the sun. While blocking out the scene, I like to rotate my sun and play with shadows to create a more exciting feel.
I set my whole cabin as static and backed some lightmaps to get that nice global illumination - bounced light on the walls to add more depth to the cabin. To make walls more readable, so the cabin attracts more attention to the viewer.
I also changed Environment Lighting Source to Color instead of Skybox. That way, I can choose a custom ambient/shadow color to set a warm mood I wanted.
For the post-processing, I used the Post-Processing package from the Unity Package Manager.
- Applied Anti-aliasing to the camera to smooth out those jagged edges. For the final render, I used Temporal Anti-aliasing (TAA). It helped me get rid of the edge tearing while moving the camera, so the scene looks very nice and smooth.
- I used Ambient Occlusion (AO) to add those nice shadows to add a little bit of realism and more contrast to the scene, so objects look more grounded.
- Added Color Grading - which is one of the best ways to make your low poly scene nice and colorful.
- Finally, I added Depth of Field (DOF) - to make the camera focus on the cabin and blur out objects near the camera.
So this was my process of making this low poly cabin scene in Unity. I hope you learned something from it or just get inspired to create something by yourself!