[Unity Awards 2018 - BEST ARTISTIC TOOL Winner] Aura - Volumetric Lighting

BEST ARTISTIC TOOL Award of the Unity Awards 2018

2854097--351418--Dvh0RcXWoAAFuHL.jpg large.jpg

Download Aura - Volumetric Lighting now on the Asset Store:

Download Aura - Volumetric Lighting now on GitHub:

Stay tuned @raphernaelsten

Features :

  • Opaque/Transparent geometry support
  • Works out of hands

  • Particles illumination, fog and density

  • Works in Forward/Deferred

  • Works in LDR/HDR

  • Completely scalable in realtime for quality/performances

  • All types of light supported

  • Full shadows support (1/2/4 directional cascade(s), spot, point)

  • Cookie support

  • Volumes injection (Global, Planar, Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Cone) with :

  • Density injection

  • Anisotropy injection

  • Color injection

  • Volumetric texture support

  • Dynamic 4D noise support

  • Realtime preview in editor

  • Fully commented sources

  • Unity 2017.2+

  • Needs a Compute Shader capable platform

Features previews (during WIP) :

Quick showoff :
Give a more dramatic look to the Village Demo Scene in 10 minutes




No ETA yet, awww mann!

1 Like

Post updated with spotlights WIP preview.

Spotlights WIP preview :

Give it to us already! :)

Thread updated with DirectionalLight cookie preview.

Directional cookies preview :

1 Like

What performance are we looking at and can we have the volume encompass the world? or is performance based on size and so forth? In a nutshell, I'm nuts about performance as I have a strict budget on console that only allows basically a millisec or two :/

There is no such notion as bounding volumes. The whole world, universe, multiverse are encompassed by default and undergo base parameters (base density, base anisotropy and base color) set on the main component on the camera…
Volumes are only there to inject(Add/Subtract) density, anisotropy and color locally (except for the “global” volume), according to their shape and some other parameters.

Computation is based on a 3D divided, ranged camera frustum so performances are (roughly) = volumetric subdivision (read volumetric accuracy, cell size, …) + (the number of volumes/lights you add * their volumetric coverage (so yes the bigger a volume is, the more chance it has to be taken into account for cell computing)).
PS4 and xOne will be supported and my goal is less than 2ms on a PS4.


how does the directional light coockie make sense? one wants something like this as a local effect. doesnt it make more sense for a spotlight for example?

I agree (still not 100% though) that the fan effect “might” make more sense with a spot but it was a good contrasty example in my test scene.

Directional cookie makes sense as I could have used a “cloud” cookie for example…
It’s not up to me to decide what people need or what makes sense for them…
My goal is to support all the unity lighting pipeline as it is so they will be able to combine everything however they want, and achieve whatever they want…
I just keep in mind that lights are not just used to mimic real life lightings but can be used to do crazy effects too. And if this can help them achieve event crazier effects by not restraining the possibilities, I’ll be happy.

I’m a technical artist, I’ll always keep in mind to keep the artistic possibilities at the max…


Sounds like I might let you be friends with my wallet then.

There’s obviously going to be order problems somewhere, ie skyboxes, custom skies…water, maybe even trees?

1 Like

Could you elaborate? Why would there be problems?
The effect is not just a post process, of course it can be one for opaque geometry and save pixels on the Fog application, but it can also be fetched into a shader and applied per instance/vertex/pixel and take care of the specificities of the objects in a custom shader if you want. That’s how I fog and lit the particles for example :slight_smile:

Oh nice!

would it be able to cast particle shadows? Like dense smoke?

Not at the time, but it is something that was already on my list of idesa.
Not the easiest thought…

1 Like

How about low lying fog banks and mists and stuff?

You can use volume injections for that ;)
Just like shown in the first video, you know, the first one, the loooong 14minutes video :smile: (I know, I was too enthusiast :sweat_smile:)

Here’s a quick test with a planar volume and density injection with a dynamic noise mask on it :

Thread updated with SpotLight cookie preview.

Spot cookies preview :

1 Like

Can’t wait for that asset

Any ETA on this? Literally been looking for a solution like this for ages.