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Looking for "the ultimate screenshot" settings using only Gaia/Gaia Pro

Shawn - Backwoods Gaming
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Hey gang.  I'm working on getting the Backwoods Gaming stamps packs updated to support the new stamps and session formats.  Having been away from Unity for so long, I haven't been to keep up with all of the changes both in Unity and Gaia with regards to lighting and what I had known before, I'm having to start learning from scratch again.  In order to resubmit to the asset store, I need to also produce new screenshots and videos as many of the old assets used when creating the original screenshots are out of date and are no longer needed with the advances to Gaia and Unity.  Keep in mind, when the original stamps packs were released, Unity 5.x was the latest and greatest.  So with that in mind, I would love to be able to produce the screenshots highlighting the stamped terrains using Gaia alone initially and then once the updated packs are released, then create additional screenshots/videos which give some exposure to some of my favorite assets to show what can be done with the stamps using a combination of Gaia and other assets.

With that said, here is my issue...  As some of you may remember, I suffer brain fog issues that have effected my ability to focus for long periods of time as well as eliminating my ability to multitask.  What time I've been able to work in Unity the past week, I've been struggling trying to figure out how to get my lighting to look as good as what the PW team has been able to do with their screenshots.  I've tried figuring out Gaia's photo mode as Bryan outlined in his response to a thread here.  Unfortunately, I'm not relearning or retaining what all of the settings do in order to get a great look with the lighting.  Eventually I'm sure I will be able to figure it out and probably already would have if memory wasn't an issue. 😕  I've also looked at the Gaia Lighting object within the project but again, remembering what all the settings do and getting all the right mix of settings is my enemy.

The other issue that I'm having is when I change terrain detail settings within the terrain object, my grasses look great in the game window within the editor, but once I hit the play button my lush grasses are back to splotches.  As I'm using Gaia Pro, I think I may have found the answer to this in Peter's reply about Flora here.  I just haven't had the chance to test it since I found it and I guess I need to figure out how to disable Flora?  Is Flora added automagically somewhere?  If anyone can confirm this is the problem, that would be awesome.  Any recommended settings to get a lush grass details for screenshots and Pegasus video creation would be greatly appreciated.

What I'm looking for in screenshots is morning/evening "magic hour" type lighting, horizon fog to assist with breakoff point of camera distance, light morning/evening ground fog say 50m out from camera, sunlight at a point that it is coming through trees.  God rays would be nice but not necessary if everything else is good.  Not sure if god rays can be achieved without adding other assets or not.  Also hope to figure out settings to fix the grass differences between edit and play mode.  All of this is currently using standard Unity.  URP and HDRP was so new last time I worked with Unity heavily that I'm not even ready to try to start figuring that stuff out without relearning the basics first.  Yeah, it has been that long. 😞

I currently have two updated packs on the verge of being submitted.  I have one GX script issue to track down on the main script and just need to duplicate the script changing variables for the second.  My only major holdup is getting my media to include with the submissions.  Sooooo...  If anyone is willing to share what they think are settings for Gaia Lighting that might give me the results or even some of the results stated it the previous paragraph and/or ideas on settings I would need to solve the grass issues, I would be GREATLY appreciative!

EDIT: Just noticed a couple gallery images Adam posted over the weekend that are close to what I'm looking for but not sure what rendering he is using.  My fear is he is probably doing all in HDRP. lol  These images are close to what would be awesome to replicate in screenshots/vid I want to create both with lighting and foliage.



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Hi Shawn, great to hear that you are bringing your stamp packs up to speed! For taking screenshots of your stamps, I think you can give HDRP a shot - we mostly automated the setup for it, so all you would need to do is to go to the setup tab after the Gaia installation, switch the render pipeline to HDRP and follow the procedure there. What you would need to do is:

1. Set up a new project using the HDRP template (so you do not need to install any HDRP packages later)


2. Add Gaia to the project as usual

3. Switch Gaia to HDRP from the setup panel in the Gaia Manager- It is a two step process, first comes switching the pipeline, then the shader installation process. Whenever you are asked something, you should always just confirm so it chooses the default settings for everything.



4. Now Gaia is ready for HDRP, you can create your terrains as usual with Gaia and it is running in HDRP already. When you switch to "Morning" lighting in the Create Runtime step, then you should be pretty close to your golden hour requirements for the screenshots already. 


Here is an example shot with the default output from the world designer:


You can optionally also press F11 to bring up the photo mode, and adjust the lighting in there a bit while you take screenshots. Usually you want to adjust the rotation and the pitch of the sun to fit it for the image you want to create.


If you have assets in the foreground that you want to focus on, you can adjust the Focus point / Depth of Field as well.



19 hours ago, Shawn - Backwoods Gaming said:

Is Flora added automagically somewhere?  If anyone can confirm this is the problem, that would be awesome.

Flora is indeed enabled automatically in the newer Gaia versions. If you do not want to use it, you can disable it from the resource settings within the grass spawner here: 

Alternatively you can also delete the "Flora Terrain Tile" component from the terrain.

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Thanks Peter!  Twist my arm already! lol  I'll give it a shot.  My main concern was trying to learn something new when already having to relearn all of the old stuff.  But if it is as easy as it looks from your screens, it will at least give me the ability to get some hero type shots and videos cranked so I can get the media I need to submit my updates.  I noticed some of my current images for the current versions of the packs are a bit wonky with sizing.  I realized I never got around to changing them out when they updated the asset store to 2.0.  Oops!

I did play around with the photo mode in the standard pipeline but had trouble wrapping my head around it.  If I can get out of the box results like you showed in your screens up above, I'll be happy without doing much changing to photo mode settings at all.

Thanks also for the Flora.  I'll hold off disabling it and see if I get different results in the HDRP rendering pipeline.  Great to know where/how to disable it.  I saw the Enable checkbox in another screenshot last night either here on Canopy or on Discord and meant to look at it today but have been stuck running errands most of the day.

I'll work through all of your suggestions here in a bit and let you know how it all goes.  

Again, thanks for taking the time to put all this together.  As always, you guys ROCK!!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hey @Peter..  Sorry it took so long to respond but following your above instructions totally got me where I needed to be and gave me skies I wanted.  I just saw you guys post the Early Access containing the new sky system and I realized I never did respond and thank you here.  Between getting distracted and some other issues, I haven't made it past testing but now I'm considering giving the early access a try so the latest and greatest skies get shown off in the screenies.  Hopefully I can get other stuff wrapped up this week so I can jump back on that by the weekend or early next week.

Thanks again for the help!

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