A Guild to Beautiful Games

Working with pipelines:

Simon Truong
4 min readMay 12, 2022

There are three types of Rendering systems that are offered within Unity, the Standard renderer, the Universal Renderer and finally the HD Renderer. By default when you start a unity project, you are using the Standard Render Pipeline. There is a big difference between each pipeline renderer and they each serve a direction in the type of game that you are creating.

Standard Pipeline:

The standard pipeline has been the de facto rendering system for Unity pre - 2019 version. It was an light weight and easy to use pipeline that was great with simple projects. The only downside is that it lacked a lot of the newer functions that are provided with with URP and HDRP.

Universal Render Pipeline:

After Unity version 2019 and onward, the Standard light weight pipeline will be phased out and be replaced with the Universal pipeline. Both the standard and Universal pipelines work in very similar fashion and provide similar if not better quality of rendering.

If your target game is going to be small or made for mobile devices then the Universal and or Standard pipeline will be more than enough to make things work.

High Definition Render Pipeline:

The best of the best quality, the most precise and accurate renderer that Unity can offer, will be the HDRP. The HDRP is mainly used for big triple A graphics that are more geared towards console or PC devices that can run at higher graphic output.

How to choose between the two:

That is quite simple, as mention before if you are building an game that is geared towards handle devices or mobile smart phones. Or a 2D styled game which doesn’t make use of the higher graphic fidelity then the Universal or Standard pipeline is perfect.

If you are making a game that is geared towards high end PCs or consoles that is 3D in nature. Or your game required that realistic graphics that also requires a lot of textures and or complex lighting and shadows which makes uses of light baking etc. These features are definitely more acute and optimized within the HDRP.

Working with Pipelines:

It is always in best practice before updating your current project to always save and export a copy of the file somewhere safe. This will help you a lot when something goes wrong during the upgrade, you always have a backup to spare.

For my example, I will be creating a new project with the HD render pipeline to begin with, instead of the usual upgrade method. Before I can do that thought I would need to export my current save file by selecting the entire “Assets” folder in the projects tab and right clicking > export. Save the exported file into a safe location for later importing.

By starting a new project with the pipeline installed, there will be less issues to work with.

Instead of the default 3D core, we will select the Sample scenes.

Once the new project finish loading and compiling (this might take a while depending on your working device). You will be greeted with the sample scene provided with Unity.

Before we can import anything, it is best to move all of the Unity provided sample scenes into one simple folder in the projects tab to organized.

Once that is completed you will be able to drag and drop the exported file into the Projects tab to import everything.

At first you will noticed that everything is converted into purple shaders, this is quiet normal since the exported file was using the Standard Renderer.

To fix this, we will now need to convert the entire project assets to be using the new render pipeline. Under Edit > Render Pipeline > HD Render Pipeline you will be able to select the upgrade project materials to the HDRP.

Let that process, once completed you will see that your entire project will now be exactly as you left it before export.



Simon Truong

A Designer, an Illustrator and a massive tech geek aspiring to become a professional Unity Developer.