High Definition Rendering Pipeline in Unity

Objective: To understand what the High Definition Rendering Pipeline (HDRP) is in Unity, and how to get it setup for your new and existing projects.


The HDRP is a high fidelity scriptable render pipeline that targets modern platforms (which use compute shading such as PS4, Xbox One, Windows and Windows Store with DirectX 11 or 12, Linux and Windows platforms with Vulkan) with it’s high quality graphics. It also supports VR. It provides users with an expansive list of additional features when comparing it with the built-in render pipeline. These features are within the following categories: project, material, lighting, camera, tools and programming. Some examples include: lit, unlit and layered shaders, screen space reflection and refraction, dynamic resolution, and camera relative rendering.

Similar to setting up URP for a new project, you will simply need to select the HDRP option on the New Project window and also making sure you are using Unity 2019.3 and above:

You may need to follow some of the steps below if you plan on using an existing package that you are importing in if your assets use the Standard Render Pipeline.

Again similar to the URP, these are the same steps required to get HDRP setup in your existing project (albeit separate package names):

  1. Download the High Definition RP from the Unity Package Manager.
    Window → Package Manager → All Packages → High Definition RP → Install
  2. Create the HDRP Asset.
    Right click in Project window → Create → Rendering → High Definition Rendering Pipeline Asset
  3. Upgrade Graphics Settings to HDRP Asset.
    Edit → Project Settings → Graphics → Scriptable Render Pipeline Settings Field → HD Render Pipeline Asset
  4. Upgrade Existing Assets to HDRP.
    Edit → Render Pipeline → HD Render Pipeline → Upgrade Project Materials to High Definition Materials

There may also be a few extra fixes that are needed for your project and you will find these in the HD Render Pipeline Wizard. To get there, go to Window → Render Pipeline → HD Render Pipeline Wizard. You will presented with a new pop-up window similar to the one shown below, and you may or may not have the same errors that need fixing. To automatically fix them all simply hit the ‘Fix All’ button or to manually fix them, head to the relevant heading/topic and hit ‘Fix’.

Passionate Unity Game Developer