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The Unity "Physical Camera" and how to improve it.

Discussion in 'Virtual Production' started by Dirrogate, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Dirrogate


    Feb 18, 2014
    I've made multiple "small enhancement" posts that have gone under the radar, so decided to put in the shortcomings (imo) that I'm seeing with the Unity Physical Camera and with HDRP from a Cinematic point of view

    • The Physical camera has one missing function / slider : Focus. Where is it? There's focal length, fov... etc
    • The implementation of DOF and Exposure is convoluted at best from a Cinematography point of view. It's hidden in a "Volume" that gets activated from a separate section. It should be part of the Camera "module"
    • ISO and Shutter are non functional until an "exposure override" component is added to a postprocessing volume (?!)
    - Important:
    • As in the below pic: ExposeCameraParameters.jpg
    A UI / GUI can't be built (unless you are a coder) to access values such as Aperture/ DOF/ ISO as they aren't exposed in the normal Camera block. The team responsible for coding the Physical Camera need a cinematographer on the team.
    HDRP issues:
    - A rendertexture camera behaves erratic in VR (infinity mirror effect), flipped texture etc.

    @Matjio This one might be of interest: It would make sense to integrate and "expose" the UnityRecorder package functionality so a Gui / UI button can trigger a recording from a "Virtual Production" point of view.

    Why has it taken so long to build a VCam based on Arkit/Arcore, with WebRTC and RenderStreaming (UE4 call it pixel streaming).
    All the pieces are there, if there is already a team in place looking at VP with Unity - these don't need budget allocations and can be put together in a week.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
    fablemaker and cjjeffery like this.
  2. fablemaker


    May 11, 2020
    Agreed ++ for these points. Would also love to see more realistic physical camera in Unity (DoF/lens effects in particular, to match the potential of HDRP!).

    Understandable from Unity's evolution and design for performance that cameras don't seem to be modelling real lenses that we from the film world would expect (hardware can't do it in realtime).

    As workaround I'm using the DOF in the post processing, which tries to mimic DoF effects. Biggest limitation? The DoF gets less blurry as you scale up your resolution. Would love to see a more realistic DOF implementation, resolution independent as you suggested above!

    Side note, I found creating mini DoF PPS Volumes which contain the camera as a child, so the DoF settings are tied to the camera, and you animate the PPS volume (including the camera). Not exactly intuitive, but functional. Ideally this would all be included in the physical camera though - for cinematographers to understand it. I've shown a few cinematographers and it is at first highly illogical.

    Have you tried Deckard Render yet? It's not an easy learning curve, and not strictly realtime, but for film-making it's powerful - the developer seems to have pulled off a realistic DoF and really understands real-world optics / physics.
    chadfranklin47 and Dirrogate like this.
  3. Dirrogate


    Feb 18, 2014
    Yes, if Unity aims to address Cinematographers, they need to improve this aspect. I can't say much - but I've been told it will be done, soon.

    Olivers (author of Deckard) is very talented. I've been meaning to try out deckard for HDRP, but will wait on Unity Physical camera upgrade.
    arumiat and fablemaker like this.