• Polycarbon Games

Create A Cyberpunk World With Unity 3D

Updated: Aug 26



Using Unity HDRP to make a cyberpunk environment inspired by CDPROJEKT RED's Cyberpunk 2077. This is good for game designers art our anyone going to school for game design.


Are you ready for Cyberpunk 2077? You think it will launch be for 2080? Probably not, but that doesn't have to stop you from creating some awesome Cyberpunk style art! With Unity 3D using HDRP shaders we will show you how we converted the Dark City 2 - Cyberpunk assets shaders to HDRP shaders. Unity 3D HDRP shaders really make your game pop out by providing it with AAA quality look by providing post processing and new shaders that even work with subsurface scattering. A lot of companies are switching to HDRP and Unity for its ease of use. HDRP is still Experimental so you might run into some bugs here and there but don't let that stop you from making some cool visuals.


You can download the entire kit here


Cyberpunk is a genre that started in the early 70's popularize through sci-fi novels. The Necromancer by Williams Gibson really brought the genre to light. Through the medium of sci-fi movies, novels and comics cyberpunk became cult hits. Cyberpunk is normally depicted as a bleak dark near future of society and how it evolve into a gritty dystopian futuristic technocracy, fueled by late stage capitalism. Cyberpunk society imagery comes a live during the night scenes. What cyberpunk has done was give computer programmers and hackers a identity. Computer hackers create their own personal empowerment. It is the rebellious nature of hackers and the fact that they operate on the fridges of the law is what gives cyberpunk it's culture.


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You can check out Hong Kong, Korea, Time Square, Singapore and Dubai night scenes for reference.Those cities and countries were ahead of their time in terms of the look and feel of cyberpunk. You have bright neon lights, bright colored billboard with holographic ads of mega corporation ruling nations.You will also notice a lot of old world architecture mix in with futuristic architecture. This shows you how fast new and eccentric cultures evolved from technology culture that turned into a totally new society, mixing old with new. It kind of reminds me of Neil Stevenson Snow Crash, great book by the way.



Cyberpunk often deals with specific themes such as how the underground society deals with future technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence.Most cyberpunk also follows a crime drama narrative much like film noir. Just like film noir cyberpunk has a of high contrasting color and a lot of dark colors. You notice these common colors, Hot Pink, Violet, blue and neon green.

Just like film noir you will notice a lot of chiaroscuro which is extreme contrast between dark and light contrasting colors. Then you have the colors themselves. Cyberpunk colors have a lot of bright colors to create that contrast between the dark and light.The colors also evoke a feeling of melancholy. The color red creates a senses dread and fear. While more violet color create a more calming but forlorn feeling, reminds me of that nostalgic feeling. The use of volumetric fog gives the viewer a sense of mystery and fear, you never know whats behind the fog. 




Below is a video of the Cyberpunk city being created in Unity 3D




Below is a video of the Cyberpunk city being block out with Unity 3D

How To Convert Your Unity 3D Project To HDRP


  • First import Dark City 2 once you do that we can began converting the shaders to Unity HDRP.

  • Now we are going to show you how to convert to HDRP.

  • Drag in a asset for reference. In this case we used the truck that was in the Dark City 2 Kit.

  • You will notice the asset has that ugly Unity pink color. That means there is a shader error.

  • Go to Edit then look all the way to the bottom and highlight Render Pipeline. After that Select Upgrade Project Materials to High Definition Materials.



  • Once you done that Unity will ask you to back up your project. I highly recommend you do that then proceed.

  • Depending on the size of your project it could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour to convert all the materials.

  • If you want to Upgrade individual shaders to HDRP then select your shader, then go to Edit go down to Render Pipeline then Select Upgrade Selected Materials to High Definition Materials.

  • Sometimes Unity 3D HDRP conversion will not convert all of the shaders to HDRP. If that happens you will have to convert them manually. Its normally a couple of shaders and only takes a few seconds to convert.

  • Here is how to convert unity shaders to HDRP manually. Select your objects material then head over to the inspector



  • Go to the shader menu and you will notice your shader is also pink. Select your texture on the right hand side in the shader inspector to find the texture being used. This is just so you don't have to find it later.

  • Use the drop down menu next to the shader to find the HDRP shader




  • After selecting HDRP you want to select Lit from the drop down menu



  • The truck we are using above has multiple shaders, if your object has multiple shaders you will have to repeat these steps for each shader.

  • This is what your object will look like once you converted to HDRP.

Now we just need to add the textures back. You can drag and drop them in the appropriate spot.



See the video below on how to convert to HDRP just ins case you need a video reference.



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