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I have a really nice looking crystal material using cycles applied to my object; it's pretty fast and very simple - Just one glass node. Is there any way to convert this into an HLSL shader for use wihthin Unity? My understanding is that cycles materials are left out when Blender files are used in Unity.

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Related: blender.stackexchange.com/q/9215/599 –  gandalf3 Nov 25 at 10:06

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't think that is possible, at least the results will look different. Cycles uses a completly different rendering system than what realtime graphics applications like Unity use.
The Cycles Renderer is a path tracer and has full knowledge of the whole scene all the time. It can model shadows, reflections, refractions and indirect lighting pretty easily, but they cost a lot of computation power.
Unity on the other hand uses OpenGL and Direct3D for rendering. Both APIs are optimized for realtime graphics, but during rendering only single objects are known. Reflections and shadows have to be faked by rendering the scene multiple times from different angles. To get performant global illumination it is precalculated and refractions are usualy faked by distorting the final image.
So even if you export all the settings from Cycles to Unity, the rendering enginge in Unity can not use them correctly.

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Okay, thanks for the info. –  einsteinsci May 7 at 22:30
im sad now... I thought unity handled things such as this ALOT better... –  John Jun 2 at 21:43
Well, a pathtracer such as cycles is just a completely different rendering system than a rasterizer. This is not a problem of Unity. If you want real-time performance for your game you just have to fake a lot of the image calculation. –  maddin45 Jun 2 at 21:56

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