What is Post Processing in Games?

Posted by Marta on March 3, 2023 Viewed 1720 times

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In this article you will find out what is post processing in games, and what is its purpose. Plus we will see some examples to illustrate all explained.

Post-processing is a technique used in video games to add additional effects and enhance the visuals of a game. It’s an important technique used in various fields, such as photography, video production, and game development.

In a game context, these effects are applied to the game image after the game has been rendered. These effects can include effects such as depth of field, motion blur, and bloom.

As a result, these effects can significantly improve the visual quality of a game . And they can help create a more immersive and realistic experience for players.

Post Processing Effect Examples

Let’s talk about a few post processing examples:

Depth of field Effect

One of the most common post-processing effects is depth of field. This effect simulates the way that a camera focuses on objects in the real world.

With depth of field, objects in the foreground or background of a scene will be blurred, while objects in the middle of the scene will be in focus.

This effect can be used to draw the player’s attention to important objects or characters in a game, and can create a more cinematic experience.

Motion Blur Effect

Another popular post-processing effect is motion blur. This effect simulates the blurring of an image that occurs when objects in motion are captured by a camera.

In a game, motion blur can be used to create a sense of speed and movement. Also it can make fast-paced action scenes feel more dynamic and exciting.

Bloom Effect

Bloom is another popular post-processing effect that is often used in games. Bloom creates a soft, glowing effect around bright objects in a scene. This effect helps to create a more realistic and immersive environment.

Bloom can be used to create a sense of warmth or softness in a scene. Additionally, it can be used to create a more romantic or dreamlike atmosphere.

Games can commonly use other post-processing effects, like ambient occlusion, which adds subtle shading to objects in a scene to create a more realistic lighting effect.

Color correction is another effect which adjusts the color balance of an image to create a more realistic and vibrant color palette.

Game Examples using Post Processing

Examples of games that use post-processing effects include:

  • The Last of Us Part II – This game uses a variety of post-processing effects to create a realistic and immersive world, including depth of field, motion blur, and color correction.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 – This game uses a range of post-processing effects, including depth of field and bloom, to create a cinematic and immersive experience.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 – This game uses a variety of post-processing effects, including motion blur and ambient occlusion, to create a futuristic and immersive world.

What is the Purpose of Post-processing?

As mentioned earlier, in the context of game development, post-processing refers to the process of applying various effects and adjustments to a game’s visuals after the scene has been rendered.

The primary purpose of post-processing is to enhance the visual quality of the game and make it more immersive for the player.

Post-processing effects can significantly improve the visual quality of a game by creating a more immersive and realistic environment.

For example, depth of field and motion blur can create a more cinematic experience. Ambient occlusion and bloom can make the game look more realistic. Color grading can also be used to create a unique visual style that sets the game apart from others.

In addition to enhancing the visual quality of a game, post-processing can also be used to optimize performance.

For example, some post-processing effects can be used to hide rendering artifacts or mask low-resolution textures, reducing the amount of processing power needed to render the scene.

Does Post-processing Affect FPS?

Post-processing can affect FPS (frames per second) in games. Logically, since post processing requires additional processing power from the graphics card and CPU.

Post-processing involves applying various effects. Such as lighting, shadows, depth-of-field, motion blur, and other visual enhancements, to the game’s graphics.

Each post-processing effect comes with its own computational cost. Therefore, applying multiple effects at once can lead to a drop in FPS, resulting in a less smooth and responsive gaming experience.

The impact on FPS depends on the complexity of the effect and the hardware specifications of the computer.

However, modern graphics cards and CPUs are becoming more powerful. Plus game developers are optimizing their games to minimize the impact of post-processing on performance.

Some games also offer customizable graphics settings. This allows players to adjust the level of post-processing effects to achieve a balance between visual quality and performance.

In summary, post-processing can affect FPS in games, but the impact varies depending on the complexity of the effect and the hardware specifications of the computer. It is important to strike a balance between visual quality and performance for an optimal gaming experience.


To summarise, post-processing is an essential part of modern video game design. It can help create more immersive and engaging game experiences for players. By applying post-processing effects to a game’s graphics, developers can create stunning visuals and create a more realistic and dynamic game world.

In general terms, the main purpose of post-processing in games is to enhance the visual quality and overall experience for the player. And also optimize performance.

By applying a range of effects and adjustments to the game’s visuals after rendering, developers can create more immersive and engaging games that provide a more realistic and enjoyable experience for players.

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