Sunday, 28 April 2013

Introduction to Unity

I am a little late in blogging this, but the other week I spent my first two days in the software Unity. I was initially really nervous about using this software, under the impression it would be as difficult to grasp as Maya was. But to my surprise I found it easy to pick up from the word go, and really started to enjoy playing around with the software.

To begin with we were taught the very basics of the software, such as the mouse set up (where Alt + left click to move the view point around, and Alt + right click/scroll to zoom), the screen layout (the difference between the screen editor and live view screen, and what each tool bar does), and other small handy hints, such as NEVER MODELLING when in the game mode, and when placing objects into the scene it doesn't automatically go to zero and instead goes to where you click. We were also encouraged to name every asset as we go along and to make sure we don't delete anything unless we are completely certain as you are unable to 'undo' any deleting in Unity.

We then started to learn how to import a first person controller (remember to delete any other cameras!!), a floor for our scene, and started adding simple shapes.

This then led to using the terrain tool to create mountains and coves which we could then fill with water if we wished to make ponds or to create an island. The next key component we learnt was lighting, and as it is a game not to use more than one light source in different places if we are aiming to replicate the sun.

We then progressed to adding ready made trees to our environment, giving it more depth and more impressive scenery. As we have already sorted out the lighting, we could then create shadows, which look really effective on the trees, especially if reflected into the water as pictured above, making the scene start to feel more life like. To start adding to this, we learnt some basic gaming physics which allowed us to apply the effect of wind to the trees, making them bend slightly when blown.

 After this we learnt how to create an object and texture UV map it in Maya...

....and how to bring this model into Unity from Maya.

Unfortunately during the tutorial on creating repeat textures and UV mapping, I had trouble with my computer so missed a few tests but was able to watch Annabeth do it and Betty sat next to me. I have still yet to do my own to catch up, but it is something I would benefit from doing. The next day I had to take the day off from sickness, and missed the session where the class learnt how to create their own crates, so this is yet another thing I still have yet to learn for myself, which needs doing before I can create my own crates and barrels for the set task.

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