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Lab 1: Playing with Unity


The goal of this lab is to simply get familiar with the basics of Unity through exploration. There are a few things that you should look into - listed below - but otherwise, you are free to make whatever you like. Sort of like playing in a sand box.


You need to install Unity 3D on your own machine before you start. You get the latest version from the Unity 3D download page.


  1. The Unity Interface The first thing to get familiar with is Unity's user interface. You can look up the purpose of each element on the screen in Unity's "Learning the Interface" documentation or by wathcing their "Interface Overview" learning video (use headphones for watching videos! ;-) )
  2. Make a Ground When you start a new project, the only GameObjects you have are the MainCamera, giving you a point of view into the environment you are constructing, and the DirectionalLight, which illuminates all objects from a particular direction (the position of the light source does not matter, only its orientation). Now add a third object, which will serve as your ground. From the main menu select GameObject→3D Object→Plane, this will add a large flat object to the scene. If you now selct your Main Camera object from the Hierarchy panel, you may see from the little Camera Preview pop-up window that this ground is not visible due to the relative position of these two objects. You can place objects precisely in the world by adjusting the Position property of the object in the Inspector pane. From Hierarchy select Main Camera and then in the Inspector give the camera the position (0,1,-3) in the Transform component. Now select the Plane and give it the position (0,0,0). You should now be able to see the ground in the camera preview. Press the Play (in the play control panel above the scene) button to confirm that when you run your environment you will see the ground below you and the sky behind it. Press the Play button again to stop running the scene (there is no stop button!).
  3. The 3D Scene Interface While you are developing it is very important to be able to navigate the 3D scene you are constructing and to be able to adjust the properties of objects (e.g. position) from within the scene itself. The quickest way to start navigating the scene is to press and hold the right mouse button and then use the familiar game control buttons W, A, S, D to move. But understand that you are simply moving the point of view of the developer in the world and not changing what the user sees when they enter the world - they will always be bound to a particular camera. Get familiar with this 3D navigation and how you can interactively manipulate game objects by reading Unity's "Scene View" documentation
  4. Add Lights and Objects Select GameObject→3D Object→Cube and place the cube so that you can see it from the camera when you play the scene. Then select the Directional Light object you already have in the Hierarchy panel, and play with its orientation to see how that changes the way things look. You can switch between position (straight-arrows in a cross) and orientation (two round arrows) manipulation of objects in the tool-bar right above the Hierarchy panel. Bring in more objects, both lights and geometry, and experiment with their placement (manipulating them in the scene view) and properties (through the Inspector panel).
  5. Examine Shadows Select your Directional light and change the Shadow Type property to Hard Shadows or No Shadows. Feel free to play with other settings and choose something you are pleased with.
  6. Enable Walking Select Assets→Import Package→Characters and press Import when the package browser window opens. From the Project panel, select the Assets→StandardAssets→Characters→FirstPersonCharacters→Prefabs and you should see that it contains two “pre fabricated” (Prefabs) character controllers. Drag the FPSController.prefab onto your plane in the Scene view (it will get added in that location and also appear in the Hierarchy view. You then have to position this object such that it is standing on top of your ground and facing your other objects. When you press Play you can now walk around your environment in first person.
  7. Add Physics You can easily add physical behavior, such as obeying the laws of gravity, to any object. Select an object in the Hierarchy and press the Add Component button in the Inspector view. From the menu that appears, select Physics→RigidBody.
  8. Add Materials Import the Prototyping asset package. In the Projects view, click on the little filter icon immediately to the right of the search field. Select Materials. You should now see only materials on the right-hand side of the Project view. Find NavyGrid and drag it onto your plane in the Scene view. To adjust the scale of the texture, make sure the plane is selected, expand the NavyGrid material in the Inspector panel and change the tiling parameters under Main Maps.
  9. Add Audio You can add the emission of audio as a behavior to any object. Select the emitting object in the Hierarchy view and press the Add Component button in the Inspector view. From the menu select Audio→Audio Source. Find audio clips in your Project View and drag them into the Audio Clip property of the Audio Source component you have just added. Bringing audio clips into your project from other places on your hard-drive is a simple matter of dragging them from your disk browser into the Project view (they will then get imported into the project).
  10. Play with Camera Effects Import the Effects asset package. Press the little arrow next to the FPSController object in the Hierarchy to reveal the FirstPersonCharacter sub-object. Select it. Use the Add Component button in the Inspector view to add a new Image Effect below the Camera.
  11. Register in the Unity Asset Store For additional assets, including more models and materials, you can browse the Unity Asset store by selecting from the main menu Window→Asset Store. You will have to register there to actually download assets, but it is definitely worth it. After they are downloaded, you can press an Import button right there in the Asset Store to add the assets to your Project panel.
  12. Go wild Make any kind of environment you wish.
  13. Building your Project When you are done, you can build your project as an independent application that others can run. Select File→Build Settings... Press the Add Current button to add your current scene to the list of built scenes. Choose your target platform in the Platform list (e.g. PC) and press Build. Provide a filename and pick a folder and press Save. You will end up with an EXE file you can run, but there will also be a folder with the same name at the same location that contains all the assets. Make sure to distribute that folder along with the EXE file if you wish to share it.

Handing In

There are two options for handing each lab in after completion: (1) Zip up the EXE file along with the data folder and upload into MySchool (make sure you just build the scene you were working on), or (2) take a screen shot and upload it into MySchool. MySchool will be open for upload until midnight on the same day as the lab. If you miss that deadline, you can email this (or a link) to the instructor.

/var/www/ailab/WWW/wiki/data/pages/public/t-vien-15-3/lab_1_materials.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/21 08:27 by hannes