Unity 4.3 Essential Training
Illustration by Mark Todd

Creating materials and assigning shaders


Unity 4.3 Essential Training

with Adam Crespi

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Video: Creating materials and assigning shaders

Materials and shaders are a huge part of a game. They give us the overall look and provide us a way to show our textures, adding detail and realism to our objects. We do a lot with material and texture because we're constrained in the number of polygons we can push around. And so we've gotta get the most we can out of each of those, material and texture, to really bring some realism or some stylization to our game. When we import our objects, materials do come across, at least where they're placed, and some of the properties come in.
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  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
    2. What you should know before watching this course
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
  2. 21m 21s
    1. Designing the game
      4m 39s
    2. Setting the project
      4m 9s
    3. Exploring the Hierarchy, Scene, and Inspector windows
      5m 45s
    4. Creating and transforming objects
      6m 48s
  3. 21m 34s
    1. Organizing the Assets window
      2m 55s
    2. Exporting objects from 3D modeling programs
      8m 33s
    3. Importing and configuring models and textures
      4m 54s
    4. Setting properties for models and textures in the Inspector
      5m 12s
  4. 29m 8s
    1. Introducing the game environment
      4m 27s
    2. Placing the player controller
      4m 29s
    3. Publishing project settings
      5m 32s
    4. Adding sky and fog
      8m 17s
    5. Fine-tuning the First Person Controller
      6m 23s
  5. 57m 25s
    1. Creating the terrain geometry
      3m 29s
    2. Forming the topography
      9m 54s
    3. Painting the terrain textures
      7m 9s
    4. Painting trees and forests
      10m 55s
    5. Painting grass, shrubs, and 3D geometry
      9m 38s
    6. Painting detail meshes
      8m 46s
    7. Adjusting terrain settings
      7m 34s
  6. 39m 45s
    1. Creating materials and assigning shaders
      8m 56s
    2. Handling multiple materials
      7m 13s
    3. Adding textures to a material
      3m 57s
    4. Manipulating textures
      5m 20s
    5. Adding reflections to materials
      8m 1s
    6. Creating lit materials
      6m 18s
  7. 47m 12s
    1. Creating GameObjects
      5m 2s
    2. Understanding components
      6m 15s
    3. Using colliders for barriers
      6m 22s
    4. Using colliders for triggers
      8m 1s
    5. Exploring physics
      8m 22s
    6. Working with Physic materials
      5m 3s
    7. Adding joints to rigid bodies
      8m 7s
  8. 20m 33s
    1. Setting up prefabs for animation and batching
      5m 8s
    2. Animating an object
      6m 32s
    3. Adjusting timing in an animation
      3m 50s
    4. Animating transparency and lights
      5m 3s
  9. 11m 58s
    1. Importing skinned meshes
      4m 51s
    2. Separating animations into clips and states
      3m 14s
    3. Creating transitions between states
      3m 53s
  10. 30m 22s
    1. Customizing ambient light
      2m 59s
    2. Creating the sun using a directional light
      5m 49s
    3. Using layers and tags for lighting
      3m 32s
    4. Adding spot and point lights
      4m 25s
    5. Using point lights for fill
      4m 30s
    6. Adding and fine-tuning shadows
      5m 10s
    7. Creating lighting effects with cookies
      3m 57s
  11. 9m 15s
    1. Adding scripts to GameObjects
      2m 42s
    2. Using correct script syntax
      6m 33s
  12. 23m 7s
    1. Setting up a 2D project
      3m 13s
    2. Importing sprites
      2m 30s
    3. Slicing in the Sprite Editor
      3m 6s
    4. Layering sprites and setting the sorting order
      5m 12s
    5. Creating 2D colliders
      3m 12s
    6. Adding 2D physics
      2m 25s
    7. Animating 2D elements
      3m 29s
  13. 30m 25s
    1. Creating light shafts and sunbeams
      5m 20s
    2. Using ambient occlusion to add gravity
      4m 37s
    3. Adding depth of field
      8m 40s
    4. Applying motion blur
      5m 46s
    5. Tuning color for mood
      6m 2s
  14. 38m 16s
    1. Exploring water effects
      7m 36s
    2. Working with wind zones
      2m 8s
    3. Using an audio source
      4m 3s
    4. Creating a sound zone
      5m 59s
    5. Triggering audio
      3m 37s
    6. Adding audio effects
      3m 13s
    7. Creating particle systems
      2m 26s
    8. Adjusting particle systems
      9m 14s
  15. 25m 23s
    1. Setting up occlusion culling
      5m 52s
    2. Enabling batching to reduce draw calls
      3m 28s
    3. Testing in the game window using statistics
      4m 27s
    4. Building a development build and debugging
      6m 0s
    5. Building the executable
      5m 36s
  16. 49s
    1. Next steps

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Watch the Online Video Course Unity 4.3 Essential Training
6h 49m Beginner Mar 10, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Interested in game making? Start in Unity—a game engine for mobile and desktop games and real-time simulations. Author Adam Crespi shows techniques used in game development with Unity and introduces the basics of scripting and game functionality. First, learn how to import models and textures, organize your project and hierarchies, and add terrain, water, and foliage. Next, Adam explores how to use lighting to bring the game to life, and add rendering, particles, and interactivity. The end result is a sample game with a lush environment, fully animated characters, and some basic interactive gameplay.

Topics include:
  • Designing the game
  • Creating and transforming objects
  • Importing and configuring models and textures
  • Setting properties in the Inspector
  • Creating the terrain geometry
  • Building materials and adding shaders
  • Creating GameObjects
  • Exploring physics
  • Animating objects
  • Lighting the scene
  • Creating 2D game elements
  • Adding special effects
3D + Animation Developer
Unity 3D Unity
Adam Crespi

Creating materials and assigning shaders

Materials and shaders are a huge part of a game. They give us the overall look and provide us a way to show our textures, adding detail and realism to our objects. We do a lot with material and texture because we're constrained in the number of polygons we can push around. And so we've gotta get the most we can out of each of those, material and texture, to really bring some realism or some stylization to our game. When we import our objects, materials do come across, at least where they're placed, and some of the properties come in.

But we need to adjust them and make sure all the materials are assigned and named correctly. What I've done is to open up the scene, 0601. And renamed the gallery mesh back to gallery. This way I'm using one mesh consistently and it won't reimport materials every time. Renaming an fbx causes a reimport, and if you've already changed a material or renamed, it may automatically reimport a material again. This gallery mesh, is part of the 0601 gallery pre-fat.

And it's perfectly fine to have different names there. In the gallery, what I'll do is select it and look at the inspector. And, I've got the scale factor at one and generate light map UV's on. When we scroll farther down, we have some material choices. Are we importing materials? If not, Unity will assign the default Unity white to everything. Because I've created and assigned materials in Maya for this object, I want those materials to come in. Because I've placed them on a polygon level. What I'll do is change that material naming. And instead of working by base texture name, I might choose from models material.

And how are we searching? Is it a recursive search? Are we looking project wide, or just in the local materials folder? I'll leave it alone as it is now, and click apply. Here's what Unity has done. It created some new materials on import for my objects, and put them in a materials folder in the mesh's folder. Now, I had already moved, previously, my materials over to the materials folder. So I need to do a little bit of syncing up here to make sure things work. One way to see what's applied in the material is to select that material and change it's properties.

I'll pick the brick for example and we can see when this material imported, it cam across as a Bump Diffuse. This is the equivalent in Maya of a lambert material with a bump in it. Unless we choose a specular shader in Unity, a diffuse material is a Default meaning it basically is a soft, powdery looking material that has no specular highlight. Because I had put maps or textures into the diffuse color and the normal or bump slot in Maya, those came across here. And because those textures were present in my textures folder in my assets, they were imported into this material and place automatically.

This may not alway happen depending on where we need the texture and how we've assigned things in our other program like 3DSMax or Maya. What I'll do, though, is select the main color of this brick, and put a red in there. What this lets me do, aside from giving me garish red walls and floors, is show were that material is assigned. I can always take that color out. What I've got here is brick on the patio and brick walls surrounding the building. And that looks like it and this is good.

So it's a good way to check and make sure things got assigned correctly. Especially if we are dealing in duplicated materials. We can see over here in the materials folder then that there's a brick c material. This came in without it's texture, and just as a diffuse shader. And so selecting the main color and putting in something different like a blue shows it's not assigned anywhere. I'll go through here, make sure I take out any duplicates. Check where the materials are assigned, and make sure the naming is correct as I want it. Then I can start assigning shaders and finally textures in my materials.

I'll pick brick C, and delete that actual material. It's not actually assigned anywhere in the scene. Then I'll go back to my materials and take my brick and pull it over to my materials folder. Next, I'll pick brushed bronze and this looks like it's a sign and used the same texture map or texture atlas that shows up on the white walls. It's got a small section in here for bronze and light fixture as well as a bit of a vent we can see on the wall. Again I'll take this material and tint it and see where it's applied here in green.

It's applied correctly. The brushed bronze shows up on the railings and some of the door handles. That means it's good and I can leave it alone. I'll make sure I pull that white out and move this one over to my materials folder. Here's my metal screen, this came in sort of correct. It's a metal screen material that goes on the perforated metal sections of the railings. It showed up as a transparent diffused shader because it is an alpha channel in that texture that came across, but it's not quite behaving as I'd like because that textures alpha channel Also covers shine, or specular highlights, as well as the cutout for the punched out sections.

I'll need to tune this one up later, but it looks like it's in a good place. And again I'll do my test with a color. When the railings are purple we can just see little bits of them showing up, so it's working nicely. Here's my white wall, my dark wood, and my wood flooring. I'll take these and pull them over, and dragging them into the materials folder shows me it's available. If there was a duplicate material in there, it wouldn't let me drag it across, so I don't have any duplicate names, at least. Now here in the materials. And I'll slide up this acid bar a little bit to be able to show all of them.

I can see I've got a couple of different things going. There's a wood flooring CS, and I think I can delete it. Here's also wood black in CS. And I'll do my color test one more time. When this is blue I don't see anything in blue. So I'm in good shape. Finally here's White Wall CS. And again that color test will tell me if things are working. When I put in that green, pull this project console bar down, and look around I don't see any green. So again this is a duplicate material I can take out. Next I'll tune up the names.

Waves here is a material that goes on one of my blocking walls that'll pop up and it got the name from it's texture when it came in. I'll rename this back to waves molded. And this is a molded wave material that's a wall cover on just a single polygon. ScreenCS, again, is an unused material. I've already got my metal screen that came in, so it looks like I'm in good shape. I'll delete that one. What I can also watch out for in deleting material is that things go bright purple. That means there is no material assigned.

So far everything is in good shape and I'm ready to take the red out of that wall and get the right shaders on. I'll pick one of my walls. And, we can see when we select one object that it's got its material listed here in the inspector. I'll pull that white out of my tan brick wall. And, now, I can start to change shaders. For this brick I'm going to drop down under Bump Diffuse and I have an array of materials available. A bump diffuse is a Lambert, essentially, with a bump or a normal map in it. I'm going to use a parallax specular. And the difference here is really that diffuse is a straight, flat color.

Bump specular and bump diffuse have a normal map, and the specular can shine. Parallax materials allow for an additional texture slot using an alpha channel for height. So I'll pick parallax specular, and I can see now that I've got a color, a normal map and a height map from an alpha from somewhere. That gives us material parallax, makes it look like it's really standing out, especially as we're close or oblique in the view. And that way, things don't flatten out as much, showing off that they're only textures. With my shaders in, I'm ready to start assigning textures.

If you need, you can always make a new material by right clicking, choosing create, and material. Make a new material, name it, and then start to put in other properties or change the shaders or even add textures. I'll call this new material dark iron and see if I have a place to use a dark iron color. For now, I'm going to make its main color nearly black. It'll be a deep, dark wrought iron that'll match in well with my scene. I'm ready to get some texture in and keep fine tuning the materials.

Remember that in Unity we can only assign material down to the object level and so by working by polygon needs to be done in another application such as 3DS Max or Maya. So get your materials assigned there, and keep in mind what comes across. Material placement, material names, and if there are color and normal textures assigned, those should show up. But you can always go put them in, once you're here in Unity.

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