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Exporting objects from 3D modeling programs

From: Unity 4.3 Essential Training

Video: Exporting objects from 3D modeling programs

In Unity, we can take in, all kinds of different file types Here in Maya, I've set my project to the modernista assets project.

Exporting objects from 3D modeling programs

In Unity, we can take in, all kinds of different file types as assets ranging from 3D files, such as Maya binaries and FDXs. To Tiffs and PSDs from Photoshop. For the game we're going to make, I've created assets and Auto desk Maya and drawn textures in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Before we get to bringing in our assets, let's look at the game we're going to make. A small game called Modernista. I've opened up the Modernista summary document from the Modernista design folder in the exercise files.

The premise is straight forward. You start out as the player in a gleaming modernist compound formed from three joint structures. They've been remodeled into a modern art gallery by a wealthy reclusive collector. At some point the crowds have thinned out and you're alone in the quiet gallery. But you keep discovering new rooms and can't quite find your way out, and it feels like the art and the walls are moving around you. The base mechanic is fairly straightforward. We need to navigate from room to room, and building to building, opening doors by proximity or touch plate.

Walls will reconfigure at random out of sight of the player, animating over one frame. And art will also reposition in different rooms. The winning condition involves escaping. Getting out the front door and onto the grass. The building will vanish by sinking under the ground, behind the player's back. So when you turn around, there'll be nothing there. We'll use a standard first person controller that reacts to physic materials and colliders. And we'll set the scene in a warm afternoon sunlight with the sun streaming through the south and western windows.

We'll have cool light coming in the other windows. And in windowless sections of the galleries or places where we need a little bit of light, we'll have evenly spaced, recessed and surface-mounted canned fixtures casting soft pools of light on the floor. There's three basic art types we'll see: static paintings, abstract or modernist paintings on canvas, varying in size, Static sculptures, freestanding and pedestal mounted sculptures using mixed media. This is an opportunity actually, even though they're static sculptures, to add in some physics and colliders so you can knock one over.

Finally, we'll see kinetic art. Using the Unity 2D engine We're going to have what looks like paintings on the wall, which are really planer elements, that will move, collide, and fall when activated by the player's proximity. As if you bumped into a painting and it fell apart. We'll get started in AutoDesk Maya, setting the project, and then opening up the scene and exporting out assets. This way we can look at the asset pipeline, and how to get things out efficiently into Unity. Here in Maya, I've set my project to the modernista assets project.

And then open up the scene, modernista building assets. Typically what I'll do is have a separate Maya project and a separate Unity project. This way, in my Maya project, I have room for experimentation. I can work on scenes, save out pieces, mix between and keep my textures organized in the source images folder. If you're working in 3DS Max, do the same, keep a working 3DS Max project for producing assets. And then export very selectively what you want to bring over to the game when you're ready.

I've got the scene open and you can see in the view port 2.0 display, that there's 3 buildings joined by bridges. There's trellises over the bridges and varying materials. As we spin around we can see that the flat roof buildings have some patios or at least balconies. Railings around them, and a collection of glass walls and some brick walls. We're going to surround the compound largely in water, as if it sits in a lake, with a small bit of glass to escape onto. We'll begin by taking out this whole structure.

There's a few walls inside we need to hide before we select and export. I'll press 4 to go to a wireframe. Click on that wall with the hexes in the background, and press f, to focus in. This is one of the walls, that will slide up, allowing the viewer to see through, but not get to another area. I’ll pick this one, hold shift and the one it’s next to, and finally hold shift, and click on the third wall. These are varying types of modern screens, we’ll call them. And these'll be some of our walls that pop in.

I'll press Ctrl+H to hide them, and then F to focus on my scene. I'll also select the stairs that are off to the side and hide them by pressing Ctrl+H. Now I'm ready to export my assets. The big deal is to be very selective. I've taken all the pieces I don't want to bring across and hidden them. So when I select, I'm grabbing only what I want to come across in my FBX. If we take a Maya scene and import it straight into Unity, Unity will actually open Maya behind the scenes, export out an FBX, and bring it in for us.

So it's better to choose very carefully what we would like to export out of 3DSMax or Maya, and bring it in very selectively when we're ready. This way we also have control over in that FBX file what we're bringing in. I'll select all three of the buildings. And choose file and export selection. In the export selection dialogue, I've set my export type out as FPX. And I'm going to export this straight into my meshes folder in my Unity project. I need to configure my FPX file a little bit, so I get all the things that I want to have come across, In that file correctly.

First in the geometry roll out make sure that smoothing groups is checked. This way hard and soft edges in Maya or smoothing groups in 3DS max transfer correctly. Preserving what should be flat surfaces as flat, round as round and not having a mushy difference that winks at you between. In animation, I've turned off animation. This way, In case I accidentally animated something that should be staying still, it won't come across with animation. I've also turned off cameras and lights. Making sure that even if I have a working camera lighting the scene, it won't come across.

Remember, FBX can transfer cameras lights animation, Models UV's rigs and skin weights and now in Unity 4.3 blend shapes will come across as well. So we need to be very selective about what we do and do not want to come in. Finally down in units I've unchecked automatic and set the unit type to meters. Unity's units are meters. So if we export this out as meters We can bring it in with a scale of one. Alternately, if you're working in Maya's native units of centimeters, Unity is configured to accept centimeters coming in and scale those objects up correctly to real size.

We need to make sure we're working in real world scale, so things like our physics work properly. I'll browse over to the meshes folder in my Unity project. And export out this gallery as an FBX. Here in the meshes folder, I'm ready to export. I'll name this file and click the Export Selection button when I'm done. Maya exported out this FBX file. When I go back over to Unity, we'll see Unity pause and automatically import that file in. Here in the meshes folder, that FBX has shown up automatically.

Anything we drop in the assets folder in Unity is automatically imported, even if it's in a sub-directory. It also created a folder in here called materials. And I'll need to make sure I do some organization on the materials, once I get ready. This FBX when I select it, actually has multiple components to it. A model, a rig, an animation section. And the FBX, as I can see by the twirl down arrow here, actually has a number of different objects in it. What happens is that each object retains its own identity so we can select it uniquely.

And they are part of this main FBX object. It's not yet in the scene. But only in the Project window. Because I haven't brought it into my game yet. It's very reasonable in the game to have several dozen FBXs coming in, for different things. Characters may be in FBX, different scene pieces or different objects that we need to animate. Be able to destroy or collide with. We want to keep organized and make sure that we are selecting only what we want to have come across, choosing only the properties we want to have come over and putting those pieces in thinking always about how we're going to save draw calls by instancing prefab's where ever possible.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Unity 4.3 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 14391 viewers

Adam Crespi

Expand all | Collapse all
  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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