Unity 4.3 Essential Training
Illustration by Mark Todd

Using colliders for triggers


Unity 4.3 Essential Training

with Adam Crespi

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Video: Using colliders for triggers

We can use colliders to activate animations, and trigger things. Beyond simply fencing the player in, colliders can provide a way for the player to interact with the game in their environment. What I've done so far is to add on the master building, all kinds of different box colliders. They're on all the different objects, such as the columns, the railings, and spanning the windows. The only place for this is a mesh collider is on some of the white walls inside. As being just a couple of polygons, those were cheaper as a mesh than as a box.
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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

Using colliders for triggers

We can use colliders to activate animations, and trigger things. Beyond simply fencing the player in, colliders can provide a way for the player to interact with the game in their environment. What I've done so far is to add on the master building, all kinds of different box colliders. They're on all the different objects, such as the columns, the railings, and spanning the windows. The only place for this is a mesh collider is on some of the white walls inside. As being just a couple of polygons, those were cheaper as a mesh than as a box.

Everything also though is done with the box colliders, so that the player can no longer walk through the walls. What we'll do now is add a box collider in as a trigger, to open French door 11, the left most door of the fore scene here. This way, the player can finally get out onto this balcony, as one door is unlocked. We could have multiple doors swing open, and do it with either multiple colliders, or a script that triggers all kinds of animations. But for the moment, I'd like to keep it simple, and to hem the player in, to add a little more anxiety finding all the doors but one, locked.

What I've done then, is to take this object, French door 11, and to add on an animation component. This animation is an older component, but it's useful for simple animations. What it lets us do, then, is say, there is an animation on this object and, does it play automatically? In this case, there's an animation on here called French door 11 swing. The door swings open holds for a few seconds and swings closed. Now I'm ready to get a box collider in and to do this I'll make a new game object. I'll choose game object create other and cube.

I'll take this cube, move it over into the space, forward onto the door, and scale it out to the size I need. I'll sit it in the middle, press r to scale it up and scale it out a little bit more so that if the player triggers it from either side, hopefully, they won't smash into the door. The door will actually open in time. I'll even push it out just a little bit more in the door swing, so that before they are smacked by the door, the door should open because of the collider. I'll name this, door open, or something similar and that way, I can find it here in the hierarchy.

I've called it door opener 11 and that way it's associated with French door 11. It's up to you how you'd like to name things so you can find them. But as long as you're using a consistent naming convention, that should be okay. Keep in mind, in many games, you may have an alphanumeric naming convention that really doesn't read well in plain English, but when we're dealing in thousands if not millions of Assets, we need someway to organize. Now I'll turn off the Mesh Renderer on this. Dragging down the preview window a little bit on the material and turning off the Mesh Renderer and turning off Cast Shadows and Receive Shadows as well, this way it absolutely will not participate in the rendering or display, but simply trigger that animation.

Now, I'll set it as a trigger by checking Is Trigger in the Box Collider component, and I'm ready to get an Activate Trigger script on. I'll scroll down to the bottom of the Inspector, click Add Component, choose Scripts and Activate Trigger. These are ready-made scripts that come with Unity that we can use to activate simple things. This is a terrific way to get into scripting. Rather than simply jumping headlong into writing code, you can look at a script like this. Open it up in it's a C# script, we can tell by the icon here and see what it does.

It's a neat way to start to learn the syntax, and how the code is thinking. Then you can start copying and pasting, and writing your own. Now, I'm going to set this up to animate that door. First, I'll put the target in. For my target, I'll click on the Pick icon, make sure I'm in the Scene view and filter down to find that french door. Putting up in the filter in the top FRE and there's French door 11. I'll select it. And now I need a source, which is going to be our First Person controller. Again I'll click on the Pick button.

Make sure I'm in the scene view and type in FI for first person controller. With that selected, I can set a repeat trigger. This way we can go back and forth in the door. It's a trigger count of 1, so if we're counting how many times this is accessed later in a script, that's our value for it. Lastly, I need to set it to animate. We have choices here in the action. Are we triggering something. Replacing. We can use this for example if we are destroying an object. You collide with, destroy, replace it with something else.

Activate or enable, animate and deactivate. These different choices let us do different things such as well, replacing things enabling or, letting something come to life, deactivating, turning it off so we can no longer interact and so on. I'll choose animate and now it should work. Animating that door when the first person controller collides with it. I'll drag my first person controller over closer in this scene, because now there's colliders on all the doors. And then I'll press play, and see how this looks. I put the first person controller in the adjacent Bay in the lobby.

And I'll see how this plays, by pressing play. Spin around, walk forward. Still need to light this space, but at least I have the cam lights. Over we go, and there's the door opening. Go right through, wait a second, okay. So here's the neat part to it, we get close and squeeze through, but we're stuck in the width of the door. This is a neat exercise in realizing the size of the game controller versus the size of the animation and the size of the objects.

The game controller is well, a rather portly fellow actually. If we look at the capsule, it's actually very wide. So, I'm going to reduce the size of that capsule just a bit. And this way, I can keep my doors feeling human scaled. Here's my first person controller. And there's a radius and a height. I'll pull this radius back down from .4 meters to .25. It'll make the collider a little skinnier and should let us get through that door. Much better. When we're not quite so round in the middle, we can get through a single door nicely.

This is an important point here. You maybe looking going, wait a sec, I thought the game controller was just fine as it was. The lesson to learn from that exercise is that we often need to look at who we are as a player, and the world were in to make things feel a certain way. In this case, I'm shooting for a very realistically modeled space, that I've got a single door and these are 3 foot wide by the way. And so if a person can't fit comfortably through a 3 foot wide door, I have to consider either the nature of the person or the nature of that space and adjust.

Now there's not a bias here in anyway, but simply what I'm saying is, our game controller starts out rather oversized. Now we need to take into account who we are in our space, and possibly adjust who we are essentially to fit our environments. So that the game play feels, In this case, more natural. I'll try it one more time. Coming up to the door, it opens, and I walk through comfortably. A little adjustment in the size of the game controller worked, and there's the door swinging closed, and I can trigger it again.

Now, the fun part is the player will get up to the other doors, try to open them, and can't and we'll have a little fear introduced in this situation. I've used that box collider as a trigger then. Activating that animation and the animation takes care of opening and closing the door as if there's a self closer on it. Alternately, we could have it trigger different animations from either side. We can get more complex with multiple colliders or find other ways to trigger an entire tree of behavior. For now though, a simple collider like that, opening up that one door will work nicely in our gameplay.

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