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Game Character Creation in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Importing character and animations into Unity


From:

Game Character Creation in Maya

with Chris Reilly

Video: Importing character and animations into Unity

So now that we are little bit more familiar with the Unity interface, let's go ahead and open up the project we created in the first chapter. So I will click on File > Open Project, and I don't want to save these changes that I made to the default scene. Okay, so we have got our project open. Let's take a look at our assets. So this is my Maya project. I am just going to expand this here and I want to scroll down to scenes, Chapter 5, and this is the version of our character that we are going to import into Unity.
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      39s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 9s
    3. Understanding game asset creation
      1m 21s
    4. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 35s
    1. Setting up scene folders (Maya and Unity)
      3m 58s
    2. Optimizing geometry
      3m 14s
    3. Using symmetry
      4m 8s
    4. Extruding geometry
      4m 19s
    5. Sculpting geometry
      4m 1s
    6. Importing reference sketches
      5m 55s
  3. 37m 14s
    1. Modeling the head and nose
      5m 34s
    2. Creating the mouth
      4m 28s
    3. Crafting the eyes
      5m 11s
    4. Building the body and a wing
      10m 11s
    5. Forming the limbs
      8m 5s
    6. Adding finishing touches
      3m 45s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. UV mapping overview
      2m 43s
    2. UV mapping the body parts
      9m 18s
    3. UV mapping the face
      7m 40s
    4. UV mapping wrap-up
      3m 44s
    5. Mirroring
      4m 57s
    6. Texturing
      2m 46s
    7. Normal mapping
      5m 3s
  5. 46m 21s
    1. Setting up the skeleton
      5m 19s
    2. Building the spine
      3m 39s
    3. Finishing the skeleton
      4m 32s
    4. Rigging the legs and feet
      8m 35s
    5. Rigging the torso
      3m 49s
    6. Rigging the arms and hands
      3m 35s
    7. Rigging the face and head
      5m 9s
    8. Rigging wrap-up
      2m 27s
    9. Skin binding and weight painting
      5m 26s
    10. Animating in Maya
      3m 50s
  6. 29m 9s
    1. Exploring the Unity interface
      3m 3s
    2. Importing character and animations into Unity
      5m 50s
    3. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person character controller
      7m 14s
    4. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person camera controller
      4m 4s
    5. Making read/write animations using UnityScript Editor
      4m 8s
    6. Controlling scripts with animation events
      4m 50s
  7. 19s
    1. Additional resources
      19s

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Game Character Creation in Maya
2h 58m Intermediate Sep 15, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Get a thorough overview of techniques for creating characters for video games or real-time rendered applications. Author Chris Reilly covers low-poly modeling, texturing and animation, using 3D model and texture assets created in Maya and Adobe Photoshop. The course also includes an overview of Unity 3, including importing characters and making interactive animations with the Script Editor.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing, extruding, and sculpting geometry
  • Modeling a character's head and body
  • UV-mapping the head and body
  • Mirroring and texturing
  • Setting up the skeleton
  • Rigging the head and body
  • Skin binding & weight painting
  • Controlling animation with scripts in Unity
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Character Animation Game Design
Software:
Maya
Author:
Chris Reilly

Importing character and animations into Unity

So now that we are little bit more familiar with the Unity interface, let's go ahead and open up the project we created in the first chapter. So I will click on File > Open Project, and I don't want to save these changes that I made to the default scene. Okay, so we have got our project open. Let's take a look at our assets. So this is my Maya project. I am just going to expand this here and I want to scroll down to scenes, Chapter 5, and this is the version of our character that we are going to import into Unity.

So I'll just click on this to bring it up in the Inspector and before we bring the character into our scene, I want to set up a few options in this FBXImporter component. So this is going to tell Unity exactly how to import our character along with its animations into our game project. And really this Animation section is the one I want to pay the most attention to. So I want to make sure that this Bake Animations option is selected. This is going to allow Unity to use that FBX plug-in through Maya to bake all the IK animations and take care of all exporting automatically.

That's going to leave our Maya project very fluid and we can go back and make changes easily and then Unity will automatically bring those in and our character will just be ready to go. The Animation Wrap Mode, so we can set a default way for animations to either loop or stop at the end or go forwards and backwards. I am just going leave this on default but let's just look at the options here. So we can have by default every animation play only Once and stop. We can have it Loop over and over again. PingPong means it plays forward, then reverse and so on.

ClampForever plays once and will look to a script as though it's playing forever. That one is a little bit more complex. Again, we are just kind of touching on the basics of getting a character into Unity. Obviously, Unity is a very complex program. There is a lot more depth that we can go in to that. Unfortunately it's just beyond the scope of this course. So here under the Split Animations options, we have the table with animations. So like we talked about in the previous chapter, I built all of my animations into my Unity character's timeline in the Maya project, and I am going to tell Unity to split those animations up into separate components.

So let's go ahead and get those set up. I am going to click this little plus icon here. So we will add an animation. By default, it's going to be called idle. And I will use that to set up the idle animation, which in my Maya project starts on Frame 66 and Ends on Frame 167. And for this one I want to set the Wrap mode to Loop, because I just want this to loop over and over again. So that way, if the character is just standing still, that idle animation will always be playing. So he will always have a little bit of movement and never just be standing completely still.

Now this other Loop Option here. This can help out if your animations aren't perfectly set up for cycles. So if there is a little bit of jump between the Last frame and the Start frame, Unity will try to smooth out that transition but I am just going to leave that unchecked for now. So just go ahead and set up, all the rest of animations that I have built into my Maya file. So the walk animation starts at Frame 2 Ends at Frame 34. And again, the Wrap Mode on this one, I want it to loop because if the character is walking, I just want it to loop over and over again.

Then I will do run animation which starts at Frame 35 and Ends at Frame 51 and I also want this to loop. And finally the jump animation starts at Frame 53, ends at Frame 55, and this one I just want to play it once. Okay, and that's pretty much it for settings.

The Animation Compression you can leave on the default and just click Apply and Unity will go ahead and use that FBX plug-in to automatically import your Maya file into the FBX format that we need to use in Unity. So as far as animations go, this is a pretty basic set for a character. So idle, walk, run, and jump. Those are kind of just the basics to get a character to move around and be interactive. Now obviously, your character might be different, your gameplay might be different. So you might have fewer or many more animations to import along with your character, but again we just want to touch on the basics of getting a character with animations into Unity to make it interactive.

Okay, so we've gone ahead and set up our changes through the FBXImporter. Let's just see what that looks like. So I am going to go down to my Project panel, just click and drag my character into the Scene Editor. And by doing that I can see I have also had automatically had that character added to the scene hierarchy. So let me just select that in a hierarchy and look over here in Inspector, and I can see this character already has an animation component attached to it and if I expand the list of Animations, so I can see Unity has automatically separated out those animations into discrete elements.

In the default animation that's going to play when I run the game is just the idle animation. So let me make some adjustments to the camera here, so I can make sure that my character will be visible. So I just kind of move and rotate this around. Okay, and let's just switch to Game view and see how that looks. When I hit Play here to preview the game rendering, I should see the character's idle animation. That looks pretty good. We will go through some steps in the next video to actually make our character interactive.

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