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Breaking down the interface
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Joshua Kinney


Joshua Kinney
In this tutorial, we're going to break down the interface and discuss each area to get you up and running faster inside of Unity. All right, so the first thing that I want to discuss is creating a brand new project inside of Unity. So to get started with this we can go to File and then New Project. Now, if you're opening up Unity for the very first time, this is probably what you're seeing at this point. Now, with this Project Wizard this is going to allow you to set up your project exactly where you want it. So to do this we can go to our project location and we can type in a custom address or we can simply hit Browse, which is my preferred method, and choose a project location. So in this case, you can see here that we're working in your Project Files folder, Introduction to Unity 4, and then we have our Unity files. And inside of that you're going to see all of these different assets, libraries, project settings, and temp folders. OK, these are the default folders that you'll see whenever you create a new project. Now that I've already created a new project I'm going to go ahead and just hit Cancel on this. Now if you want, you can go ahead and navigate to the folder that you want to use as your project folder and simply hit Select Folder. And doing so is going to bring you back to your Project Wizard. And then you can begin to select all of your packages that you want to bring in for your game. Now the packages can be very deceiving at first. You could be thinking that you want to go ahead and select all of the packages here and bring them all in. However, that may not be the best thing for your project, as it can make it very heavy. And you may not need something like Toon Shading or Tree Creator. So what I tend to do is make sure that all of these are unchecked and then I'll bring those in as I need them. Now one important note before we move on is some of these packages that we have you'll notice say Pro Only. So as we're using the pro version for our tutorials, you can still follow along using the free version, but there may be some options or packages that you may not have access to, like Glass refraction. This is not a bad thing. You can still follow along. You just may not be able to use this certain functionality. So once you're finished, go ahead and hit Create. And you're going to get a window that looks like this. You're going to see in your Hierarchy you have a main camera and then you have an Assets folder that's been created inside of your project panel. So now that we have created a new project, let's start discussing the interface. So we're going to break it down into a couple of different regions. The first one is going to be the Menu Bar at the top, the control tools, the Hierarchy panel, the Scene View, the Game View, the Inspector, the Project panel, and then the console. These are going to be the default layouts or panels that you would see inside of Unity. So to get started and discuss each one of those sections, just so what to expect as we go through each one of these panels, throughout this project. So the first one is going to be the Menu Bar. Now, the Menu Bar is going to give us access to many of the objects, tools, and options available inside of Unity. So we can open projects by going to File, Open Scene, or Open Project. You can also see that we can save our scenes and save our projects as well. We can create game objects, as you can see here. We can add components to our game objects that we've created or imported. And then we could also modify various options, things like preferences or project settings. Now there are many, many options in here and we're not going to go through all of those. But we will touch on several of the key options and tools here on the Menu Bar as we progress throughout this project. Now moving on from here we have our control tools. Now the control tools allows us to navigate our scene and transfer objects in our scene view. So for example, we have our Hand Tool. This will allow us to pan in our scene view. Now let me go ahead and turn off the game view so we can see our grid. And with the Hand Tool selected, if I hold down my left mouse button you can see that that allows me to pan inside of my scene view. Now, we also have the Move, Rotate, and Scale tool. And if you're familiar with 3D, these are going to be very, very familiar for you. So selecting the Move tool with an object selected is going to bring up your mood gizmo. Rotate will bring up to rotate gizmo, and then scale will bring up your scale gizmo. Now we'll be discussing those and how to use each one as we progress throughout this course. Now we also have this center and local, and this is going to help us with our reference coordinate system for our Transform tools. All right, so moving on we have our Hierarchy panel. The hierarchy will list all of the game objects in the scene and display how each object is going to be parented. So we can select objects here in our hierarchy. So select Main Camera, you can see it is selected here. And it will also be very important in your hierarchy view that things are organized properly. So whenever we begin to really get in depth with our scene and we have several objects in the scene, we're going to be grouping them together using empty game objects and keeping our hierarchy organized. This is going to be very important as we create our game, as parenting plays a key role. Moving on, we have our scene view. Now, the scene view is where we're going to be building our game projects. So we're going to be importing assets and then we'll be dragging and dropping those into our scene view and creating our game as we see fit. So while we're here in the scene view, let's talk about scene navigation. This is done very simply using our keyboard shortcuts. So if you are a Maya user, this is going to be very familiar. So holding down Alt and the left mouse button is going to allow you to orbit around the camera's viewpoint center. OK? So you can see that the camera is rotating around the center point of the view. And we could also hold down Alt and the middle mouse button and this will allow us to pan in our scene view. And then we have Alt and the right mouse button. And this is going to allow us to zoom in and out if we move our mouse up and down. Now we could also use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out as well. And that's an incremental zoom. Now we also have the capabilities of using a fly through control inside of Unity scene view. And this is done by holding down the right mouse button and then using the W, A, S, and D keys to move around. So W is going to allow you to move forward, S is backward, A is to the left, and D is to the right. Now while also holding down the right mouse button you could use Q to move down vertically, and then you could use E to move up vertically. Now the final keyboard shortcut that I want to talk to you about while navigating in the view port is using frame. And what this is going to allow me to do is with an object selected in my scene view, if I hit the F key that's going to frame and center the selected object in your scene view. This is going to be very helpful if you get lost in your scene. So for example, if I'm not exactly sure of where my main camera is, I can select right here in my hierarchy and then I'll middle mouse button click right here in the scene view to activate that and then hit F on the keyboard and you'll see that frames on that object. Now in the scene view, or moving on from the scene view, we have the game view. And if we select that, you'll notice that it switches to this blue background here. And this is done because our camera's background is set to blue whenever we were playing in the game view. So we are now looking through the camera. So the game view can also be accessed by hitting the Play button up here. And the game view is going to be really helpful for us whenever we begin play testing our game. I'm going to go ahead and hit Play to turn that off. Now moving on from the game view, we also have our Inspector. Now the Inspector is going to show the different components that are on the selected objects. So in this case, we have our main camera selected. And you can see we have a Transform component, a Camera component, and we also have Default components like GUI layer, flare layer, and audio listener. Now inside of these components you're going to see that we have several different parameters that we can begin to modify. So for example, with our camera we have this background color. Let's say that I wanted to change it to something like white. I can do so. And you can see how that changes the camera preview. Or I could take it a black and do it that way. Now normally I like that default blue. So I would go ahead and just leave that where it's at. OK, so now that we've learned a little bit about the Inspector and what we can expect in there, let's move on to our project panel. Now the project panel will show us all of the assets that are available in our project. So in this view we're going to see all of the assets that we have to imported into our assets folder. OK? So this is going to be a staging area for all of those assets that we can drag and drop it into our Unity scene to create our levels in our game. Now finally, from our project view we have our console. And the console will provide important information about our scene and objects while running the game. So this is going to be crucial for testing and debugging our game as we begin to create interactivity between objects. So now that we have discussed the interface and we've broken it down, you know what to expect in each one of these panels as we progress throughout this course. And what we're going to do in our next lesson is we're going to begin talking about how to work with different files and importing and exporting those. And then we're also going to be talking about project organization. OK? So we'll get into that next.
In this series of Unity tutorials we are going to learn about the core features in Unity.

We will start out by learning the Unity Interface where we'll talk about the different panels and tools available in the Unity editor. From there we'll learn how to properly export and import assets into Unity. With those assets imported, we'll discuss how to create prefabs that will help us speed up the construction process of our level.

Then we'll learn how to create and apply materials to our level prefabs. Then we'll take our textured prefabs and build a simple game environment. Once the base level has been built, we will talk about adding props and set dressing our level. From there we'll continue full speed by learning how to add lights, particles, and physics objects.

Once we're happy with our level, we'll jump into scripting in Unity. We'll learn how to create a random player spawn, a HUD, item pickups, and so much more. Finally, we'll end the course with how to publish our game to the platform of our choosing.

For an additional learning resource, download your free copy of our Key Game Development Terms Reference Guide and PDF so you can get comfortable with important game dev terminology.