Unity Learning Expedition Round 1


There are seven of us starting the five-week trip into Unity. Launch time is Thursday evening, March 1 (Pacific Time Zone).

Here are the teammates:
IceCaveMan (me)

If there is interest we may have additional future expeditions and we will have established a “base camp” for forays to the summit. Let’s first see how this goes. Our elevation right now is merely sea level.

I have sent e-mails out to each of you w/two preliminary questions. If you didn’t get the e-mail first check your spam folder. If you are sure you didn’t get it let me know.

I’ll be sending dropbox links tomorrow.


Dropbox invitations have gone out. Let me know if you didn’t get the link.

Interactive Boy…We can still include you but I need your e-mail address.


Here in is an updated summary of learning resources for Unity. Of course there is Unity’s own tutorials, but here are other resources. I’ll comment if I have sampled them myself. First the YouTubers. These are all super popular with lots of clips.

One unfortunate reality is that game tutorials almost always use Max, Maya or Blender as their DCC tool. So you have to convert in your mind the c4d equivalence.

YouTubers with extensive channel libraries:

Sebastian Lague
Lague Link

Quil Link

Brackeys Link
*I have enjoyed 6-8 tuts so far and highly regard


Lynda.Com…Cert Prep series starting with:

Lynda.Com…Unity 3d Essential Training
I completed this training and can recommend. It was published just a month ago so everything is current. No coding.

They have a number of extremely popular Unity titles and they are cheap…typicall $11 for a lengthy course. No subscription required. The downside of some of their introductory titles is that they are now about 2 yrs old, so may not show latest UI, features.

These guys have some elite content for heavy-weight pros, but it’s not as beginner friendly as the Lynda courses. I do recommend at some point signing up for at least a one month period and doing a major binge.


Thanks Craig! I think for now I may just lurk since I’ve already begun down my own path. Happy learning to you and the team.


Gary. OK. Happy game-building. cheers.


OK…time for me to post a few things. First…

Week 1 Assignment:

We can’t get to the fun stuff until we’ve covered basics. This will be the least sexy week of our trip by far. If you have the basics below covered please advance to the next post.

By March 8 you should select from the learning resources above and have completed/learned the following:

The most important part of the week is to POST something you build to the dropbox. It merely needs to reflect what you learn. You can post a Unity project folder…or a PC or Mac executable. No need to post anything cool or elaborate…just post something.

Watch 3-4 hours of intro videos

Get Unity Installed. While installing download the samples and learning resources Unity offers as optional downloads

Get familiar with interface

Learn how to navigate and adjust PSR of scene objects

Open Unity Help System. Search for something in the help system. Identify and test the contextual help icon in the inspector panel

Learn how to add Packages

What is a package? What is the standard package? Consider why Unity uses packages.

Try Downloading one or two free Package from Unity Asset store. Observe the find and filter options in the store

Be sure to understand how files in your asset panel are the same as what is in your Finder/File Explorer. •Deleting, renaming, moving files in Unity changes them on your hard drive and visa versa.

Learn the Difference between Scene and Project and how to create and save each. Ho do you add scenes? How do you switch scenes?

Learn Scene panel versus Play panel. Learn how to play, stop, pause and single frame advance

Consider How Unity’s Hierarchy is similar to C4D’s Object Manager

Learn how to add and position a first person game object so you can move around in a scene

Try creating simple game objects like sphere, cube, etc

Learn how to add, import and organize Assets with folders

Learn what a PreFab is

Consider how you would teach these basic concepts to another


Alt Assignment.

Let’s suppose you already are comfortable with the baby-steps in the initial assignment. You still should post something by the end of the week! Do as you wish but one suggestion might be to take a specific area of the program like Terrains or Materials or Physics…and go hard on that for a week. Post something reflective of your learning.


Learn from IceCave Stupidity Chapter 1

Here are some things that baffled me and what I learned:

-Sampling out your scene, hit play and you can’t move around as expected?
You can only move around in a playing scene if you’ve added a game controller. Several controllers are a part of the Standard Assets:character folder. Just drag one of those into your scene before playing before editing.

Wondering where the ‘stop’ button is?
There isn’t one. The play button is a toggle. Click the button to play. Click again to stop. Button color is blue while playing.

What’s up with the pause button? Is that like stop?
No. You keep the game window active when paused. You pause so that you can freeze the action for your inspection. You can then use the step button (right next to pause) to proceed forward frame by frame through the game.

Unity didn’t save my work! What the hell happened?
If you are in play mode and make changes to items or attributes…the work won’t get saved! You must first stop playback.

More tips coming based on my stupid mistakes


You can change thetint of your editor when in Play mode to cue yourself in the future.


Ice Cave Stupid Mistakes Volume 2

I want to stop playback from the keyboard. I hit Control-periord (or command-period on Mac) and it doesn’t stop the game playback! I also tried ESC but no luck.
Control-period or escape might be a stop shortcut in Unreal…but that doesn’t work in Unity. In Unity you can invoke/stop playback with Control-P. Again it toggles.

I can’t select anything in my scene!
<Homer Sipmson Do’h!>Why? I was still in play mode and on top of that I was the fool trying to grab something in the game window, not the scene window! One doesn’t edit the game with the play window!

What happened to that file?
If you delete something from your project assets folder—it is deleted from the corresponding folder on your hard drive! Same with renaming. Be aware. Your asset folders and files are a mirror of what’s on your hard drive.

Why when I go behind that wall in my scene does it become invisible?
For performance reasons Unity only renders the positive side of a normal. Back-sides are invisible. More on this later but if you see this…don’t freak out. For now: If you needed a two sided wall…you’d want a slender cube or two polygons with normals going in opposite direction.

Why are polygons missing from my imported model?
This relates to what was just mentioned. Unity only renders the upside of a normal. You may need to reverse normals on some of your polygon faces in c4d before bringing over your asset.


IceCaveMan’s Stupidity Volume 3

I can’t change the name of something in my Asset folder!
Remember it’s a mirror of what is on your hard drive. Sometimes names get locked for your protection. If you need to get around that…right click on the asset item and choose, “View in Explorer/Finder.” Rename the item in your hard drive and return to Unity. It will update.

I hit play, move around in my scene…and nothing but sky is visible!
Be aware that your starting view is determined by your default camera, which might be a child of your character/controller. It’s recommended that you pre-position that camera. But…my stupidity was strong enough to still create an invisible scene! How? What happened?

Some game controllers have built-in physics so they will fall immediately on game start. If there is no static ground below such a controller you (and your camera!) can fall right out of the scene almost before you blink. All you see is sky. Yes I was ‘clever’ enough to do this.

Why is that object falling? I didn’t turn physics on!

In Unity some objects come in by default w/physics on. This is particularly true if you are using a package with pre-configured items.


Good to know! I need lots of help to slow my stupid’s roll!


Tips for C4d users starting in Unity… Part A

If you are like me you are sure to slip into your c4d habits with navigation or keyboard shortcuts with Unity. To make it easier here are some thoughts.

These work EXACTLY THE SAME in c4d as in Unity
Alt*-Key-LeftMouse-Drag rotates scene
Alt-Key-MiddleMouse-Drag pans the scene
Alt-Key-MiddleMouse-Tracks the camera forward and back

(*Option key for mac users)

You can frame a selected object in Unity just like in c4d
Frame Object
C4d uses O for the keyboard shortcut
Unity uses F to frame


I have more tips to post but will stop for now.


How performant is baked C4d animation brought into Unity…and how do the file sizes look?

I’ll post an example this evening to the dropbox for the team.


coming back to this…here’s a Unity Quicktip video on how to set that up:


Team, I really look forward to seeing your files as we move along . I will be posting samples as I’m able…not necessarily relevant to this week’s learning. So tonight… I used Voronoi fracture to create an animation and then brought it into Unity. I’ll explain steps in the next post.

The c4d project file and the Unity project file are posted to the team’s dropbox.

In-game still image of animation


First a few notes for teammates about how to access/use files:

  • Be sure to copy files out of dropbox before using
  • To launch…go into the Unity folder, then into Assets. Open "ArtilleryRange.unity.
  • I notice that on Macs…though it still opens…that there are some error messages. On the Mac you can’t move around the scene. I don’t yet know why.
    -The animation loops by design-so you can review it.

My steps:
-Used Voronoi fracture and the exceptional CV-Paint Fracture to create the animation. (Thanks Donovan and Derya)

  • NitroBake 2 to prep for export
    -Exported as FBX
    -Copied the FBX and the one material into the project directory
    -In Unity there were maybe 25 steps total for the whole segment on the Unity side of it–that part took about 90 minutes since I’m just learning. If there is interest maybe I’ll do a tutorial.

Haven’t yet played with audio…and I don’t yet know how to trigger such an animation and connect it to user actions. A lot to learn!


Back to suggested tips

Some of you that played racquet sports know that switching between sports like ping pong, racquetball and tennis can be tricky. It can mess with one’s form as the techniques are similar, but still different.

Unity’s object manipulation is like racquetball and c4d’s object manipulation is like tennis. They are similar but can throw you off when switching between programs. So I changed Unity’s keyboard shortcuts to match c4d.

By default, Unity’s object translation = w; rotation =e; scale = r. In preferences I remap keys to match c4d:
E-Move Object (Tools/Move)
R-Rotate Object (Tools/Rotate)
T-Scale Object (Tools/Scale)

Stress and frustration was reduced.


There are two things I’d love to be able to do in Unity…and I don’t know if it’s possible. Maybe someone can help me.

  1. I love in c4d how if you have an object selected and then if you zoom or rotate…it pivots around the selected object. Unity doesn’t feature an equivalent (not that I know of).

-the best I can do is use the Right-Mouse-Hold with A-S-W-D. This technique is worth practicing. As you hold the right mouse down you go into a fly-mode. Direction is determined by holding down A-S-W-D. Still I’d like to discover a way to pivot around a selection.

  1. Even more I miss C4D’s commander feature where you can quickly add objects or tags with the keyboard. Perhaps there is something on the Asset store to enable similar functionality. If anyone finds something like that…please post.