The Exciting World of 3D Environment & Materials

Objective: learn how to create and use materials in a 3D environment

Today we’ll be created a new cinematography project, using The Great Fleece asset package as a starting point. This includes a finished scene which can be used to reference what we are working toward.

For now, we’ll start with a basic, unfinished scene and learn how to make incremental to the game objects in order to create this work of art.

We’ll start by looking at this pair of pillars in the scene. We want to make changes so that the blank one on the right looks just like the marble one on the left.

This pillar has it’s own 3d shape determined by its model, which is created by programs such as Maya or Blender. However, Unity can control details about how the surface of the pillar is displayed, by changing value its Material in the inspector.

We can change the basic color of this pillar by selecting a new color for the Albedo field.

The white pillar is now colored grey.

Next, we can also apply a texture pattern to the Albedo field, so the surface looks like it’s made of marble.

The marble texture is applied to the pillar

By adjusting the tiling, we can control how often the texture wraps loops on the surface of the object. Increasing the tiling will have an affect of decreasing the size of the texture and allowing it to loop and appear more times on the surface of the object.

Metallic and roughness both control how light interacts with the surface, which can make objects appear smooth, rough, or shiny like metal.

Now it’s time to work on these columns here:

These columns are made of two sub-meshes that both have their own material. Note how the Mesh Renderer component has two material elements. This allows us to control the surfaces of those elements independently.

We want to use different materials than just “Plain 1”, so we can create new materials in the asset folder like so:

We can set up a similar black marble material like so, using the same metallic, roughness, and tiling we did before. We even can see a preview of it at the bottom.

We’ll also make a white wall material for the outside area of the column. The material includes a normal map texture that will make the surface appear rough and bumpy in places.

Now we can assign both these new materials to the column by dragging them to the material elements in the inspector.

Finally we have one more gold-colored material:

We can assign the material directly into the scene view by dragging it to the proper object.

That’s all for the basics of making and applying materials! Using these methods we can control the looks of any 3d object that is put into the scene.



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Blake Zoeckler

I’m a passionate and talented software engineer seeking an opportunity in game development.