Comment on page
Creating 3D Assets
Creating Assets in Blender Video
Assets are usually made in an external application such as Blender, Maya, or 3D Studio MAX, alongside many other applications. In this tutorial, we will go over making a simple asset in Blender, which is a free 3D Creation tool. Go here to download the latest version.
At the very top left, you have your Menu items but also a bunch of tabs. These are just different layouts that allow you to focus on a particular task. Creating assets is usually in Layout or Modelling. You may need UV Editing and Shading later in the process.
This main area is the Viewport, where assets are created.
- Right click - Orbit view
- Shift + middle click - Pan view
- Middle scroll - Zoom
- Alt + middle click - Snap to different views
- Numpad Period (.) - Focus on a particular asset
At the top left of the viewport, we have the mode you are working in, the two most common are 'Object' and 'Edit'. Object mode is used to arrange the scene. Edit Mode allows you to edit the assets in detail such as their vertices, edges, polygons etc.
- Tab - Switch between Object and Edit mode.
Next to that, you have a number of menus, depending on the Mode you are in.
At the top centre you have Transform orientation, Pivot point, Snap settings, and Proportional editing tools.
To the top left again under the Mode, we have the Asset Creation tools such as position, Rotation, and scale. As well as other tools such as Extrude, Inset, and Bevel, to name a few in Edit Mode.
Most Hotkeys are displayed in a popup when you roll over the tool itself.
- G - Position
- R - Rotation
- S - Scale
You can optionally use the following,
- X - Limit to X Axis
- Y - Limit to Y Axis
- Z - Limit to Z Axis
To finish off you can,
- Left click or Space - Accept
- Right click - Cancel
It is possible to use numbers to modify the edits by a certain amount. Once done, left-click to lock the edit in.
At the top Right of the viewport, we only need to worry about the Overlays pulldown, X-Ray mode, and Viewport shading options.
The two most common elements in the Overlays pulldown is Statistics, and Face Orientation. Statistics offers things like face/triangle count, etc. and Face Orientation displays a blue and red overaly, where blue is opaque in Unity, and red is transparent in Unity.
You will need to use the X-Ray mode to select elements on the other side of an asset. If you don’t, you will only select the visible elements in the viewport.
The viewport shading options change how the viewport looks, such as Wireframe, Solid, Material Preview, and Rendered. Usually Wireframe and Solid are all you need in Asset creation for Mona.
To the top left of the viewport is the Axes Gizmo, which allows you to shift to different views. You can also use the Numpad keys.
Right next to the Axes gizmo is a little arrow that you can select, which will open certain toolbars.
- N - Open Toolbars.
Over to the right, we have your Outliner, which organizes your assets in a hierarchy. Double click assets to rename them.
Under that, we have the Properties section. This has a long list of categories we can use, but the main ones for asset creation are Object Properties, Modifier Properties, Object Data Properties, and Material Properties.
As noted, you can use different modes on an asset, with Object and Edit being the two most common ones. You can edit one asset or multiple, and doing so will allow you to edit the asset in detail, such as modifying polygons, edges, and vertices.
- Shift + left click - Multi select
Select the asset, or use shift to select multiple assets, and go to edit mode by selecting Edit mode or pressing the tab.
You can change the selection type by using the buttons at the top here to edit the vertices, edges, or polygons.
- 1 - Select Vertices
- 2 - Select Edges
- 3 - Select Polygons
With that, you can already start creating assets! Select the element you want to edit and position, rotate, or scale them as you see fit.
In Edit mode there are a number of tools to the Left of the Viewport that allow more advanced editing of your models.
The Extrude tool allows you to grab an element, such as a polygon or edge, and extrude it in or out. After editing an element, a popup will appear at the bottom left of the viewport, you can modify the details manually if need be.
The Extrude tool has a few different options, any of the tools with the little triangle on them do. Just click and hold, and select the tool you would like. You can hold over the tool to get more information on each.
- E - Extrude (in Edit Mode)
Inset allows you to add polygons within a polygon. Use the popup at the bottom left to modify polygons individually.
- I - Inset (in Edit Mode)
Bevel will make any edges beveled. If you select a polygon, it will bevel all the edges within the selected polygons or vertices. You can edit vertices instead of edges in the tool popup menu.
- Ctrl + B - Bevel (in Edit Mode)
Loop cut allows you to add a loop along polygons. A loop is a group of edges along a mesh, and getting comfortable creating good clean loops allows you to speed up your process.
- Ctrl + R - Loop Cut (in Edit Mode)
- Scroll - Add Loops
- Left Click - Slide Loops
- Right Click - Reset loop position
- Left Click / Space - Accept
- Alt + left click - Select loop (in Edit Mode)
The Knife tool allows you to cut edges into the mesh as you see fit. Pay attention to placement, though, cutting near the edge will add more polygons than if you cut to the edge.
The Bisect tool is within the Knife tool button, so hold on the button to be able to select it. Select the polygons before you want to cut and then use a straight line to bisect them.
- K - Knife tool
It is recommended to use the .fbx file format for use in Unity. Unity does support .blend and .obj, but these are not as good due to filesize, complications, or features. .glb is also an option, but Unity does not import this format by default.
Before exporting your assets, it is a good idea to Apply transforms to your asset in order to reduce issues with scale between 3D Creation program and Unity. In Blender, you can do this in ‘Object’ mode under the 'Object >Apply > Scale'.
- Ctrl+A - Apply Transforms (in Object mode)
In Blender, you can easily export your asset by selecting the assets you want to export and going to File > Export > .fbx.
Make sure to select the ‘Selected Objects’ toggle, and if your asset is not animated or rigged with bones, use the ‘Apply Transform’ toggle as well. This will reduce scale issues within Unity.
Other applications have a similar approach.
In this tutorial, we went over navigating Blender and its tools to create 3D Assets.