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Unity for Architectural Visualization

Book Description

For architects the walk-around 3D computer visualization is a fantastic marketing tool. This tutorial shows you how to use Unity to achieve modeling skills through step-by-step examples. You’ll find the acquired expertise invaluable.

  • Simple instructions to help you set up an interactive and real-time scene
  • Excellent tips on making your presentations attractive by creating interactive designs
  • Most important features of computer games covered, to develop compelling, interactive scenes for so-called “serious games”

In Detail

Architects have always relied on drawings, renderings, and sometimes even movies to present their design concepts to clients, contractors, and other stakeholders. The accessibility of current game engines provides new and exciting possibilities to turn any design into an interactive model that anyone can experience at their own pace.

"Unity for Architectural Visualization" explains how you can create compelling, real-time models from your 3D architectural project. Filled with practical tips and in-depth information, this book explains every step in the process, starting from the very basics up to custom scripts that will get you up to the next level.

This book begins with a general overview of the Unity workflow for architectural models. You will start with a simple project that lets you walk around in your design using basic Unity tools and methods. You will then learn how to easily get convincing lightning effects on your scene. You will then set up a basic navigation system in your project, and not only this; you will also cover some tips and tricks to take navigation to the next level. You will quickly learn how to fine-tune the shaders and how to set up materials that are a bit more advanced. Even when you finish Unity for Architectural Visualization, this book will make scripting easier with reusable examples of scripts that can be applied in most projects. After reading this book, you will be comfortable enough to tackle new projects and develop your own.

Table of Contents

  1. Unity for Architectural Visualization
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Unity for Architectural Visualization
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. Acknowledgement
    6. About the Reviewers
    7. www.PacktPub.com
      1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
        1. Why Subscribe?
        2. Free Access for Packt account holders
    8. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Reader feedback
      6. Customer support
        1. Downloading the example code
        2. Errata
        3. Piracy
        4. Questions
    9. 1. An Integrated Unity Workflow
      1. Assets and the Unity workflow
      2. CAD or 3D modeling software
        1. Passing through intermediate software
        2. Expected pitfalls
          1. Missing back-faces
          2. Missing texture coordinates
          3. Superfluous geometry
          4. Lack of instances
      3. Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software
        1. Example workflow scenario
        2. Considerations when using BIM software
        3. What about dedicated real-time solutions for CAD/BIM?
      4. Updating the scene when changes occur
        1. Optimally supported workflows
      5. Summary
    10. 2. Quick Walk Around Your Design
      1. Setting up an (almost) empty Unity project
      2. Loading up a CAD model
        1. Can you show me, please?
        2. Controlling the import settings
      3. Meshes and materials, or Shaders
      4. Adding sun light
      5. Adding navigation using a first person controller
      6. Minding the gap
      7. Summary
    11. 3. Let There be Light!
      1. Basic light sources
      2. Shadows
        1. Real-time shadows
          1. Sun study animation
          2. Faking shadows
      3. Lightmapping
        1. Other lighting techniques
        2. Browsing the Asset Store
          1. Lightmapping packages in the Asset Store
      4. Pre-rendered models
      5. Summary
    12. 4. Promenade Architecturale
      1. First Person versus Third Person Controller
        1. Setting up the First Person Controller
        2. Setting up the Third Person Controller
        3. Choosing between FPC and TPC?
        4. Further tweaking and refining the character controllers
      2. Loading a custom third person character
        1. Using a custom static model
        2. Loading a new character from the Asset Store
          1. Using Mixamo characters and animations
      3. Adding a live minimap
        1. Switching between cameras?
        2. Setting up a turntable camera animation
      4. Displaying basic text/information on the screen
      5. Summary
    13. 5. Models and Environment
      1. Loading 3D Warehouse models
      2. Setting up a basic landscape
        1. Customizing trees with Tree Creator
      3. Creating a custom Skybox
      4. Optimizing scenes and models
        1. Showing only what is needed
        2. Grouping objects by material
        3. Using Prefabs (instancing)
        4. Using Levels of Detail (LOD)
        5. Culling and Batching
        6. Combining Meshes/Children
        7. Combining materials (texture atlas)
        8. Avoiding excessive collision geometry
      5. Summary
    14. 6. Shaders and Textures
      1. Adjusting basic textured materials
        1. Creating convincing glass
      2. Using advanced textured materials
      3. Using procedural materials
        1. Allegorithmic substances
      4. Learning further material techniques
        1. Adjusting texture mapping
        2. Applying animated textures
      5. Summary
    15. 7. Full Control with Scripting
      1. Scripting crash course
      2. Triggering doors and elevators
        1. Using triggers and colliders
        2. Refining the opening animation
        3. Moving platforms
        4. Solving a problem with parenting
        5. Rework the script using an animation clip
      3. Basic heads-up-display with a custom GUI
        1. Toggling lights and other objects
      4. Switching between cameras
      5. Switching between materials
      6. Further interactions
        1. Resetting the player
        2. Loading another level
      7. Some additional Asset Store tips
      8. Summary
    16. Index