Unity 3D is a whole ecosystem, to work with which you need to be able both to program and to understand how are game models and animations created. Just as in working with code, various graphics environments are often used when creating graphics, which should be familiar to every game developer.
Unity 3D has its own three-dimensional graphics editor and often its capabilities are enough to make a full-fledged game model.
However, in the game development industry, the programmer and model maker are often different people who can work in different environments. If you are interested in 3D modeling in Unity, you should familiarize yourself with other well-known solutions for modeling in 3D. Most often, three key applications are used to implement all the principles of modeling.
If you are just starting to get acquainted with the world of modeling in Unity 3D, it makes sense to look towards Blender. This is a cross-platform 3D graphics editor, which is distributed under a free license. Blender has an active user community that will help with solving questions and finding lessons.
In order to create characters in Blender and successfully transfer them to the Unity 3D models format, it is enough to install the latest versions of both programs (Blender requires a 64-bit version). Working in Blender is very simple – there are many assets in this program that can be taken as a basis, and you can build characters or details of animated graphics on them. The build process in this version of the software is also simple – just configure the compatibility of some features with Unity and get to work:
• Create a character’s skeleton and tie it to the mash.
• Modify a character with accessories and other objects.
• Export model to FBX.
• Import Blender Models
• Animate a humanoid in Unity.
All these procedures take place during the creation of any project in Unity 3D, and experienced professionals can easily create even the most complex characters and animated environment using Blender.
Autodesk: Maya and 3Ds Max
Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya modeling software are better known than Blender and are much more commonly used in commercial modeling.
The purpose of these programs is generally the same, but they are used in different fields. Modeling in 3ds Max is used to create game models, and Maya is more often used as an editor of three-dimensional graphics in the film industry.
Maya – An Indispensable Software for Three-Dimensional Graphics in Business
First of all, it is a powerful weapon of 3D animators, film and television workers. Maya is valued for its great set of tools for animating, texturing, and creating various special effects. This is a serious editor of three-dimensional graphics, widely used in professional circles. In it, the function of visualization of ready-made models is correctly implemented: the program is equipped with four built-in visualizers, in addition, there is the possibility of installing various plug-ins, including V-Ray.
According to the method of work, Autodesk Maya is close to another company product – 3DsMax. But compared to him in Maya, the animation functions are implemented more thoroughly. In addition, the program is interesting to work with the dynamics of hard and soft bodies, the simplicity of texture mapping and convenient UV mapping.
With Autodesk Maya, you can do the following:
• Work with curves and NURBS;
• Perform polygonal modeling;
• Overlay textures in several ways;
• Use sculpt brushes to create landscapes;
• Apply high-resolution animation tools – up to individual strands of hair;
• Use a lot of special effects for realistic images of water, wool, fog, clouds.
All this finds its place in creating 3D models for Unity as well as in other areas of animation.
3DS MAX – A Loyal Assistant for Game Developer
If Maya is a software that is very much appreciated in projects for business animation and cinematography, then 3ds Max is a favorite tool of those who develop games. This is one of the first three-dimensional editors, especially in demand in the design and architectural environment. But due to the wide possibilities, this software can do much more!
So, in the program, a particle system is well implemented, as well as tools for animation. Due to a well-thought-out mechanism for calculating physics, modeling the behavior of hard and soft bodies is not difficult. Users control 3D models taking into account the actual laws of physics, so it turns out to achieve incredible realism. And we cannot say about the module Hairand Fur, with which the creation and “styling” of hair and wool occurs in two clicks.
The main function of the program is the creation and editing of 3D graphics. The remaining options are designed to complement the created objects and bring them to a realistic appearance. The program is equipped with a huge variety of modifiers, tools for working with models. 3Ds Max offers these types of design of three-dimensional objects:
• Polygonal modeling. The most common type of 3D modeling, found in many packages of three-dimensional graphics. Can be used to develop models of varying complexity;
• Simulation modeling based on primitives. 3Ds Max contains a built-in library of standard objects, the so-called primitives. In many cases, the creation of models begins with them, because various modifiers are applicable to such primitives;
• Based on splines. Also one of the basic modeling methods. It consists of building a product frame from three-dimensional curves (splines). Based on it, the 3D object itself is generated;
• Based on NURBS curves. NURBS, or heterogeneous rational B-spline, is a special technology for developing 3D models. Ideal for modeling organics and objects with a smooth surface;
• Based on Bezier surfaces. A special way of 3D modeling based on Bezier curves. Often applied to individual parts of the 3D model for which a network of control points is created. With their help, the surface can be stretched in any direction.
Such opportunities are very actively used in Unity modeling.
Which is the best 3d modeling software for Unity? This is a matter of taste of a particular developer, and it repels from its own skills and tasks because projects in Unity modeling can be very diverse!