Game Character Creation with Blender and Unity
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More About This Title Game Character Creation with Blender and Unity


A complete guide to creating usable, realistic game characters with two powerful tools

Creating viable game characters requires a combination of skills. This book teaches game creators how to create usable, realistic game assets using the power of an open-source 3D application and a free game engine. It presents a step-by-step approach to modeling, texturing, and animating a character using the popular Blender software, with emphasis on low polygon modeling and an eye for using sculpting and textures, and demonstrates how to bring the character into the Unity game engine.

  • Game creation is a popular and productive pursuit for both hobbyists and serious developers; this guide brings together two effective tools to simplify and enhance the process
  • Artists who are familiar with Blender or other 3D software but who lack experience with game development workflow will find this book fills important gaps in their knowledge
  • Provides a complete tutorial on developing a game character, including modeling, UV unwrapping, sculpting, baking displacements, texturing, rigging, animation, and export
  • Emphasizes low polygon modeling for game engines and shows how to bring the finished character into the Unity game engine

Whether you're interested in a new hobby or eager to enter the field of professional game development, this book offers valuable guidance to increase your skills.


Chris Totten is a Washington, DC–based game designer, writer, and professor. He teaches character development, 3D modeling, and animation for games. Chris has participated in independent game design projects as an artist and animator; written for and; and has been a guest speaker at East Coast Game Conference, GDC China and Dakota State University's Workshop on Integrated Design.


Introduction xv

Chapter 1: Basic Game Art Concepts 1

Game Design Workflows 2

Creating Game Assets 4

Understanding and Optimizing 3D Game Art 9

Working with Game Engines 20

Scripting Happens 21

Chapter 2: Blender Basics for Game Characters 23

Working with Blender’s Unique Features 24

Working with Editor Arrangement and Types 26

Navigating and Viewing 3D Space 32

Creating and Manipulating Objects 33

Using the Properties Editor 36

Know Your Hotkeys 37

Making a Simple Block Character 39

Useful Techniques 44

Chapter 3: Modeling the Character 45

Working with Model Sheets 46

Shaping the Torso for Low Polygon Count 48

Extruding the Legs and Feet 51

Making the Arms and Hands 56

Separating Body Components to Create Clothing 62

Creating the Head with

Poly-by-Poly Modeling 65

Carving Out Zombie Damage 82

Chapter 4: Prepping for Zombie Details with UV Unwrapping 87

The Uses of UV Layouts 88

Drawing Seams 89

Using Blender's UV/Image Editor 97

Laying Out a UV Sheet 100

Using Blender's Live Unwrap Functions 102

Chapter 5: Sculpting for Normal Maps 105

The Purpose of Sculpting 106

Introducing the Multires Modifier 107

Using Blender's Sculpting Interface 110

Sculpting the Zombie in Blender 120

Baking Normal Maps 128

Chapter 6: Digital Painting Color Maps 135

Understanding Digital Painting 136

Preparing for Color Map Painting 142

Digital Painting Best Practices 144

Applying Your Color Map to the Zombie 154

Chapter 7: Rigging for Realistic Movement 157

Understanding Rigging 158

Creating a Simple Armature 164

Finishing the Armature with Constraints 175

Linking the Armature and Zombie 184

Chapter 8: Animating the Zombie 193

Understanding and Planning

Game Animation 194

Using Blender's Animation System 200

Creating an Idle Animation 203

Creating a Walk Animation 208

Creating a Chase Animation 210

Creating a Run Animation 212

Organizing Your Animations 214

Chapter 9: Unity Engine Basics 217

Understanding Unity’s Logic and Interface 218

Building a Whiteblock Level with Unity Primitives 223

Creating and Editing Materials in Unity 232

Organizing Assets with Unity Empties 234

Chapter 10: Implementing Your Zombie in a Unity Game 237

Importing Models into Unity 238

Unity Scripting--A Crash Course 240

Adding Interactivity to the Zombie 247

Turning the First Person Controller into an FPS Hero 259

Adding Other Gameplay Elements 270

Wrapping Up 278

Index 279