Building an Architectural Walkthrough Using Unity [Video]

Stefan Boeykens

Building an Architectural Walkthrough Using Unity [Video]
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Course Contents
The Author
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  • New! Packt Video courses: practical screencast-based tutorials that show you how to get the job done. Bite sized chunks, hands on instructions, and powerful results.
  • Enliven static images and technical drawings with an interactive Unity app
  • Walk around freely, climb stairs, open doors…explore!
  • This is a practical and useful tutorial covering exactly what you need to know to use architectural design in your own projects


Video Details

Language : English
Release Date : Friday, May 30, 2014
Course Length : 2 hours and 51 minutes
ISBN : 178355990X
ISBN 13 : 9781783559909
Author(s) : Stefan Boeykens
Topics and Technologies : Game Development, Other, Video

Table of Contents

  1. Importing Architectural Models in Unity
    • Introduction and Workflow Overview
    • From SketchUp to Unity
    • From ArchiCAD to Unity (Step 1)
    • From ArchiCAD to Unity (Step 2)
    • Updating Models
    • Improving Performance

  2. Navigating an Architectural Model
    • Adding a First-person Controller
    • Preventing Running through Walls
    • Adding a Third-person Controller
    • Loading a Different 3D Character
    • Adding a Mini-map

  3. Improving Materials with Shaders and Textures
    • Textured Materials with Bump and Specular Mapping
    • Using a CubeMap for Sky and Clouds
    • Using a Better Glass Shader
    • Procedural Materials Using Substances
    • Cutout Textures Using Alpha Maps

  4. Adding Lights and Shadows
    • Lighting Types
    • Adding a Sun with Shadows
    • Interior Lights Using Point and Spot Lights
    • Lightmapping (Preparation)
    • Lightmapping (Calculation)

  5. Animating Objects and Lighting
    • Understanding Animation in Unity
    • Creating a Rotating Cube
    • Keyframing an Opening Door
    • Opening and Moving an Elevator
    • Setting Up a SunStudy Animation

  6. Scripting to Add Interactivity
    • Creating Your First Script
    • Editing a Script in Monodevelop
    • Triggering the Rotation of a GameObject
    • Switching a Material with a Script
    • Adding a GUI to the Material Switcher

  7. Expanding the Scripts
    • Hiding and Showing Objects
    • Switching between Cameras
    • Resetting the Player
    • Picking Objects
    • Displaying Object Information

  8. Presenting the Final Walkthrough
    • Bringing Everything Together – The Build Settings
    • Building the Result and Play
    • Building for other Platforms – Example iOS
    • Compiling and Running the iOS App
    • Adding a Mobile Controller
    • Some Final Refinements

Stefan Boeykens

Stefan Boeykens is an architect-engineer from Leuven (Belgium). After graduation, he was involved in architectural practice for about 4 years, before returning to the KU Leuven for his PhD in 2007 on the integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the design process. He worked on a variety of research and education projects, ranging from CAD and BIM to metadata for architectural archives and cost simulations. His main research interests are BIM, 3D modeling and visualization, digital historical reconstruction, parametric design, programming, and interoperability between a variety of software tools, with a special focus on openBIM. He is also the author of Unity for Architectural Visualization, Packt Publishing, the first Unity book on this subject. He is also the author of the blog, which discusses CAD, 3D, and BIM, with a particular focus on free and educational software for architects and interoperability. Under the name of stefkeB he is active online on various platforms and networks.
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What you will learn from this video course

  • Export CAD and BIM models into a format that Unity can use
  • Optimize the geometry and import settings for clean and reliable results
  • Adjust the materials to add bump maps and transparent or reflective effects
  • Add a Sun light with shadows and ensure even lighting
  • Improve interior lighting with additional lights
  • Bake the lighting onto the model with Lightmapping
  • Add a character to freely walk around your model
  • Use animations to apply interactive features such as opening doors
  • Build a complete standalone application that can be shared online
  • Gain control over your model with Unity scripts

Who this video course is for

This video course is meant for architects, designers, engineers, students, or in a nutshell, anyone interested in developing interactive environments with Unity. A quick brush up on the basics of Unity and you will be ready to go.

In Detail

Translating CAD or BIM models into a real-time application can seem a tiresome ordeal. Luckily, Unity is very accessible for architects with some 3D experience and it makes importing and presenting models a fun task to do. Architectural visualization through Unity will help you analyze designs and make related decisions even before the actual building is built.

Starting from 3D models in common architectural software, we will discuss the workflow to load the models into Unity and even incorporate model changes. The building model will be refined, with better materials and lighting, so it looks attractive to the visitor. With a few basic scripts, we add the necessary interactivity and finally export it into an application you can share.

This video tutorial shows an efficient and easy approach to apply an architectural 3D model into your project for quick and reliable results.

Screenshots from the course

Adding a Point Light to the Scene

Adding Animation Curves to the Cube

Adding Different Types of Colliders

Adding Geometry to ArchiCAD

Writing a Script for Advanced Animations


Packt video courses are designed to cover the breadth of the topic in short, hands-on, task-based videos. Each course is divided into short manageable sections, so you can watch the whole thing or jump to the bit you need. The focus is on practical instructions and screencasts showing you how to get the job done.

This video tutorial takes an illustrative approach, with attention to how and why you need to do things. Each step leads you to the final walkthrough and, what’s more, the concepts can be applied to other architectural software too.

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