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Unity for Design Vizualisation

Everything you need to know to make your CAD interactive and visually awesome with Unity.
Fred Moreau
110 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Import 3D models from CAD and 3D softwares
Organise 3D scenes
Setup different lighting conditions (daylight, artificial, interior, exterior)
Optimise light-mapping settings for the target platform and lighting conditions
Adjust PBR (physically based rendering) and custom materials
Setup Post-Effects with the PostProcessing Stack
Import terrains data, and customise terrains with details and trees
Place and setup Cameras controls with Cinemachine
Setup scene Navigation (AI path finding) to navigate scenes and avoid obstacles (scripts included)
Take advantage of the Lightweight Rendering Pipeline (mobile)
Take advantage of the HD Rendering Pipeline (PC)
Create and trigger animations
Add interactivity (material changes, light settings, objects variants, animations)

Modelling for real-time rendering isn’t about using less “polys”. It’s about understanding how things work under the hood, and adopt the best strategy to avoid artefacts and performance hits, while delivering the most accurate and good looking result, taking into account the target platform and level of interactivity we want.

This course will deliver short theory lectures on technical knowledge you need to take any model into Unity and make it look awesome.

Beyond theory, it’ll put everything in practice, using “real” models from places such as Google Sketchup 3D Warehouse.

No programming skills required. All scripts are included. For programmers, there will be lectures going through the core principles.



Welcome video and course description.


This is the course road map and ETA on lectures.

What is CAD ?

Let's first review what CAD is about.

Visualisation for CAD / AEC.

What can real-time vis bring to your game as a designer ?

Why using Unity ?

Introduction to Unity Editor and Build Process

Using Unity Hub to create a new project.

In this chapter, I'm going to touch on using Unity Editor to setup a project, organise game objects in a scene, create and import assets such as materials and textures, using the Asset Store to import pre-made models and scripts, and in the end, build a stand-alone app.

I'm also going to touch Unity fundamentals, such as Game Objects, Components, Assets and Prefabs.

If you are already familiar with Unity, I recommend you skip to the next chapter.

Hierarchy View and Scene Content.

Use the Hierarchy View to create and organise scene objects.

Navigating in the Scene View.

Navigate the Scene with ease using all the shortcuts.

Manipulating Game Objects in the Scene View.

Manipulate objects in the Scene View.

Using the Project View to structure the project and import Assets.

Using the Project View to create folders, materials and import assets, such as textures.

Using the Game View to preview the app.

Using the Game View to preview what the app will look like.

Using the Inspector to Edit Game Objects and Assets.

Using the Inspector to edit game objects and assets, and make assignments.

Arrange other windows and save Layouts.

Open and arrange other windows and save "task oriented" UI layouts.

Game Objects, Components, Assets and Prefabs.

GameObjects, Components, Assets and Prefabs are core concepts in Unity.

References, and other Unity important concepts.

Referencing is also a very important concept in a Unity project. Here's a few caveats on common scenarios and other Unity features such as Layers and Tags.

Using the Asset Store to import pre-made models and scripts.

Prototyping can be very quick using content from the Asset Store.

If you're an Interior Designer looking for furniture, it's full of well optimised content ready to be laid out in your designs, and scripts to help adding interactivity too.

Building a Stand-Alone app from the Editor.

Building a stand alone app from the Editor is now just a few click away.

Importing CAD data.

The different CAD data types.

Every type of design has its own objectives and constraints, and CAD software developers use the most appropriate math and data to help designers express their ideas.

CAD file formats.

While generic CAD 3D drawings are easily imported in Unity, some will require 3rd party software to be converted.

Where to get CAD sample files.

A list a websites featuring free CAD models.

CAD file formats converters.

A list of CAD formats conversion tools and services.

CAD to Unity Solutions.

A list of articles on complete solutions and initiatives on the topic.

Importing a 3D model in Unity.

Importing a model in Unity is fairly straightforward.

Importing a SketchUp model.

Importing a native SketchUp file is similar to importing an FBX or Collada file, with a few extra options.

Extracting Textures and Materials for editing.

Some model files contain embedded textures that we can extract, and materials can only be edited in Unity once we've extracted them into the project's folder.

Units, Accuracy and Limitations.

Most industrials get picky when it comes to respect their design's accuracy.

There isn't much to worry about as long as we respect a few rules.


Adding and placing furniture models using Snapping.

In this lecture, we're going to add furniture models from the Asset Store, and place them in our model using Snapping.

Installing and using Pro-Grids free extension.

Pro Grids is a free extension (package) available from Unity's Package Manager, adding grid and snapping features.

Careful when using multiple Cameras, or the frame rate is going down...

When importing models from CAD or DCC software, Cameras will often come along, and this is a great feature. But you need to be careful about it, as Unity's rendering a bit different from DCC software.

Installing and using Cinemachine to optimise Cameras switching.

Cinemachine is a free extension (package) available from Unity's Package Manager, taking Cameras management to a whole new level.

Using AssetPostProcessing to replace Camera components with CM Virtual Cameras.

When Unity imports an Asset, we can automate some tasks, such as finding all Camera components to replace them with Cinemachine Virtual Camera components.

This requires some simple Editor scripting (the script is included with this lecture).

NOTE : as Udemy doesn't allow uploading .cs files, please rename scripts to remove the trailing ".txt"

Layers, are not exactly what you may think they are...

Let's have a look at how Layers work in Unity and what we use them for.

Switching Platforms often ? Save time using the Cache Server.

When targeting multiple platforms, like iOS and Android, or Mac and Windows, switching from one to another takes a while when you have a lot of assets in the project.

Using the Cache Server allows for much faster switching.

Modelling for Rendering.

Modelling for "real-time" rendering.

Modelling for real-time rendering isn’t about using less “polys”.

Modelling the "emptiness"...

In visualisation, light is our primary supply.

Foreword on Dynamic Lighting.

How dynamic lighting is sampled will influence our strategy.

Accounting for Forward Rendering.

When using Forward Rendering, splitting geometry allows accounting for pixel lights limitations.

Foreword on Light-Mapping.

When using Light-Mapping, to store pre-computed lighting, splitting geometry appropriately allows saving room in light-maps and increasing pixel density for important parts.

Using Pro Builder to prototype or remodel architectural spaces.

Using Pro Builder to prototype or remodel architectural spaces.

Installing and using ProBuilder to prototype architectural spaces.

Going further with Pro Builder.

Let's touch on more Pro Builder features to complete this interior space.

Modelling animatable doors with Pro Builder and manage them as Prefabs.

Modelling for animation requires taking care of pivot point placement.

Prefabs allows instancing a same object in different locations, with local differences (overrides).

Modelling Window Frames, Panes and Glass out face selection.

Use a face selection to model the window frames, panes and glass panels, then assign them different colours to better make the difference between them.

Assigning materials to objects and faces (material IDs).

Just like a DCC or CAD software, Pro Builder let us assign materials to objects or face selections.

Placing Mapping Coords (UVs).

To properly position textures, Pro Builder allows us to edit Mapping Coordinates.

Topology matters..

To properly place mapping coordinates and/or material IDs, topology can make a big difference.

Remodelling parts of an imported model.

To achieve the amazing results you see in demos, we often need to remodel part of the CAD models.

3rd Party Solutions

Using Tridify to convert and import Architectural (BIM) files.

Tridify Convert allows converting CAD and especially BIM (Building Infrastructure Modelling) and importing them in Unity, taking care of most of the painful work. Let's have a look at how this works.


PIXYZ also allows converting CAD models, especially in Industrial Design and Engineering.

Rendering : Standard Pipeline (default Renderer)

An overview of all rendering related parameters and options.

Before we start with rendering, let's take a quick look at all the parameters involved. Don't get overwhelmed, this is seriously technical, but most of the time, the default parameters will work just fine.

Color Space : Gamma corrected or Linear ?

The Color "Space" sets how colors will be mixed throughout the rendering process.

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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4 hours on-demand video
19 articles
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