VR development: Unity explainer 7 of 8

Add waypoint animation to a police car!

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Animate a police car to race around the city streets


Overview

Name of explainer:
Animate a police car to race around the city streets

Creative theme: VR development

Software used: Unity

User level: INTERMEDIATE

This is explainer 7 of 8 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Install the Unity hub and Unity LTS
  2. Download Oculus integration, create a new Unity project and set it up for VR
  3. Install VRIF and send a VR scene to a Quest 2 headset
  4. Import a low poly city scene and add a VR camera rig
  5. Edit a 3d object to interact with it in VR
  6. Import and set up animated people to populate the city
  7. Animate a police car to race around the city streets
  8. Add a soundtrack and attach sounds to individual objects

The Software

This series of explainers uses Unity, one of the most popular real-time 3d development environments. It’s used by millions of creators to develop games, create animations and visualisations and even produce short movies. Need inspiration? Check out their showcase.

Unity personal edition is completely free. If you start to make money commercially from your Unity creations you’ll need to upgrade to a paid professional license.

Over the course of eight explainers we’re using Unity and various free and paid assets from the Unity asset store to test a workflow from Unity to a Meta Quest 2 headset, send a city scene to the headset and add objects we can interact with. We go on to add animated people and a speeding police car! Finally, we import an ambient soundtrack and attach sounds to specific objects.

Our city at the end of this series

This is how our city looks at the end of this series. Remember the environment is designed to be experienced in a VR headset and not viewed as a ‘flat’ video!

The pre-requisities

This is an INTERMEDIATE workflow explainer series. We’re starting from scratch so don’t worry if you’ve never used Unity, but you’ll find this series easier to follow if you have basic knowledge of the Unity interface and how to navigate a 3d scene.

If you’re new to IT / computing, this workflow series is not likely to be suitable. To get started with 3d software in a beginner-friendly environment, we recommend the free Tinkercad. See makeuseof for a helpful overview of 3d design and the specialisms available to you.

Why would I do this?

‘Waypoint’ animation (see also ‘path-based’ animation) can be used to make a specific object or group of objects animate along a chosen path. This means it’s ideal to make a police car ‘race’ around a city loop!

Below, the selected police car will follow the waypoint path we’ve drawn for it:

Example waypoint path
A low poly police car

Let’s do it!

Click the play icon to watch this video. Subtitles are available – Click the settings cog at the bottom right for options. You can also watch this video full-screen by clicking the full-screen icon at the bottom right.

Good to know

We’re using a PAID Unity asset, ‘DOTween pro to demonstrate how to add waypoint animation to a vehicle:

There are many other assets available to help create waypoint animation, both paid and free:

DOTween Pro offers more than just path-based animation – You can tweenalmost any property of any object. Have a look at their full guide below:

Where to next?

The paths created using DOTween are fully 3d by default, meaning the city is your oyster if you’d like objects to fly through the sky.

By adding a DOTween path to a VRIF ‘moving platform’ you can transport a VR character literally anywhere in the city! Get started by copying the moving platform object from the VRIF demo scene ‘Rigidbody Player’ (below) into your own city scene:

Turn off (or delete) the waypoint components already attached to the moving platform, then add a dotween path component in the same way as in the above explainer:

Your VR character can now ‘jump on’ and enjoy the ride. Remember the waypoint path doesn’t need to stay on the ground!

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in May 2022. This page was last updated in May 2022.

We at pixels.cool are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Links are included in good faith at the time of writing. All explainer content is compiled in good faith using processes and methods used by the team. Modern software offers users many ways to accomplish a single task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to refer to multiple options. All computer users should run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise risks of data loss.


This is number 7 of 8 explainer videos in this series. Make sure you check out the others!