Beginning 3D: Explainer 5 of 8

Welcome to Kenney Shape!

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Navigate the ‘Kenney Shape’ interface and edit built-in objects

Overview

Name of explainer: Navigate the Kenney Shape interface and edit built-in objects

Creative theme: Beginning 3D

Software used (for this explainer): Kenney Shape

User level: BEGINNER

This is explainer 5 of 8 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Get tooled up for this explainer series
  2. Navigate the Tinkercad interface, add 3d objects to the workplane and rotate & scale them
  3. Create a coffee mug in Tinkercad
  4. Export a coffee mug from Tinkercad in OBJ format
  5. Navigate the Kenney Shape interface and edit built-in objects
  6. ‘Trace’ a Space Invader image in Kenney Shape to create a 3d object and export it in OBJ format
  7. Create a new Unity project and import the objects created in Tinkercad and Kenney Shape
  8. Import a free Unity coffee shop asset and place our 3D objects in the scene

The Software

This series of explainers uses three separate programs:

Tinkercad for introducing basic 3d navigation, scaling and rotating shapes, combining them and exporting 3d objects. Tinkercad is completely free and runs in a web browser. Get yourself a free account now!

Kenney Shape, for ‘tracing’ a 2d image to turn it into a 3d object and export it. At time of writing Kenney Shape costs less than £5 / $5. We’ll be creating and exporting a 3d Space Invader in explainers five and six:

Unity for importing 3d objects, assembling them into a scene and applying simple textures and lighting. Unity is FREE for personal use. We’ll start assembling our Retro Cafe in explainers seven and eight:

3D Objects created in this series

Using the general theme of ‘Objects for a Retro Cafe’, we’ve already created and exported a coffee mug from Tinkercad:

In this explainer and the next, we’ll ‘trace’ a 2d image of a Space Invader in Kenney Shape to turn it into a 3d object, which can be incorporated into our cafe scene:

…We’ll also take a look at Kenney Shape’s built-in retro objects:

Finally, we’ll bring our saved 3D objects into Unity and start blocking out a 3d cafe scene!

The pre-requisities

This is a BEGINNER explainer series, starting with beginner-friendly software. You need to have a basic knowledge of using Windows and downloading and installing software to follow this series. Tinkercad and Kenney Shape are beginner-friendly programs. Unity is a complex application and is not recommended for new computing users. For introductory courses and videos for Unity, check out Unity Learn

Why would I do this?

Kenney Shape offers a unique, straight-forward interface for creating and editing 3D ‘voxel’ objects. If you’ve ever built with Lego you’ll be able to build with Kenney Shape! Helpfully, the software includes lots of example objects to edit and export as you wish 🙂

Let’s do it!

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

Good to know

As seen in the explainer, the Kenney Shape user interface can appear too ‘small’ on modern screens. If this is the case for you, tap the burger menu at the top left of the main window then tap ‘Configuration’. Set the ‘UI SCALE’ to 2 as shown below, and see if it makes the interface more readable for you!

Where to next?

In the next explainer we’ll use Kenney Shape to trace a Space Invader image and generate a 3d model ready to export.

Remember, this is part of a series of explainers – Join us again for the other explainers in the series 🙂

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in April 2023. This page was last updated in April 2023.

We at pixels.cool are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Any 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 provides users with many ways to accomplish a task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to refer to multiple options. All computer users must run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise risks of data loss.


This is number 5 of 8 explainer videos in this series. Make sure you join us for the others!