Beginning 3D Modelling with UModeler: Explainer 4 of 7

Navigate the scene and scale, rotate and move 3D objects

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Navigate the scene and scale, rotate and move 3D objects

Overview

Name of explainer: Navigate the scene and scale, rotate and move 3D objects

Creative theme: Beginning 3D Modelling using UModeler

Software used (for this explainer): Unity Hub. Unity LTS. uModeler.

User level: BEGINNER

This is explainer 4 of 7 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Install the Unity Hub and Unity LTS
  2. Create a Unity project and install the Umodeler asset
  3. Create a UModeler object and explore the UModeler interface
  4. Navigate the scene and scale, rotate and move 3D objects
  5. Adjust faces, edges and vertices to make unique 3d shapes
  6. Create a simple car model based on the Simpsons Canyonero
  7. Apply materials and textures to the Canyonero and export the model

The Software

This series of explainers uses the Unity platform and the ‘Umodeler’ Unity asset .

UNITY is a real-time development platform. It’s a versatile development platform used for creating 2d, 3d and VR games, as their showreel demonstrates:

You’ll recognise these best-selling games, all developed in Unity. Expand to view:

Cuphead

Beat Saber

Arizona Sunshine

With a full 3D feature set, Unity can also be used to create animated films and cinematic sequences:

Short Movie: ADAM

Animated film: SONDER

To introduce 3d modelling we’re using the Unity 3d modelling asset UModeler:

Umodeler is a PAID asset, which retails at around £120 / $120.  Note that as of summer 2023 there is no longer a ‘free’ version available (uModeler lite offered a free ‘taster’ version with a limited feature set.  You will still find reference to it online but it is no longer available on the Unity asset store).  Once you’ve learnt the basics you may like to graduate to uModeler X, the new professional-level modelling tool for Unity:

The 3D car model created in this series

To demonstrate basic UModeler modelling tools we’ll create a simple car based on the Canyonero as made famous in the Simpsons!  Notice it’s made from a small number of polygons, has a ‘cut out’ interior and a nice shiny coat of paint!:

If the 3d model below does not display correctly in your browser, you can view it on Sketchfab

Here’s how our Canyonero looks at the end of the initial explainers:

…and here’s how it looks after additional tweaking and accessorising:

The pre-requisities

This is a BEGINNER explainer series, but you’ll need to have a basic knowledge of using Windows, downloading and installing software to follow along. Unity is a complex application and is not recommended for new computer users. For introductory Unity courses and videos, have a look at their own learning platform, Unity Learn

Why would I do this?

If you’re new to working with 3D software, you’ll need to learn how to navigate the virtual 3D scene / workspace in order to zoom in and out, focus on a specific object and orbit around it. 

Every 3D object can be moved within the virtual 3D environment, rotated as required and scaled to make it larger or smaller within the world.

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.

The main steps in this video:

  1. Start with a new Unity scene using the “Basic URP” template.
  2. Create a new UModeler object and add a box to it.
  3. Rename the UModeler object for clarity (e.g., “Box One”).
  4. Use the “F” key to focus on the object in the viewport.
  5. Zoom in/out using the mouse wheel and orbit around the object using the ALT key and left mouse button.
  6. Use the orientation widget to view the object from different angles.
  7. Add multiple shapes (e.g., a cylinder) to a single UModeler object.
  8. Use the move tool to move the combined object in the X, Y, and Z axes.
  9. Highlight the limitation of manipulating shapes within a single combined object.
  10. Create a new separate UModeler object and add a cylinder to it.
  11. Rotate the selected object using the rotate tool and handles.
  12. Adjust the scale of the object using the scale tool and its handles.

Good to know

Navigating within a virtual 3D space isn’t difficult, though it does take time to become proficient. It’s a lot easier if you use a keyboard and mouse.  It is possible to use only a laptop trackpad but you’ll find it inaccurate and less efficient. You can purchase a basic wired or wireless mouse for as little as £5 / $5. 

Where to next?

In the next explainer we’ll learn about the components that make up every 3D object.  We’ll learn to manipulate faces, vertices and edges to create truly unique forms.

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 October 2023. This page was last updated in October 2023.

Disclaimer:

We 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 offers users many ways to accomplish a single task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to refer to multiple options except where deemed helpful to do so. All computer users must run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise the risk of data loss.


This is number 4 of 7 explainer videos in this series. Make sure you join us for the others!