Beginning 3D Modelling with UModeler: Explainer 7 of 7

Apply materials and textures

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Apply materials and textures to the Canyonero and export the model


Name of explainer: Apply materials and textures to the Canyonero and export the model

Creative theme: Beginning 3D Modelling using UModeler

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

User level: BEGINNER

This is explainer 7 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:


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?

The Canyonero is progressing well. Now it’s time to apply materials and textures to the model so it isn’t just plain grey!  Finally, we’ll export the model from Unityso it can be used in any OBJ-capable software, including Tinkercad, Unreal and Maya.  You can also upload OBJ files to sites including Sketchfab to share with the world, and even sell your work!

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. Create a new material for the tyres with a dark grey color.
  2. Adjust the shine and reflectiveness of the tyre material.
  3. Create a metallic red material for the car’s main body.
  4. Apply the materials to the Canyonero’s body and wheels.
  5. Create a light grey matte material for the bumpers.
  6. Add a license plate image designed online to the front of the Canyonero.
  7. Adjust the position and scale of the license plate texture using the UV tool.
  8. Export the entire Canyonero model out of Unity.
  9. Upload the model to Sketchfab for online display.
  10. Consider potential enhancements to the model, such as reshaping the body and adding roof bars and front lights.
  11. Introduce UModeler X, an advanced modeling and rigging tool for Unity.

Good to know

uModeler uses a ‘slot’ system to add materials to an existing object.  Each slot is assigned a keyboard shortcut to apply the respective material to selected faces.

When using a material with an image texture applied, you’ll need to move and scale the texture to get the desired result. Texture mapping is refered to as UV mapping in modelling software.  For an introduction to UV mapping…

We exported the model with the current textures intact.  If you’ll be exporting a model for use with other software it’s usually best practice to texture models in the destination software. You may run into unexpected issues with materials when exported from umodeler and imported into other software.

Where to next?

This is the final explainer in this series.  Remember there are more uModeler tools to explore to aid the modelling process – This was just an introduction!

Once you’re happy with the basics, take a look at uModeler X.  You’ll find your existing skills are transferable as you take your modelling to the next level!

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.


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