Tutorials and Resources

This page collects all the tutorials and templates in order of appearance.

Blender: What is it? Why is the interface so weird? What are all these panels? How do I move/scale/rotate thing? What’s object mode and edit mode? How to snap to object and grids? What’s parenting? How to select things? What are vertices edges and faces?

Where do I find 3D models online? Is it cool? What should I look for? How do I import them in Blender?

Blender: Help! the model I imported is: untextured/ animated / all joined together in one object / not smooth / too detailed / too BIG / too SMALL / all messed up!

Blender mashups: how do I slice, join, combine objects?

Blender glitching: how do I select things like a pro? How to I join things? How do I edit meshes like they were made of rubber? How do I sculpt? What are modifiers?

Blender gox modeling: How do a model my own stuff? Can I turn a box into the car of my dreams? What are all those modeling tools? Extrude? Loop cut? Bevel? How do I make things symmetrical?

Why are my meshes all sharp looking? How do I smooth faces? How do I make sharp edged? What’s a normal?


What is Unity? How do I move things around? How do I move my view? What are all these buttons and panels? What’s a component? What’s an object? How do I set up Visual Studio and Unity? How do I import assets?

How do I work with Blender and Unity at the same time? How do I workflow? How do I pipeline? Why are my models untextured? How do I create new materials?

Tell me more about materials? How do I make shiny stuff? How do I make things look cool?

Download the package with all the shaders an models in the video (the chicken museum).

How do I turn a high poly model into a low poly model that doesn’t suck? How do I bake details into a normal map? How do I bake ambient occlusion into a texture?

Unity: How do I make things glow? How do I light a scene? How do I make things not look like crap? How do I change the sky? How do I make things glow? How do I make things glow? How do I make things glow? How do I make things glow? How do I make things glow? How do I make things glow?


Texturing exercises miniseries

Download the file used in the video

What is a texture? What are materials again? What is a UV map? What is unwrapping? What are seams? How do I edit a UV map onto an existing texture?

Exercise: color a mushroom through materials, unwrap a mushroom onto the mushroom texture.

What are UV projections? How do I apply an image to a flat surface like in a painting, sign, monitor, etc?

Exercise: find a picture and apply it as texture on the frame model. Try texturing the frame too.

How do I use photoshop to create textures? How do I export a UV map?

Exercise: texture the fish model from the uv map using images assembled in photoshop (or a similar application).

How do I apply simple flat or gradient colors? How do I use a texture as palette? How do I achieve that smooth cartoon style FAST?

Exercise: Texture the car model using a gradient palette

How do I paint textures directly on models?

Exercise: Texture the fish model using texture painting.

How do I texture more than color? Is PBR a cheap beer? How do I blend PBR texture sets? Do I have to learn Substance Painter? How do I use all that stuff in Unity?

Layer Painter Add on on GitHub

PBR texture collections:

Some additional masks to use with layerpainter by “unfas”

Script to automatically combine Metallic and Smoothness textures into Unity-friendly textures

Exercise: texture your abstract sculpture series.

Notes on texture painting tools

Texture painting really makes sense if you use a tablet, so your hardware, software, and operating system matter. Here are a few options I tried. Keep in mind: this is oriented to real time 3D, for beginners/intermediates, and as for Fall 2022.

Texture painting in Procreate on iPad

– Cool brushes
– Cheap: $10 once
– Nice UX, designed for iPad

– Convoluted workflow: export from blender as obj, upload/sync on icloud, import obj, paint, export from procreate
– One-directional workflow: once you export as obj you can’t go back to .blend, nullifying the advantages of .blend-to-Unity pipeline
– Default 2048 textures which can be small, and changing the size can be done with a super annoying

Paolo’s Verdict: NO

Texture painting on computer using an iPad as tablet

Appealing if you already have an iPad + Pencil
You can use sidecar if your main system is Mac
Doesn’t break your pipeline, all the files stay on the main machine

Subscription fee on Windows: Astropad Studio is $99 per year (way too expensive), or Duet $25 per year (crappy quality)

Paolo’s verdict: NO for Windows, NOT SURE on Mac

Texture painting in Substance Painter / Designer

Part of the Adobe Suite: free as long as you are a student
Industry standard, especially for realistic texturing and material design

Part of the Adobe Suite: keep paying landlord Abobe for the rest of your life
Complicated to use
Pipeline to Unity and Blender require plugins and custom materials

Paolo’s verdict: NO, too complicated for this class.
Check them out if you are already advanced or considering that kind of role in the animation or game industry.

Texture Painting in Blender Using a Wacom tablet

Most streamlined setup
You can use all your computer applications
More responsive and tactile than the iPad (imho)
The Blender to Unity pipeline is very convenient
Blender is free
Blender texture painting features are more advanced than Procreate’s

Quite expensive hardware: $600-2000 (Wacom Cintiq) or $50+ for pads without displays
Blender’s texture painting UX is pretty terrible

Paolo’s verdict: YES. We have tablets at school, and it’s worth struggling with Blender byzantine menus.

Characters / Avatar

How do I start making a 3D character? Can’t I just sculpt it? What is a base mesh? Ok, but can’t I just sculpt it? What is makehuman? Why can’t I animate the 1 million tris character I sculpted in zbrush?

Base Meshes file here

Download makehuman from here

What is mixamo? How do I rig a character super fast? How can I animated characters without knowing how to animate? How can I use mocap data without knowing a thing about motion capure?

How do I animate a robot? How do I parent meshes to bones? How do I use an armature without deforming a mesh?

Face / Mask

How do I lip sync a character automatically? From a microphone in real time? What is a viseme?
*Check “preparing a model for face capture” down below for more info about Blendshapes (aka shape keys).

  1. Create a new Unity project
  2. Download and import oculus lip sync
  3. Download and import my helper script for prefab and easy blendshape remappingExercise: Download the sample face meshes with visemes, export one into the Unity project and try to set up the lip sync. Post a video.

How can I make a snapchat/animoji face filter? How do I capture facial expressions with a “cheap” iPhone? How do I even set up this whole thing? How do make my on model for this system?

Part 2: How do I prepare a model for Unity Face Capture? How do I set up the rig? How do add the expressions? What is a blend shape / shape key?

Face Capture companion app for the iPhone or iPad. List of compatible devices here

Unity Live Capture Package, to install in your unity project

Old-ish startup guide

ARKit Face shapes list with 3D reference


Space/ Expressive Environment

Download the Template First Person Kit shown in the examples below

How do I move around in first person?

How do I play animations in Unity? How do I add a character to my character controller and animate it according to the input or movement?

Download the animated character example
prefab, animations, logic script and controller with the states below

How do I interact with things in first person? How do I add simple narrative bits to an environment? How do I add dynamic behaviors without programming?

How do I block out a level? Can I make models inside the engine? What is Pro-builder?

How do I make mountains and hills in engine? What is the terrain component?

Follow up question: how do I make the terrain not look like shit? What is Microsplat? What is height blending?

Get Microsplat from the Asset Store

Download my Abstract Texture pack

Download some realistic PBR terrain textures

Download additional terrain brushes


What is a particle system? How do I make atmospheric effects? How do I make fire? Smoke? Explosions? Fountain? Dust? Wind? Sparks? Magic? Special effects?

How do I play sounds in unity?


Playgrounds / Interaction

How do make an object pushable / kickable? How do I walk on moving platforms? How do I use joints? How do I collect things? How do I create things? How  make a trampoline? How to I animate a character on movement?

How do I make NPCs that flock and wander around? How do I make and NPC chase me? Run away from me?
Also see: Nav mesh for non physics based pathfinding

Download the physics playground