1st Edition

Creating 3D Game Art for the iPhone with Unity
Featuring modo and Blender pipelines

ISBN 9780240815633
Published October 12, 2010 by Routledge
272 Pages 600 Color Illustrations

USD $56.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Revolutionize your iPhone and iPad game development with Unity iOS, a fully integrated professional application and powerful game engine, which is quickly becoming the best solution for creating visually stunning games for Apple's iDevices easier, and more fun for artists.  From concept to completion you'll learn to create and animate using modo and Blender as well as creating a full level utilizing the powerful toolset in Unity iOS as it specifically relates to iPhone and iPad game development.

Follow the creation of "Tater," a character from the author's personal game project "Dead Bang," as he's used to explain vital aspects of game development and content creation for the iOS platform. Creating 3D Game Art for the iPhone focuses on the key principles of game design and development by covering in-depth, the iDevice hardware in conjunction with Unity iOS and how it relates to creating optimized game assets for the iDevices.

Featuring Luxology's artist-friendly modo, and Blender, the free open-source 3D app, along side Unity iOS, optimize your game assets for the latest iDevices including iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and the iPod Touch. Learn to model characters and environment assets, texture, animate skinned characters and apply advanced lightmapping techniques using Beast in Unity iOS.

In a clear, motivating, and entertaining style, Wes McDermott offers captivating 3D imagery, real-world observation, and valuable tips and tricks all in one place - this book is an invaluable resource for any digital artist working to create games for the iPhone and iPad using Unity iOS. 

Table of Contents

Creating 3D Game Art for the iPhone with Unity: Featuring modo and Blender Pipelines

Chapter 1

Getting to know the iDevice Hardware and Unity Working as a 3D artist

iDevice Hardware


Draw Calls


Dynamic Batching

Static Batching


Screen Resolutions

Fillrate Limited

Tile-Based Rendering



Fixed-Function Pipeline

Fully Programmable Pipeline


Texture Units

Alpha Operations

Determining Your Game Budget

Frame Rate Budget

Rendering Budget

Vertex Budget

Texture Budget

It All Sums Up


Chapter 2

Planning the Vertex Budget

Testing Performance

Creating a Performance Test Scene

Targeting Devices

Sizing Things Up

What is a Game Unit

Setting Up modo

Importing into Unity

True Vertex Count

Degenerate Triangles

Smoothing Angles

UV Seams

Using Lights

Modeling Tater and Thumper

My Workflow

Creating Geometry

Reducing Geometry

Polygon Flow and Spin Quads

Merging Polygons and Removing Edge


Chapter 3

Understanding Textures and UV Maps

Creating UV Maps

Planning Your UV Maps

Creating UVs for Tater

Creating UVs for Thumper

Fundamentals of Game Textures

Texture Formats

Texture Size

Power of 2 (POT) and Non-Power of 2 (NPOT)

Texture Compression - PVRTC

Using Mip maps

Multiple Resolutions

Texture Budget

Creating the Diffuse Map

Faking Light and Shadow

Unity 3 OpenGL ES 2.0 Shaders

Texturing Tater

Reference Images

Skin Textures

Building Up Volume Through Shading

Creating Hair

Adding Some Wear and Tear


Chapter 4

Creating Game Objects using modo - Part Two: Training Trash Yard

Level Design

Creating a Style

What can reasonably be accomplished?

Breaking Down into Sections

Puzzle Building

Lazy Loading

Optimize Batching and Rendering

Batching Revisited

Creating the Level

Determining the Vertex Count

Further Testing

Using Texture Atlas

Building on the Grid

Does it make sense to use the grid?

Determining Working Texture Size

Creating the Ground

Creating the Walls

Creating the Props

Creating a Skybox

Creating the Trash Heap

Texturing the Level

Measuring the Scene

Creating the Textures

Creating UVs

Lightmap UVS


Chapter 5

Animation using Blender - Part One: Rigging Tater

Matching Object Size

Unity Blender Support and FBX Workflow

Using FBX

Understanding Skinned Meshes within Unity

VFP Optimized Skinning

Optimized Skinning Paths

Rigging Tater in Blender

iPhone and iPad Rigging Essentials

Creating the Basic Skeleton

Adjusting Bone Rotations

Fixing the Pelvis Bone for Hip Sway

Disabling Inherit Rotation

Weight Painting


Chapter 6

Animation using Blender - Part Two: IK and Basic Animation

Completing the Rig: Adding IK

Setting up IK for Legs

Setting up IK for Arms

Tiding Things Up

Fixing Rotations

Creating a Master Control

Using Bone Layers

Tweaking Weight Maps

Animating Tater

Using FBX

Multiple Clips per File VS One Clip per File

Option One: Multiple Clips

Option Two: One Clip

How Animation Data Works in Unity

Names Are Match to Relative Animation Component

Animating in Blender

Using Actions

Creating an Animation Cycle

Exporting the FBX

Make sure frame range is set correctly

Baking Keys

Disable Optimize Keyframes and Selected Objects


Chapter 7

Animation using Blender - Part Three: Advanced Animation

Unity's Animation System

Route One

Route Two

Creating Animations using Blender's NLA Editor

Animating Weapons

Using the NLA Editor

Blending Animations in Unity

Animation Layers

Additive Blending

Using Dynamics in Blender to Animate Objects

Setting Up Rigid Body Dynamics in Blender

Importing into Blender

Setting Up the Logic

Baking the Simulation

Editing the Animation with the NLA Editor


Chapter 8

Creating Lightmaps using Beast

Beast Lightmapping

Beast and HDR

Correct Lightmap UVs

Auto-Generate UVs

The Process

Using Dual Lightmaps

Beast Settings

Beast Custom Settings

Adjusting Lightmaps

Color Grading Maps

Adding Grime to Maps


Chapter 9

Working with Game Assets in Unity


Creating Prefab for Environment Props

Target Prefab

Camera Control Kit

Setting Up Colliders

Texture Compression

Mip maps

Optimized Shaders

Using Physics in Unity

Setting Up the Target Object

Adding Particles

Optimizing Physics using the Time Manager

Publishing your Game

Player Settings

Universal Builds

Optimizing your Game

Tuning Main Loop Performance

Tuning accelerometer processing frequency

Internal Profiler


View More



By Wes McDermott, Wes has been a professional 3D artist for 10 years, working in video production and print design. For the past six years, Wes has been the Multi-Media Developer for UPS Airlines at the Flight Training Center. He creates various 3D elements for video and interactive online training. Published in HDRI 3D magazine and a featured artist at Luxology.com, Wes has participated in beta tests for both Luxology and Autodesk, leading 3D software companies.