GEOG 497
3D Modeling and Virtual Reality

Lesson 7 overview



In this and the next two lessons, you will be working with the Unity3D game engine, simply referred to as Unity throughout the rest of the course. Unity is a rather complex software system for building 3D (as well as 2D) computer games, and other 3D applications. Hence, we will only be able to scratch the surface of all the things that can be done with Unity in this course. Nevertheless, you will learn quite a few useful skills related to constructing 3D and VR applications in Unity dealing with virtual environments. Furthermore, you will become familiarized with C# programming (the main programming language used in this engine) through a series of exercises that guide you on developing your first interactive experience in a game engine.

This lesson will begin with an overview to acquaint you with the most important concepts and the interface of Unity. It will cover basic project management in Unity, the Project Editor interface, manipulation of a 3D scene, importing 3D models and other assets, and building a stand-alone Windows application from a Unity project. Moreover, you will learn how to create a very simple “roll-the-ball” 3D game using C#, which will prepare you for more advanced interaction mechanics we will be implementing in the next lessons.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Explain the role of interaction for 3D/VR projects and the role of game engines for enabling access to 3D models
  • Create 3D projects in Unity3D, import 3D models, and understand the basic concepts and interface elements of the Unity editor
  • Manipulate scenes and add script components to game objects
  • Import custom Unity packages into a unity project
  • Develop a basic understanding of the physics engine of Unity (e.g. gravity, collision detection)
  • Run projects inside Unity and build stand-alone applications from them
  • Have a basic understanding of how to make an experience come “alive” by programming behaviours for game objects

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson Roadmap
To Read
  • Lesson 7 Content
To Do
  • Assignment 1: Unity 3D/VR Application Review
  • Assignment 2: Create the Walkthrough of the Old Main
  • Assignment 3: Build a Simple “Roll-the-ball” Game


If you have any questions, please post them to our "General and Technical Questions" discussion (not e-mail). I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.