How to Navigate the Hierarchy and Scene in Unity | Virtual Reality Tutorial

Unity is the number one platform for building Virtual Reality (VR) games. In this tutorial, we will navigate throughout the Hierarchy and Scene windows in the Unity editor. To learn how to build 30 mini virtual reality games in Unity, check out our Unity 3D course!

Open Unity. A start screen that resembles the following image will appear. To make a new project, select “NEW” from the top right.

In the start screen, you can adjust some of the project’s settings. Give the project a name and location. The Location field refers to the folder in which you want to save the project. It is good practice to create a new folder just for your Unity projects so that you can easily find them.

Have the 3D rendering mode enabled. Press the “Create Project” button. Unity will create a folder with the same name as your project name in the location you specified.

The Unity Editor will open. Your screen will look like the following:

The left sidebar is the Hierarchy window. This is similar to the hierarchy you have in your operating system. For example, in your Pictures folder, you may have sub-folders of events that group together photos.

The Hierarchy lists the names of the objects in the game’s scene. Each object can have its own hierarchy. Currently, we have the items Main Camera and Directional Light, which are game objects. Anything that changes how a game works visually or internally, such as a player, enemy, or explosion, should be in a game object.

You can see the objects listed in the Hierarchy in the Scene window, which is the window in the center of your screen. The Scene displays the virtual world you build for a game.

Right-click in the Scene window. The cursor will change to an icon of an eye, as evident in the next image. While holding the right mouse button, you can move the cursor to look around the Scene.

Another way to navigate the Scene is to press the W, A, S, and D keys on your keyboard while holding the right mouse button. This is similar to the left, right, forward, and back arrow controls on a video game handheld.

Click on “Main Camera” in the Hierarchy. Arrows will appear around the camera symbol in the Scene, as in the following image.

The Main Camera renders (draws) the game for the player. It can be thought of as a player. While you have the Main Camera selected, there is a Camera Preview box in the bottom right of the scene. The Camera Preview shows the scene from the perspective of a player.

To see the scene from a player’s point of view, click on the “Game” tab beside the “Scene” tab. The Game window will open, as in the following screenshot.

Re-open the Scene window. Click on “Directional Light” in the Hierarchy. Arrows will appear around the Directional Light’s symbol in the Scene. The Directional Light emits light rays. You can change this game object to change the lighting of a scene.

The Hierarchy, Scene, and Game are three important windows in the Unity editor. The Unity engine comes with built-in models, materials, and more, which you can use to make your own 2D or 3D games. To learn more about Unity, check out our Unity 3D course, where we build 30 mini virtual reality games!



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