Search Unity

Over the years at Unity, I’ve gathered quite a few tips and tricks. I recently shared some of my favorites in a Develop article and soon enough, #unitytips became kind of a thing on Twitter. Now we want to make it official!

The basic idea is simple: just like Fridays are for #madewithunity tweets and #screenshotsaturday is for, well, screenshots, Tuesdays shall be the #unitytips days. Whether you’ve just discovered a neat editor workflow trick or have some performance optimisation rules you’ve been using for years, go ahead and share.

They don’t have to be original or extra advanced, as long as it’s something you’ve found useful.

To kick this off, here are my top ten #unitytips:

1) When first starting out with Unity, some forget that they are in Playmode. Go to ‘Preferences’, then ‘Colours’, then ‘Playmode Tint’ to make it a more memorable colour. (See below)

colors2) To simply and easily position a camera, find the angle you want by navigating in the scene view, select the main camera and select “Align With View”. Or use the shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+F.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 13.17.493) Don’t have quite the asset you are looking for in the project view? Type your search terms in the project view, then change the search from “Assets” to “Asset Store”. This will allow you to preview assets on the store without even having to open it.  (See right)

4) When rotating an object, hold down Ctrl/Cmd to snap the rotation. This same method also applies to moving an object. The default snap values can be altered in the Edit menu under Snap Settings.

5) Here’s another Snapping trick: by holding down the V key, you can select and place objects using vertex snapping. This can be especially helpful when constructing levels out of modular geometry.

6) Clicking the blue ‘?’ book on a component in the inspector takes you directly to the local documentation on that component. (See below)
documentation

7) Found your perfect values while testing and playing in Playmode? Click the small cog-shaped icon in the top right of your component in the inspector and then click “Copy Component”. You can then paste these values directly back in when you exit Playmode.

8) Use the “Layers” button to show and hide layers. For example, you could create a custom layer for gameplay objects like spawn points and use the layers drop down to hide them.

9) In the profiler, the coloured squares next to the things you profile – Drawcalls, Scripts, Rendering, VSync and so on – are buttons you can toggle on and off to reduce clutter. (See below)
Tip08

10) Are you unhappy with the default layout of your views? Feel free to pick a different layout or entirely customise your own version and save the layout so it’s easy to come back to later.

19 Comments

Subscribe to comments

Comments are closed.

  1. If your code causes the player to freeze chances are high that it’s an infinite loop.
    If your editor crashes after pressing play, chances are high that you have DLLs in your plugins folder which you should put in unity’s installation folder (only for native DLLs)

    If you are doing anything repeating for multiple objects, Chances are high that a simple scriptable wizard or editor menu can solve it for you much faster.

  2. The Camera tip’s good, but it would be great to also have the opposite – align View with selected Camera!

    I have my own scripts for this and other view trickery, but access to the scene view camera is limited, and it only takes a projection matrix (which distorts after setting the view, but you can clean it up by entering and leaving Play mode).

    1. Will Goldstone

      May 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      GameObject > Align View to selected.

  3. I work with Unity since 2 years and that Copy Component tip just buried me down:D

    1. I’m burning too

  4. Thanks. Unfortunately my computer is regularly shutting down with strenuous activity now that the ambient temperature in the room is above 75F. I must buy a new computer in August. :-(

    Anyway, I’d like to see the Unity Help pages included in a tab on Unity Editor rather than the VS Studio IDE and keep the language default select from session to session (for me C#) and get rid of that annoying yellow warning dialogue.

    1. Will Goldstone

      May 7, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Are you just asking for the manual to render in a Unity panel? why is that more useful than in a browser? presumably you want to read it at a decent screen size anyway?

      Also not sure I followed your comments about Warning messages?

  5. Adams Immersive

    May 6, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Playmode color is a great tip! Never investigated what that did before.

    It seems to apply the color with a Multiply mode–so white does nothing, black makes everything pure black, light pastels (low sat, high value) apply a slight color tint, and saturated colors apply a strong tint that darkens everything. Like colored glass.

  6. Kelly Strouse

    May 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    That “Copy Component” tip is fantastic! I was having to take a screenshot during play mode and then putting the values in manually in edit mode. Thanks!

  7. Hey! That’s my pink Playmode color!!! I actually didn’t know that trick until I attended a roadshow workshop, and wondered why Carl’s screen kept going red.

  8. I don’t get #8… what Layers button?

  9. Anthony Madden

    May 5, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I honestly feel and maybe speak for everybody, there should be a native button on the editor that will allow you to turn on and off snapping. Snapping is extremely useful. Instead of remember a shortcut. You should be able to snap to vertex, grid, midpoint, etc.

    1. Teku Studios

      May 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Agreed. This shouldn’t be too hard to implement in a future update and Unity 5 could certainly use that kind of improvement.

  10. Teku Studios

    May 5, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve been using 7) in a slightly different way. If you right-click over the name of a component (e.g right click over ‘Transform’) Unity displays the same dropdown list than clicking the cog icon.

  11. Glad you are finding them usefull, more to follow! keep an eye out for #unitytips on twitter

  12. Daniel Branicki

    May 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    So many years using Unity, and this is the first time I hear about 7). Damn.

  13. Awesome! These tips are EXTREMELY helpful and I only knew about a couple of these features. Let’s keep this going every Tuesday!