Modeling Modular Game Assets

Modeling Modular Game Assets

This course teaches the complete workflow of building modular assets for lego-style building of a game level, which allows for a flexible level-design process that’s perfect for iteration. We’ll focused on both the modeling and texturing of low-poly assets for exporting to Unity.


Watch this brief video to see what the course is all about before diving in!


With Blender, we will build our game assets with as few polygons as possible. We will also build them to snap together like pieces in a puzzle.

Texture Creation

Using Blender's texture paint mode and Photoshop, this chapter centers on the process of creating texture maps for use in Unity's PBR shading system.

Creating “Portalethium”

Portalethium is a sci-fi game that the CG Cookie crew developed for the purpose of A) playing and B) learning. It’s a tower defense game that was built from the ground up using Blender for 3D asset creation and Unity for game development.


If you haven’t played the game yet, please play it here!

Modular modeling madness

We decided that a modular environment was the best way to approach building the game level. Modularity works like Lego’s, where pre-built pieces are interchangeable and extensible. This allows for a flexible level-design process that’s perfect for iteration. It’s also much easier to build a collection of interchangeable pieces than it is to build and texture an entire, un-modular level.


What You’ll Learn

Everything about asset creation for games is accomplished with resource efficiency in mind. This means using fewer polygons for models, overlapping UVs where able, and getting the most bang-for-our-buck out of our textures.

  • Modeling for modularity: These assets are sci-fi in genre and hard-surface in shape. Therefore the modeling approach is polygon modeling.
  • Efficient UV layout: To keep our assets as resource efficient as possible, we’re going to combine all our models’ UVs into one texture space. Also we’ll overlap UVs where possible to accomplish texture symmetry, as well as overlap UV’s of duplicate pieces of geometry so they all share the same texture info.
  • Texture Painting: Our textures are generated using an “evolutionary” approach where portions of maps are painted or baked with Blender and then layered together in Photoshop to create final versions. We will also be painting textures to take advantage of Unity’s PBR shading system.
  • Exporting & Importing: Portalethium is going to be built with Unity, so I’ll show you how to export our assets from Blender and import into Unity. I’ll also cover the workflow of updating our assets between the programs as we progress through the creation process.


CC Attribution

Lesson Questions and Answers

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  • Replies: 1

    I was a victim of the enter to send system as well, I apologize. When you were editing in wireframe, I noticed you were able to make the other objects white instead of black, which really helped distinguish them. How do you do this?

    1 month ago

    • Replies: 0

      Can you point me to a time in the video where I was doing this?

      4 weeks ago

  • Replies: 0

    Hey Kent! I have a couple of questions.

    1 month ago

  • Replies: 1

    Im soory for posting spam, I didn’t know that there is an enter to send system. I have a question about the shading quality of the bump maps. Ive been having trouble achieveing a very smooth bump effect. I noticed that changing the normals scale in the Texture-Influence-Geometry section. In your videos you haven’t touched that setting, which makes me wonder why has this been happening to me. Thanks in advance!

    3 months ago

    • Replies: 0

      Hi Bart – I don’t see a “normals scale” setting. Do you mean the “Normal” setting? That’s where you can control the intensity of the normal effect.

      But the reason I didn’t adjust the setting for this project was because I was controlling the intensity with the color value I was painting. So if my stroke was too intense, I would set the color value closer to 50% grey and the stroke would be less intense.

      3 months ago

  • Replies: 0

    Hello Kent!

    3 months ago

  • Replies: 2

    When I added the bump map, on unity, the color looks different at the ramp basement. I added the image on my gallery :

    3 months ago

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