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I need some info about importing game objects from Maya to Unity. I am making 2D Tower Defense game, I have made some basic functionality using dummy objects (cubes and spheres). Now I want to replace these dummies with objects made in Maya. The basic objects for gameplay would include walk of enemy and tower rotation towards it.

So what is the standard procedure of my query, would I need a running enemy object animated in Maya, replace it with my dummy objects, or something like multiple still images of enemy and tower movement, combined in Unity?

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Just a note to future visitors: The animation system in Unity has changed a lot since this question was asked, so some of this information may be out of date. – jhocking Jun 8 '14 at 14:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here's a FAQ I wrote last year on importing FBX. At that time, FBX was the standard format for imports of 3D models, and I guess it still is. You can model with Blender (free), and use its FBX exporter, then pull those into Unity. Using the FAQ, you can ensure your FBXes come into Unity correctly. At least from Blender, you could export textured models with bone-weighted animations, these would work fine in Unity. Not only that, but you can manipulate models vertex-by-vertex, bone-by-bone and (IIRC) bonegroup-by-bonegroup in Unity, so I guess you could do your own procedural animation provided your pre-FBX model file (in my case, a .blend) was set up correctly.

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What about TD game like "fieldrunners". The tower image changes when enemies are in range. I'm not sure if the rotated tower graphics some kind of 2D image sequence, or a 3D model ?? – Syed Dec 15 '11 at 8:17
@Syed Not the most ideal answer for 2D, I know. I just offered it in case you wanted to try 3D instead, you could create 3D models in such a way that they are very simplistic, then just texture them on the upper surfaces. Fieldrunners, however, uses 3D models that have been pre-rendered and exported as 2D images (sprite sequences or sheets), like you'd find in Starcraft, Diablo, AoE. Rigging for the rendering process takes a fair amount of effort in and of itself; still, I like that very particular look. There are a few tutorials out there for doing 2D in Unity; it's not something I've done. – Arcane Engineer Dec 15 '11 at 13:04
would there be performance issues on loading pngs sequence vs 3d models – Syed Dec 16 '11 at 7:05
@Syed. No. And anyway, you load prior to gameplay (when the game loads), not during gameplay. Performance is only a concern when it interferes with performance during play. – Arcane Engineer Dec 16 '11 at 13:56

It has been awhile since I did this for my project, but I know when you import your model into Unity your model will have a list of various components with it, i.e legs, arms, head, etc... Along with those components you have your animation and if you click on the parent node of the model you will get an option in the inspector to "Bake Animations" and that will create the animation whenever the model is called. That will show you how to do the animations within Unity. And that will show you how to go about importing them as well. Hope that helps a little bit.

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