Monday, December 1, 2014

An interesting book on Unity Physics

               “Learning Unity Physics” by K. Aava Rani is a book about the wide variety of physics components that are available in Unity and how to use them.  The book was written to work with Unity version 4.1; but I used the Beta of Unity version 4.6 and encountered no problems.  As I write this review Unity version 4.6 has just finished the Beta phase and been formally released.  There aren’t any files to download for this book.  All examples are fairly short and should be easy to type in.
                Chapter one is an overview of the physics components available in Unity.  The engine has many colliders, provides physics for materials, joints, hinges and features several other types of components.  This chapter lists them and gives a brief description on how they are used in games.
                Chapter two details the variety of 2D and 3D colliders that are used and gives an example of each.  Wheel and mesh colliders are also explained and examples are given. Examples of trigger colliders and compound colliders are explained.
                Chapter three is all about three types of matrices.  Unity has collision, trigger and layer based collision matrices.  Useful charts are given that show how rigidbodies and triggers will interact with these matrices. A very nice example of a layer based collision matrix is presented.
                Chapter four covers the two types of rigidbodies; physics and kinematic.  Both types are discussed and an example is given for each.  Chapter five covers joints and how they can be configured in Unity.  Unity has spring, hinge and character joints and the chapter discusses each type.
                Chapter six discusses using physics and animation.  Unity provides physics for cloth animation.  Unity also allows for constant force to be applied to an object as well as adding force and torque.  Chapter seven provides several ways in which these physics components can be optimized to improve the performance of your game. 
                I enjoyed reading “Learning Unity Physics.”  A lot of this information is available for free on Unity’s website and in the many other tutorials available for Unity.  This books provides an easy way of accessing this information and also provides more detailed examples than those found in Unity’s excellent documentation.  The book can be found at

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