The User Interface

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  1. Take a look at Figure 1--this is generally what Unity looks like at a glance. The user interface of Unity can be a bit daunting at first, but once it's broken down it's very easy to navigate and use.
    Fig. 1, Unity's UI
  2. The scene/game viewport (see Figure 2) is basically the window to the world you're creating. The "Scene" viewport lets you navigate the world you're building. You can place objects in your world through the scene viewport, be they models, sounds, cameras, lights or other game objects. The "Game" viewport is a preview of what your world will look like from the view of the camera.
    Fig. 2, Scene/Game Viewport
  3. In the upper toolbar, you are able to access all the individual drop down menus. The upper left contains viewport navigation tools as well as Move, Rotate, and Scale tools and settings for the handles. The Q, W, E, and R keys act as shortcuts for these buttons. In the center you have your Play Mode tools. These tools allow you to Play your game in the "Game" viewer. To the right you have your Visible Layer drop down as well as your Viewport Layout selector (see Figure 3).
    Fig. 3, Toolbar
  4. The Project window contains the library of assets that you have loaded to use in your world. Think of it as a toolbox where you put everything you'd like to use in your world as well as all your scene files. This is where you'll import all of your sounds, models, textures and scripts. Once an asset is loaded here you can then bring it into your world by either dragging it into the "Scene" viewport or the Hierarchy window (see Figure 4).
    Fig. 4, Project Window
  5. The Hierarchy window contains all the assets that are present inside of your game world. By placing an object in your World from the Project window you are creating an instance of that object in the Hierarchy window. Think of the asset in your Project window as the template or idea of the asset, and once it is placed in your world a game object is created that follows that template in the Hierarchy window.
    Fig. 5, Hierarchy Window
  6. Once an asset is selected you can edit its properties of that object in the "Inspector" window. Besides editing things such as position, rotation and scale, you can edit other components of the object. For example if a light is selected you can change the intensity, color and other options (see Figure 6).
    Fig. 6, Inspector Window
  7. Persistent warnings, errors and printouts will be displayed at the bottom of the UI in this area (see Figure 7).
    Fig. 7, Console Output