When you open up Unity for the first time, the sheer amount of different parts of the GUI may feel overwhelming, but worry not - I am here to explain each part to you and show you a great layout to get you started!
So to start - open up your Unity with your project! It should look something like this:
This configuration is the ‘Default Layout.’ I have highlighted each main section for easier referencing and explanation. As you can also see, there are multiple different tabs in each section, allowing you to switch between those tabs.
First up in Green is the Hierarchy section. This section holds a structured list of all the items( GameObjects) you have currently active in your scene. As the number of items increases with the complexity of your Scene, the list will get bigger and bigger - that is why Hierarchy should always be vertical. Remember that you should always keep it as structured as possible.
Next up in Blue is the Scene/Game section. As you can see, the Scene view is sharing space with the Game view in this section. You can see both tabs in the top left; they are easily accessible by simply clicking on them. Scene view is where you will spend most of your time. You can do multiple things in a scene - moving, zooming, rotating, scaling objects, etc. By clicking on the Game tab, we can switch over to the Game view. In this window, we can test our game from our camera's point of view. This window is inactive until you enter play mode. But if you do, you can start testing out your game - and see everything your camera sees!
Next is the Inspector section, which is shown in Yellow. This tab will show you all the details about your currently selected Game Object. As unity has a ‘component-based architecture,’ here you can see all of the Components applied to your selected Game Object. It gives you detailed information about the data and the values of each of them.
And finally, we have the Project/Console section, shown in Orange. You can think of the Project tab as ‘File Explorer’ in windows. It contains all of our project assets, scripts, other project files, and pretty much everything else that you are using in your project. The other tab is the Console - you can see all of the information regarding errors with the compiler or any errors and essential information which the editor will provide during the gameplay. This window informs you about any bugs you might have in your project.
Now that you know the essential elements of the Unity window. The most important thing to me is to switch the editor to a Dark theme. You can do this by navigating to ‘Edit -> Preferences -> General’ and changing the ‘Editor Theme’ to ‘Dark.’ This is entirely a personal preference.
The entire UI is highly adjustable - you can move, pop up and insert each tab/window and basically create your layout and rearrange them to your liking. You can also create multiple different layouts for your day-to-day work when you are animating and so forth… It is entirely up to you! There is a very simple and easy way of creating, saving, and loading your layouts. You can do this in the upper right corner.
Now that you know the basics, I will show you how to create the layout that I like to use! If you have played around with the default layout and wish to reset back to it since I will be showing you from there - load the ‘Default layout’ as I have shown you a bit higher, and Unity will reset your configuration back to it.
As you can see in the video, first things first, we are going to change our layout to a ‘Tall’ one. After that, we are going to pop out our ‘Game’ tab and create a new section for it right underneath the ‘Scene’ tab so that we can see both simultaneously.
Next, we adjust the Project tab to show only as ‘File Explorer’ for easier orientation and add a new tab for ‘Debug’ in the same section as ‘Inspector.’ And lastly, all you need to do is to save your layout, and you can start using it!
One other thing you can do is switch your Game ‘Aspect’ from ‘Free’ to ‘16:9' - as this is how most games will look like on most devices.
But that is it for now… I hope I have shown you how to adjust your layout. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find out which layout works best for you!
But that is it for now, thank you for reading and feel free to follow me for more articles — and as always, good luck and see you next time!