Creating a 3D Character
In the last part, we covered how to import 3D objects and how to arrange them in a scene. In this installment, we’ll add more objects to the scene, including a user-controlled character.
Building the Scene
We’re going to continue using the Kenney Platformer Kit we downloaded last time. Select all the “block*.glb” files and in the
“Import” tab set their “Root Type” to
StaticBody and click “Reimport”. Select
“blockLarge.glb” and make a new inherited scene. Add a “Convex Collision Sibling”
to the mesh using the menu as you did in the last tutorial. Rename the root node
to “BlockLarge” and save the scene - I recommend making a separate folder for
this, as soon you’re going to have a bunch of scenes representing the
differently shaped platform parts.
You can download a starter project with all the block objects already configured and ready to use here: LINK
Open the scene from the last tutorial with the “Ground” plane and the crates.
Delete the crates and add an instance of the large block. We want to be able
to place these blocks so that they line up. To do this, select “Configure Snap”
from the “Transform” menu at the top of the Viewport and set Translate Snap
0.5. Then click on the “Snap Mode” button (or press the
Y key). Now
duplicate the block a few times and drag them to arrange.
If you like, go ahead and add scenes for some of the other platform blocks and arrange them into a pleasing level. Be creative!
Adding a Character
Now we’re going to make a character so we can walk around on the platforms.
Open a new scene and start with a
KinematicBody named “Character”. This
PhysicsBody node behaves very much like its 2D equivalent (you’ve already
done the 2D tutorials, right?). It has a
move_and_slide() method that we’ll
use to perform the movement and collision detection. Gravity will be added
manually each frame, accelerating in the -Y direction.
Add a sphere-shaped
MeshInstance and a matching
you can add a
SpatialMaterial to the mesh and set its Albedo property to
change the color.
The sphere is nice, but it’s going to be hard to tell what direction it’s
facing. Let’s add another
MeshInstance, this time with a
Set its Size to
(0.5, 0.5, 0.1) and then its x rotation to
degrees. Arrange it so it’s pointing along the negative z axis. (You can
tell which way is negative because the gizmo arrows point in the positive
Let’s also add a
Camera to the scene, so it will follow the player around.
Position the camera behind and above the character, angling it down a bit. Click
the “Preview” button to check the camera’s view.
Before we add a script, open the “Project Settings” and add the following inputs on the “Input Map” tab:
Now let’s add a script to the body.
extends KinematicBody var gravity = Vector3.DOWN * 12 # strength of gravity var speed = 4 # movement speed var jump_speed = 6 # jump strength var spin = 0.1 # rotation speed var velocity = Vector3.ZERO var jump = false func get_input(): velocity.x = 0 velocity.z = 0 if Input.is_action_pressed("move_forward"): velocity.z -= speed if Input.is_action_pressed("move_back"): velocity.z += speed if Input.is_action_pressed("strafe_right"): velocity.x += speed if Input.is_action_pressed("strafe_left"): velocity.x -= speed func _physics_process(delta): velocity += gravity * delta get_input() velocity = move_and_slide(velocity, Vector3.UP)
The code in
_physics_process() is pretty straightforward: add gravity to
accelerate in the positive Y direction (downward), call
check for input, and then use
move_and_slide() to move in the direction
of the velocity vector.
get_input() we check to see which key is pressed and then move in that
direction. Run the program and test:
This is all good, but we need to be able to rotate. Let’s add a camera to the body and we’ll use the mouse to rotate. Place the camera above and behind the character so you have a good view, then add the following code to the character’s script:
func _unhandled_input(event): if event is InputEventMouseMotion: if event.relative.x > 0: rotate_y(-lerp(0, spin, event.relative.x/10)) elif event.relative.x < 0: rotate_y(-lerp(0, spin, event.relative.x/10)
This will convert any mouse motion in the x direction into a rotation around
the y axis. We use
lerp() to smooth it out based on how fast you move
Run the scene and confirm that moving the mouse rotates the character:
However, there’s a problem. No matter which way we’re facing, pressing W moves us along the Z axis. Our movement is using global coordinates, but we need to move in the object’s forward direction.
The Power of Transforms
This is where transforms come in. A transform is a mathematical matrix that
contains the object’s translation, rotation, and scale information all in one. In
Godot it’s stored in the
Transform data type. The position information is
transform.origin and the orientation information is in the
Remember how the 3D gizmo can be set to “Local Space Mode”? When in this mode,
the gizmo’s X/Y/Z axes point along the object’s axes. This is the
of the transform. The basis contains three
Vector3 objects callsd
z that represent these directions. We can use this to ensure that pressing
the W key will always move us in the object’s forward direction.
get_input() function like so:
func get_input(): var vy = velocity.y velocity = Vector3() if Input.is_action_pressed("move_forward"): velocity += -transform.basis.z * speed if Input.is_action_pressed("move_back"): velocity += transform.basis.z * speed if Input.is_action_pressed("strafe_right"): velocity += transform.basis.x * speed if Input.is_action_pressed("strafe_left"): velocity += -transform.basis.x * speed velocity.y = vy
Now forward and back will always move along the object’s Z axis, and the strafe keys along its X.
Let’s add one more movement to the player: jumping.
Add these lines to the end of
jump = false if Input.is_action_just_pressed("jump"): jump = true
And add these to the end of
if jump and is_on_floor(): velocity.y = jump_speed
In this tutorial you learned how to build a more complex scene, and how to write movement code for a user-controlled character. You also learned about transforms, which are a very important concept in 3D - you’re going to be using a lot in the future.
In the next part, we’ll add some more objects to our 3D world.
You can also find a video version of this lesson here: