February 25, 2022
11 Min Read

16 Unity Terms You Should Know Before You Download Unity Game Engine


Dejan Gajsek


Avatar is a system that Unity3D uses for identifying humanoid forms and assigning corresponding parts such as limbs, body, and head.

The Avatar system is used in Unity animation and can be especially effective when remapping animation from one humanoid character to another. The avatar system can also perform inverse kinematics, an automatic resolution of how a character reaches the desired position. Unity Avatar system also supports masking to restrict parts of a character from being animated.


GameObject vs gameObject declarations in Unity

Unity’s C# is case sensitive so it’s crucial to understand the difference between similarly typed elements GameObject and gameObject to avoid script errors.

GameObject is a base class for entities in Unity Scenes. Using a GameObject(name) declaration, Unity developers can create a new variable with the name “name”.

gameObject, on the other hand, is used for referring to the GameObject that the current script is attached to. Using a command gameObject.GetComponent(Transform) will return the Transform component of the GameObject that the current script attaches to.

Light Baking

Light baking is a process of assigning shadow and light information to each point in a model or scene and storing this information in a light map to speed up the rendering process.


Light baking, although requires an additional work and memory space to create and store 2D UV map that contains lighting information, aims to optimize lighting calculations done during rendering in favor of pre-established offline light calculations that the rendered can use.

Light-baking data for every model is stored in the Unity scene and can be "prebaked" if you have many complex objects.

Marker Based Tracking

Marker based tracking is a technology that recognizes triggers in a form of an object or shape in the real world environment to initiate a specific behavior within a mixed reality or augmented reality application. Elements that trigger behavior are called markers. There are many types of markers that can be anything from QR codes, geometry shapes, image targets or 2D tags.


An example of a market tracking in use would be a display of box contents information as a hovering text after registering a box inside a user’s camera frame.

Markerless Tracking

Markerless tracking is an augmented reality technology that detects real-world surfaces for accurate digital content placement without the need to have any markers and predefined triggers in the user's environment.


Markerless tracking relies on accelerometers, LiDAR technology, GPS, gyroscope, and advanced image processing algorithms.


Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio (MARS) is an extension for Unity to support and ease the development of augmented and mixed reality content. MARS incorporates Unity editing features and coordinates with AR foundation, an AR environment within Unity for cross-platform development.


MARS allows for quick testing of AR logic in real-world locations, creating data-driven AR apps visually, and testing or modifying AR logic in real-time.


A mesh is a group of vertices that constitute and define a shape of a 3D model. Unity features two components to ensure proper rendering of a mesh: mesh filter that stores mesh data of a model, including location, textures, and lightings, and mesh renderer that combines mesh data with materials to render a final model in a scene.

Every mesh in Unity can be manipulated by transforming its position, scale, and rotation. Meshes can be imported into a Unity scene or deleted from a scene.


Object is a base class for all objects in Unity and any variable that is public and derived from Object class is shown in the Unity inspector.  The base class of all built-in Unity objects in UnityEngine.Object.

Having a base class for all objects provides a set of common variables and behaviors for all child classes, allowing object aggregation and the use of common elements.

Object and GameObject are not equal although GameObject inherits directly from Object to represent objects that can be utilized in Unity scenes.


Pixyz is a Unity plugin for importing, preparing, and optimizing complex and large 3D assets like CAD, meshes, and point cloud models for real-time visualization in Unity. Pixyz works with the majority of 3D formats and includes five subtools for various tasks.


Pixyz Plugin is the core importing plugin, Pixyz Studio optimizes heavy CAD files into light-weigt meshes for real-time 3D engines, Pixyz Review is for instant technical reviews, Pixyz Scenario Processor is for creating for automated data preparation workflows, and Pixyz Loader for importing pre-processes files into Unity Editor or Unity application’s runtime.


Prefab is a Unity system for creating reusable assets that integrate all components, values, and child objects of a certain GameObject. Prefabs are especially useful when you have to use the same object in different scenes or create several copies of an object because it allows for updating all copies at once by editing the Prefab Asset.

Prefabs can be nested inside other Prefabs or edited individually. Prefabs are also useful when you need to instantiate GameObjects that didn’t exist at the start of the scene, like spawning new objects or characters, launching special effects, projectiles, or game events.


Quixel is a high-end library of ultra-detailed textures and assets that are based on real-world scan data called Megascans and a line of supporting applications Quixel Bridge and Quixel Mixer.



Quixel Megascans are used in AAA movie, gaming, and virtual reality production to achieve realistic visuals. Quixel Bridge is used for browning and importing and exporting Megascan assets into development tools and 3D software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, and Blender. Quixel Mixer is a 3D texturing application for texturing models, texture painting, designing advanced materials, and mixing textures.


Ray tracing is a technology used in Unity to realistically simulate realistic light behavior in a scene. Lighting conditions include the number of light sources in a scene, light intensity, light reflections, shadows, refraction, global illumination and ambient occlusion simulation.


Additionally, ray tracing allows access to data not present on screen such as normal data or position data for computing advanced lighting parameters. Ray tracing is a feature of high definition render pipeline (HDPR)


Rigidbody is a technology used in Unity to facilitate physics-based movement in target objects. Objects containing Rigibody components can be influenced by gravity and physical forces in a realistic way using the NVidia PhysX engine.

Ridigbody as a component can be attached to a GameObject using an “Add Component” command in Unity interface.

Software Development Kit (SDK)

Software development kit (SDK) is a packaged collection of development tools to aid the development of an application or a program for a specific platform or operating system. SDK typically include an application programming interface (API), a debugger, compiler, and a software framework contained in an integrated development environment (IDE).

SDKs usually include code samples, technical documentation, and licensing information to ease the development process.

Unity Forma

Unity Forma is a tool within a Unity ecosystem that allows importing 3D product model data, visualizing and enhancing it in real-time, and publishing the result as a visual sequence to multiple channels including mobile, desktop, VR, AR, and web.


Unity Forma provides a codeless environment for non-coding professionals in marketing and creative departments, facilitates collaboration using a change management system, and includes an open API to work in a Unity development environment and add custom solutions.

URP - Universal Render Pipeline

Universal render pipeline (URP) is a pipeline graphics solution built by Unity to simplify and optimize the process of creating enhanced and optimized visuals or renderings for a wide range of destination platforms.


URP allows designers to achieve scalable high-quality renderings for both high-end and low-end devices, create realistic simulations of local and global light sources, optimize real time graphic performance, and customize rendering process according to the needs of a specific development environment. URP supports deployment for Mac, iOS, Android, VR, AR, Xbox, and Windows platforms, among others.

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