Once you have the Flipside Creator Tools installed and set up, here are the steps to create a custom set for your Flipside shows.
Sets start as scenes in the Unity game engine. You are free to use just about any Unity features in your sets, including custom 3D models, textures, materials, shaders, even automatically triggered animations and sounds.
Sets have a specific scene hierarchy, which looks like this:
This is all that's technically needed for a set to work, but we'll go over several features that make it more useful for you.
At this point, you should have a basic working set that can be published to Flipside Studio or previewed in the Unity editor. To test it out, try pressing play and looking at your set in VR. You can teleport around using your right hand joystick or thumbpad to aim and pressing the index finger trigger to teleport.
You can also grab and interact with any objects on your set that have a PropElement component on them. Just teleport to within reach and grab them using the grab or grip trigger button on your controller.
When you're ready to build your set and test it out in Flipside Studio, click the Build & Publish Set button on the Creator Tools wizard. Unity will begin the asset bundle build process, which can takes some time to complete, and may take longer the first time. When the build process has completed, you'll see a progress bar appear under the Build & Publish Set button showing how far along you are in uploading and publishing your set.
When that's finished, you can find your set in Flipside Studio under the Imported Sets button on the far right of the Sets menu categories.
There are several aspects of customizing a set, which are broken down into the following sections:
Click on the root object of your set in the Hierarchy window and over in the Inspector window you'll see the Set Info component. Here you can change the name of your set, as well as settings like attribution and lighting.
The set name, attribution, and thumbnail image fields are displayed on the set's card in the Sets palette in Flipside Studio.
Flipside defines where you can teleport within your set using Unity's NavMesh feature. If you look at the Contents object in your scene hierarchy, you'll see it has a Nav Mesh Surface component attached to it in the Inspector window.
When you want to make changes to your teleport area, and you want to preview your changes, click on your Contents object and in the Inspector window, click the Bake button. When it's done baking your NavMesh changes, you should see the teleport area highlighted in a light blue color.
To exclude an object from the teleport area, add a Nav Mesh Modifier component to that object in the Inspector window and make sure the Ignore From Build checkbox is checked. Make sure to re-bake the NavMesh changes in order to see the change applied.
You can read all about Unity's NavMesh feature here.
For more info, see setting up your teleporter area.
The Flipside Creator Tools also let you add many kinds of interactive elements to your sets. Take a look at the following pages for info on adding interactivity to your sets:
Sets in Flipside include an Audience object that marks where your in-VR audience will appear when that feature of Flipside Studio is added. You can adjust its position to appear anywhere on set, but you can only rotate it so it remains upright in order to maintain audience comfort. You can also adjust its scale so the audience can be larger or smaller than the set, creating an interesting effect for your viewers.
Lighting is a complex topic that's too big to cover here, but we will go over the available lighting options in the Flipside Creator Tools. You are free to use Unity's baked lighting to control how your sets look to a great degree, but not every lighting setting will import into Flipside just yet.
Here are the lighting settings, found on the Set Info component on the root set object in your scene hierarchy:
Skies in Flipside are separated from sets so that you can do things like change from day to night on the same physical set. The Sky ID field sets the default sky to use when first loading the set.
You can find the ID for each of your custom skies, as well as Flipside's built-in skies, on the skies page of your Creator Dashboard.
There are three supported options for Lighting Mode, which determine the scene's ambient lighting source:
The next section, Flat Ambient Light Color, lets you set the flat color value, which will only affect your set if Lighting Mode is set to Flat.
The Triling Ambient Colors section lets you specify your sky, equator, and ground colors, and will also only affect your set if Lighting Mode is set to Trilight.
Lastly, there is an Ambient Intensity setting, which can contain any value from 0 to 1. This affects how intense the ambient lighting should appear.
Note: Unity has its own lighting settings in the Lighting window, but the settings above will automatically override the settings found in the Lighting window on import into Flipside Studio, and when you press Play to preview your set.
If you want to use an object as an invisible reference for actors that stays invisible to cameras, you can change its layer to be on the UI layer.
Note that if you show the Flipside UI in your camera output, your invisible objects will be shown too.