Intro to Unity 3D Physics: Helicopters
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Intro to Unity 3D Physics: Helicopters

Learn how to create Helicopter physics for Games with Unity 3D and C#!
4.5 (222 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,565 students enrolled
Created by Indie - Pixel
Last updated 11/2019
English [Auto]
Current price: $59.99 Original price: $99.99 Discount: 40% off
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This course includes
  • 17.5 hours on-demand video
  • 16 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will have the experience to work with Rigidbodies in a controllable way
  • You will have a complete code base to develop any type of Helicopter controller
  • You will better understand why helicopters fly and the physics behind them.
  • You will Learn the Beginnings of Editor Scripting
  • You will learn how to set up a flexible Input System
  • You will learn about C# concepts such as Inheritance, Interfaces, Properties, and Namespaces
  • You will gain a better understanding of Organizing your Unity projects
  • You will gain an insight of how to begin to plan out a Unity Project or Unity System
  • You will learn to build a re-usable Weapon System
  • You will learn how to build two types of cameras with re-usable code
Course content
Expand all 131 lectures 17:22:10
+ Introduction
3 lectures 16:55

While this course does go through some beginner Unity workflows and information, it is good to have an understanding of unity, from a basic level. That being said, watch this lecture and learn more about the per-requisites needed for this course.

Preview 02:22

Alright!  Lets take a look at the current state of the course!  this lecture will give you a full walk through of where the course is at for early access. 

The Asset Pack used in the Demo level:

Preview 05:15

In this lecture we are going to do a review of how the R-22 Helicopter was constructed and the reasons why certain elements were modeled the way they were.  This is more of a guide to setting up more complex models inside of Unity 3D!

Helicopter Model Walkthrough
+ Getting Setup!
6 lectures 46:26

To start off our Heli physics project we need to get a few things setup first.  Lets take a few minutes and get our Unity Project set up and lets install the Indie-Pixel framework to help us automate laborious tasks. 

Preview 01:54

The Indie-Pixel framework comes with a bunch of small tools and resources that help you kick start any new Unity project.  In this lecture we are going to get it installed and start to utilize some of the tools in our development.

Setting up the Indie-Pixel Framework
Preparing the Development Scene
Preparing the Helicopter - Part 2
Setting up our Post Effects

Lets do a quick quiz to see how much you've learned so far! :-)

Section 002 Quiz
2 questions
+ Designing our Code Structure
3 lectures 17:56

Lets quickly discuss what we are going to do in this section.


In this lecture we are going to walk through the basics of using  If you already have experience using this software, then this will just be a review.

Getting Comfy with

I want to review and talk about each of the individual components we are going to build for the Helicopter system.  Plus you will get to see how I typically layout my diagrams.

Helicopter System - Code Review

Ok, lets see how comfy you feel with now! :-)

Section 003 Quiz
1 question
+ Introduction to the Rigidbody in Unity
8 lectures 01:26:50

Lets do a quick review of what we are going to be covering throughout this section.  If you are already familiar with the Unity Rigidbody then this section will be a review for you.  You are more than welcome to skip it, but I would highly recommend watching the section on hovering.  Thanks!:-)

Preview 02:18

Everything physics related starts with the Rigidbody in Unity.  So we need to get some of the basics out of the way.  lets cover getting our Rigidbody set up.

Introduction to the Rigidbody in Unity

One of the first components of physics and Unity's rigidbody is the force component.  We will use this quite a lot throughout this course so getting a better understanding of what it is and how to apply it to a rigidbody is key to being successful with physics in Unity.

Using the Force

The next component in the Physics world is the Torque component.  This allows us to rotate objects using forces.  By the end of this lecture you will know how to use torque with the Unity rigidbody.

Torque Forces

Drag is the force that is produced when moving.  It is caused by the density of the air and the surface of the object moving through the air.  Its effect is a slowing of the object as it moves faster and faster through the dense air.  We will learn how to apply drag and how to control it based off of the speed of our object.

Utilizing Drag

The weight of an object is very important to take into account as an object that is heavier will require more force and torque to move.  We will take a look at this component in this lecture.

Understanding Weight

In this lecture we are going to put everything together and make our flying saucer hover in one place, under the weight of gravity.

Making a Hovering Object

Now lets look at how we can make our rigidbody scripts a bit more modular by using inheritance.

Using Inheritance to Create Modular Code
+ Creating User Input
12 lectures 01:59:16

Lets take a second to talka bout the items we are going to cover in this section.


To start our Helicopter system we need to get the input from the user flying our helicopter.  So lets focus on getting the initial scripts stubbed in.

Stubbing in the Input Scripts

Now lets focus on getting input from the Keyboard.

Hooking up Keyboard Inputs - Part 1

Lets keep working through our Keyboard Inputs.

Hooking up Keyboard Inputs - Part 2

Lets keep working through our Keyboard Inputs.

Hooking up Keyboard Inputs - Part 3

Lets keep working through our Keyboard Inputs.

Hooking up Keyboard Inputs - Part 4

Lets conclude our Keyboard Input code.

Hooking up Keyboard Inputs - Part 5

Now lets turn our attention to the Xbox controller inputs.

Hooking up Xbox Inputs - Part 1

Lets continue to work on our Xbox controller Input script

Hooking up Xbox Inputs - Part 2

Lets finish up the xbox controller code and test to see how our xbox controller is working.

Hooking up Xbox Inputs - Part 3

In order to ensure that we get only -1 to 1 values we need to clam our input values.  Lets do that in this lecture.

Clamping Inputs

Lets conclude our Input system by creating a controller class that allow sues to select which input we want to use.

Creating the Input Controller
+ Creating the Helicopter Controller
5 lectures 41:00

Lets talk about the things we are going to learn in this section.


Ok, so now lets stub in the Helicopter controller script so we can begin to add the major functionality to it.

Stubbing in the Controller Script

You might have noticed that we have to drag and drop a lot of scripts onto our GameObjects, inside of Unity.  We we can use a C# attribute tag to make this easier on us. Lets take a look at this!

Requiring Components

Lets take a bit to update our Base Rigidbody controller to help take care of tasks that every rigidbody controller will need.

Updating The Base Rigibody Class

Automation is key to making your systems easy to use for designers and artists.  So lets take a look at how we can fully automate the setup of a new helicopter.

Automation with Menu Items
+ Creating the Engine Component
7 lectures 55:37
Understanding the Four Forces Acting on a Helicopter
Stubbing in the Engine Script
Hooking the Engine up to the Controller
Calculating Horsepower and RPM's
Using Animation Curves to model Power Efficiency
Implementing a Sticky Throttle
+ Handling the Rotor Blades
10 lectures 01:28:43
Stubbing in the Scripts
Using C# Interfaces
Calculating Degrees per Second from RPM's
Modifying the Blade Pitch
Blurring the Rotors - Part 1
Blurring the Rotors - Part 2
Blurring the Rotors - Part 3
Blurring the Rotors - Part 4
Blurring the Tail Rotor
+ Blurring Textures with Houdini
4 lectures 32:37

Lets do a quick review of what we are gong to cover in this Section.


To begin the process of getting our rotor blades blurred is to capture the actual blade form the unity scene.  Lets take a look at that process.

Capturing the Default Rotor

With our source content captured, we are now ready to set up the Houdini Network so we can automate the process of blurring the rotor blades.

Setting up the Houdini Network

To conclude this section we are going to take a look at how we can use a little bit of Python to make ass rendering of all the different levels of blur.

Automatic Render Button
+ Flight Characteristics
11 lectures 01:42:19
Theory of Lift
Creating a Sticky Collective
Stub in the Characteristics Script
Creating Lift - Part 1
Creating Lift - Part 2
Creating Tail Rotor Torque
Creating Cyclic Torque Force
Auto Leveling - Part 1
Auto Leveling - Part 2
Adding Cyclic Force
  • A basic Knowledge of Unity 3D and its Interface
  • Unity 2017 to Unity 2018 is required
  • A Beginner Level Understanding of C#

In this course you will learn how to create a helicopter controller from scratch.  You will learn how to create the physics necessary to generate realistic and arcady helicopter flight mechanics.  You will also learn how to set up your Unity project in efficient ways, how to create Editor Scripts, and how to use the Unity Rigidbody to its fullest.

You also receive two helicopter models and the contents of the Unity project, to give you a head start on your helicopter games! 

By the end of the course you will have gained knowledge about Helicopter physics, unity project organization, C# programming, Unity VFX, how to create a weapon system, how to create a camera system, how to create an audio system, and much more!  Enroll today and start flying the friendly skies in you very own helicopter!

Who this course is for:
  • A beginner to intermediate Unity user who would like to know more about Physics in Unity
  • A unity user who would like to gain a better understanding of Unity's Rigidbody
  • Anyone who is interested in wanting to build a Helicopter game in Unity
  • Anyone interested in learning how to make a Desert Strike type Game
  • A beginning Unity user who wants to know more about Project Organization and Editor Scripting