Launching Project Asset Manager
After importing Project Asset Manager there are a few things you may need to do to get started. The most basic feature (browsing downloaded packages) is available without any configuration at all. The first time you open Project Asset Manager it will automatically find any package you have already downloaded from the Asset Store. To open the tool click on Tools->Asset Manager
There are two ways to import packages: quick import and interactive import. Interactive import behaves the same way importing an asset directly from a file or via the package manager works. The import dialog will pop up allowing you to choose what files from the package you want to import. Quick import skips the interactive dialog and imports all files from selected packages. This is a great way to import multiple packages at once when starting a new project. When you are ready to import packages, select the packages you want and hit the quick import button.
Adding Downloaded Packages
One of the primary goals of Project Asset Manager is to help you manage your packages that you may have purchased outside the Unity Asset Store alongside your Asset Store purchases. Out of the box UAM only shows assets that you have downloaded from the Asset Store. To include your local packages you need to add asset search paths On the Packages tab, click the cog button. This will bring you to settings for Packages. Here you can see where your Unity Asset Store packages are stored. Additionally there is a button to add new search paths. Click the add button and find any directory you may have downloaded assets to. I generally keep assets from external sources like CGTrader and the Synty Store in a directory in Dropbox for easy access.
Adding Advanced Features
Out of the box only a subset of Project Asset Manager’s features are turned on. The ones that are generally easiest to understand and use. There are additional more advanced or beta features available for you to try. As of now the modules available are:
- Audio – Manages audio files allowing you to preview files that you have stored on disk before adding them to your project.
- Credits Editor – Uses PAM’s installed asset tracking feature to provide you a list of assets you have installed with the option to format that list however you please
- Symlinks – An advanced feature for symlinking directories into your project
- Essentials- A tool to autoimport your favorite packages that you use with every project automatically when you import PAM.
- Packages – The main package browsing feature (on by default)
- Package Manager – A tool to provide a list of packages from disk without having to import each package individually via Unity’s import disk package
- Git – Provides a tool to import git repositories directly into your project and displays some basic git status info in Project views.
Asset Manager provides handling of assets from both the Asset Store as well as downloaded assets. Once you download an asset from the Asset Store it will automatically show up in your package list the next time you open Asset Manager or if you hit the refresh button. You can also add filesystem search paths for your assets from other sources like the Synty Store or CGTrader. The hierarchy of the assets is controlled by the subdirectories under each search path.
Adding Search Paths
If you have an asset collection beyond the Asset Store you’ll want to add search paths to the Package tab’s settings.
- Open the package tab and click on the settings cog.
- In Settings Click on the Add button next to “Additional package paths”
- In the new field click Browse and find the directory you stored your *.unitypackage files in. Ideally these should be stored in directories under the search path. Each directory in that path will be grouped in with the package hierarchy. This hierarchy matches the Category hierarchy provided on the asset store. For example a file stored in directory structure [TargetDir]/3D Models/Characters/Animals/ZOMBIE Collection.unitypackage will be reflected in the Package hirearchy.
For the most part search is pretty basic. The search bar will search through package names. There are two additional search methods that may be useful: author search and prefab search.
To do an author search type “a:” before your search term. This will search the author field instead of the package name field.
The prefab search feature searches through the files in your unity packages and provides matches to packages that contain prefab files matching your search term. If there is a thumbnail for the prefab it will be shown in the search.
Example: “p:dragon” results in a list of turtle prefabs. This is a great way to find lost prefabs in your collection.
There are two ways to install packages: Quick Import and Interactive Import. When you’re ready to import packages find the packages you want to import and click the checkbox next to them. Asset Manager provides a means to import multiple packages at once. If you use the Quick Import button you will import all of the selected assets without interaction. This is a great way to get a new project setup.
Tracking Installed Packages
Asset Manager tracks any package that it imports. You can view your installed packages under the Installed item in the package hierarchy. You can also view your installed packages in the Credits tab.
Audio Management in a Nutshell
Asset Manager provides a convenient tool for finding and importing audio files from your filesystem into your projects. This is a great way to manage audio assets purchased and downloaded from sites like Humble Bundle.
The general recommended workflow is to store and organize audio in a private or team repository like Dropbox. I generally organize all of my audio assets in a directory in Dropbox that can be used on whatever device I am using Unity from.
- Create a Dropbox directory to organize the assets
- Download audio assets and store them in the directory you created.
- Add the Dropbox directory to the search paths in Asset Manager’s Audio tab settings page
- Hit the save button
- Refresh assets
Once you have your audio collection added to the Audio tab’s search path you can search for audio, preview it, and import it into your project.
On Windows you will only be able to playback some audio formats in the tool (a fix for this is planned).
Things are just getting started here.