Custom hands in VR Builder

Updated on

March 20, 2023


In this VR Builder tutorial, you will learn how to change the look and feel of your hand representation in VR Builder.

Where to find the material

After setting up your project and scene for VR Builder (v.2.4 and above), you can find the hand models in the scene hierarchy at [XR_Setup_Action_Based_Hands] > XR Rig > CameraOffset > LeftHand > Left Base Controller > ModelPt > LeftHand > HandLeft. When selected, you can find the used material Hand Material. You can also find it in the Project folder in Assets/MindPort/VR Builder/Core/Source/XR-Interaction-Component/Source/Runtime/Hands/Materials/HandMaterial.mat.

Changing the color and transparency of your hand models

The first way to customize the look of the hands is by simply modifying the color and transparency of the used material, or changing other parameters like the Metallic and Smoothness factors.

By default, the hands have transparent pinkish albedo. By disabling the Emission color, you can see how this looks like alone:

Only combined with the turquoise Emission color, we get the blueish color. 

We recommend that you explore how changing the colors, the transparency, and the different parameters affect the final look. Best do so with a diverse background to get a more realistic impression. Also change the lighting conditions to make sure your hands look good under all conditions.

Removing the normal map texture

The material we are using also comes with a normal map, which gives the models a more detailed appearance. To get a more cartoony look, simply remove the normal map by setting the texture referenced in the Normal Map field to “None”.

Especially if you change to a more natural color without transparency, it's easy to hit the uncanny valley. Disabling the normal map and making the hand look more cartoony can resolve this issue.

Replacing the shader/material

A more advanced way to change VR Builder's hand model appearance is to create your own material and replace use this for the hands. To do so, simply drag and drop your material on the hand in the scene or the Inspector.

An even more advanced way is to use a different shader. There are great tutorials on Unity Learn on how to do this. We also recommend taking a look at Unity's Shader Graph if you want to go down this road.

Next steps

To learn how you can customize and modify VR Builder's animated hand models even further, check out the advanced tutorial on Configuring hand models and controllers. Please also join our community on Discord to get in touch with other VR Builder users and get support.

Helpful links

Download Vr Builder