Getting Started Developing with Magic Leap One and Unity

This tutorial will quickly point you in the right direction to get everything you’ll need downloaded and installed. After you have access to the creator portal, download and install the package manager, install the SDKs and packages, install the IDE. Once everything is installed, you can explore the examples, tutorials, and samples as well as start configuring your own builds.

Register for Creator Portal Access

This step is simple: register for an account at the Magic Leap Creator Portal so you can access other materials in this guide.

Install the Package Manager

Once youre registered in the portal, you can start downloading the various software you’ll need to start developing. First off, you’ll need the package manager. Pick your operating system and run the installer. The package manager will help you download SDKs, profilers, and debuggers. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the Unity packages but there are also Unreal and native Lumin packages as well. After installation, open the package manager which will greet you with default install locations on your file system so you can track down these files later.

Install Common Packages

For the common packages, you’ll need to install the Lumin SDK at a minimum. You also will have the option to install thermal profilers, graphics debuggers, and IDE extensions from this section of the package manager.

Install Unity Packages

Next, scroll down in the package manager and install the Magic Leap Unity Package. You can optionally install the Unity API documentation as well.

Install the Magic Leap version of the Unity Editor

Special builds of the Unity IDE are available on the Unity site. Download and install this next to any existing version you have installed on your system.

Download API Examples, Lessons, and Tutorial Projects

In the SDK you downloaded earlier are included a variety of starter scenes to get you up to speed on developing for the Magic Leap One. In the creator portal, these are referred to as API Examples and provide a crash course to developing on the platform. These examples include the controller, hand tracking, image tracking, meshing, planes, raycasting, the media player, the mobile app, image capture, video capture, and persistence.

Additionally, Magic Leap has made available the following for download from the creator portal:

Samples — These projects focus on a specific topic such as meshing, gestures, or vignettes.

Magic Kit — The goal for these samples are to provide complete, tiny concepts for developing in mixed reality and combine a number of concepts into one more complete app.

Studio Spotlights — These are yet larger projects highlighting work from specific studios, the first of which is an internal team at Magic Leap: Goat Labs.

Creating a Unity Project

Get used to the following set of steps since you’ll be doing this over and over again for any of your Unity projects.

Open the Magic Leap version of the Unity IDE.

Open an existing project or create a new one — we’ll assume you’re just getting started with API examples so create a new project.

Open the Build Settings window and select Lumin OS as the target platform.

Click “Switch Platform” (this will take a few seconds to a few minutes)

Check the “Sign Package” checkbox

Click the “…” button to set your Lumin SDK location from the install earlier.

Click the “Player Settings” button

In the Player Settings window, you’ll need to select your development certificate under the Publisher Settings section to sign your builds for the Magic Leap One hardware. If you don’t have one, follow the instructions on the creator portal.

Additionally, you can check the boxes for privileges your application will require at runtime.

Finally, import the Magic Leap Unity Package downloaded earlier via the package manager. This will install a bunch of starter code and the API example scenes (this could take a few seconds or minutes).

At this point, pick a scene and fire it up in the editor or try it out in the Magic Leap Remote. If you’re fortunate enough to have the hardware, go to File > Build & Run to send the current build to your headset (be sure to include the scene in your Build Settings window and you’ll need to set an output location the first run for you built .mpk file).


The most important thing is to make sure the Lumin SDK, Unity Asset Package, and Unity IDE are all on the corresponding build, especially during early beta access as APIs are changing frequently. Carefully read any output in the console window as it can provide helpful clues when things go wrong. Also, keep an eye out for changes announced in the creator portal and the forums.

Getting started can take an hour or so to get everything downloaded the first time. After the initial download, use the package manager to update the SDKs and Unity packages. Occasionally, you’ll need to download a new IDE version. Pay attention to messages and forums for updates to certificates that may invalidate the one you’ve already downloaded, although this is rare.

Dave is a software engineer and creative technologist based out of Los Angeles specializing in interactive Unity3d, C#, and iOS mobile development.

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