What is the unity icon with a blue cube that has a white rectangle?

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What is the blue unity cube icon with a white rectangle

If you're new to the Unity Game engine you might ask yourself the question: what does the icon in unity with a blue cube and a white box/rectangle (that looks like a piece of paper/document) in front of it mean?

 

The NORMAL blue cube icon represents a prefab. A prafrab can contain just about anything, sounds meshes script and components added. When these are are grouped into a prefab it can be instantiated (cbrought into the game at will)

Yeah, but thats the normal blue icon, what about the cube with white rectangle?

The blue cube with the white box in front is a model icon. The model icon contains the mesh and perhaps mesh relate information like materials and animations. It is simply the icon for the 3D model.

What can I do with the blue cube with the white rectangle? ...

Turn the Model into a Prefab:

The normal procedure is to use a model to make a prefab. Many people agree you should make everything a prefab out of every in game object even if you think you are only going to use it once:

  1. Take the model (blue cube with rectangle icon), drag it to the Hierarchy pane (this is important because it sets the model at coordinates 0,0,0 - if you drag it to the scene it will land wherever you drag it)
  2. Move it up (increase it's x coordinate) to ensure it's above ground
  3. Add any components you need and or additional objects/meshes/scripts you needed for it to work the way you want.
  4. Drag the finished object out of the Hierachy pane and into the Prefabs folder in your Project view (if there is no prefab folder, create one first).

Congratulations, you have turned a model object (a blue cube icon with a white rectangle in front of it) into a prefab (a blue cube icon) which you can now drag into the scene any number of times or call using a script at runtime (i.e use a script to make additional copies appear).