I recently started using Unity 2017. I’m having a problem where if I import a fbx model from Blender then the materials don’t export with it, and I have to go back and forth making all 17 materials for the character model (don’t ask why there are so many. I downloaded it from somewhere). In the earlier version I was using it created materials for the model already. Sure the textures aren’t there but it’s much easier to add textures to them than it is to make 17 materials using Japanese material and texture names.
The only thing i was able to figure out was as follows:
First Select model in Asset Folder
- Select the Model import.
- Choose Materials tab in Inspector.
- choose in the drop down tabs Use External Materials (Legacy).
- under that choose From Materials Model.
- Hit apply.
This will create a separate Materials folder for that model.
Second Drag Model into Scene and create a Prefab
- Create a prefab folder.
- Drag Model into scene and check it to make sure the materials are now accessible.
- If accessible create prefabrication of the model
- Save Scene/project.
Note: unity no longer produces the materials separate from imported models. While this is more time consuming it is the best solution. This is not an issue with materials you create directly in Unity, only imported ones. While it would be nice of the developers of the Engine would make this the way it was before in previous versions, for now this is the best option we have. I do not know if it is the same with the Paid version or not. But in the free version this works best.
Why models sometimes have several; materials instead of one.
As to your statement about why so many materials on a model you have collected from another source, the usual reason is that it allows options for a model to have various parts color or details such as UV /AO image types to work under a selection customization feature if its something you add to your game, such as parts of vehicles to character clothing colors and details. In short, separate materials for separate parts.
I hope this all helps.