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Follow a practical guide to building 3D cityscapes for games. IAuthor Adam Crespi constructs a city block in 3ds Max utilizing low-polygon modeling and advanced texturing techniques. The course shows how to model common city elements such as buildings, intersections, curbs, and roofs and explains how to expand a city quickly and easily by reusing existing geometry in a modular way. The course also sheds light on simulating real-world detail with baking, lighting, and ambient occlusion techniques and offers a series of best practices for exporting to the Unity gaming engine.
As part of forming a textured sheet for a modular building we need to add detail in. Often in a building like this we see details like sills, brick arches, corbels, and other pieces. For this I am going to choose to make a design variation. I am going to put a flat arch or a jack arch over these windows so I get a difference in brick direction. Right now these windows probably have a concealed piece of steel holding up the brick right there. To start, I'll go over to 3ds Max and in the UV Editor render the UVW template to bring into Photoshop.
Here in 3ds Max I have my polygons in the UV Editor, shown cleanly by turning off the texture. What I'll do is choose Tools > Render UVW Template. I'll set my Width and my Texture size 1024 square and hit Render. This produces these UVs. Notice it looks like some are missing. It's really a question of being zoomed out to 50%, noted by the 1:2 up here. I'll save this image and then go bring it up in Photoshop for use. I'll call this wall template. What I typically do is name things template so I can find them and note that any file with template in the name is a temporary file that can be deleted later.
I'll also save this out as a Targa to avoid introducing any lossy compression such as JPEG. Back in Photoshop I'll open that document and copy and paste it onto my existing texture sheet. Now I've got my template open. I'll select all by pressing Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C for Copy, or Ctrl+X for cut. It doesn't really matter at this stage. Go over to my texture sheet I had previously and paste this over. Typically, what I'll do is invert the colors by pressing Ctrl+I and set the blending mode of this layer to Multiply.
That way, areas multiplied by white are essentially invisible and I can see the color cleanly underneath. It may be helpful also to desaturate this layer. I'll hit Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate and possibly bump up the Brightness and Contrast. Now I can see my mesh lines cleanly. I'll also make sure to lock this layer so I don't ask accidentally grab it and move it. I'm ready to do my brick arch up above the windows. I'll go to the background layer of my texture sheet or my brick wherever it happens to be and using my marquee at a normal style, select a large piece of brick, roughly as tall as the windows are wide and at least two bricks tall to give me the right size on the arch.
With this brick selected I'll copy and paste it onto a new layer. I'll take this new layer and under Transform I'll rotate it 90 degrees. This avoids introducing any odd distortion and makes sure I get an exact rotation. Then I'll move this layer up on top of windows. Zoom in and see if it needs any cropping. It may be helpful to turn off the background at this stage to see clearer. What I am going to do is line up this layer over the windows, making sure that the brick sits evenly on top of the UVs, and then use my Marquee if I need to erase a little bit.
A little overlap right here doesn't bother me. We'll eliminate that as part of the scaling. Now I'll use the Transform tools to squish this in and make wedge-shaped bricks. Under Edit I'll choose Transform > Distort. I'll grab the left top node, hold Shift, and pull this brick out. I'll do the same on the right side. Then I may need to grab the center node on the right and just pull these bricks in a little bit.
When I'm done I'll hit Enter to accept the transformation. Now I have an arch almost over the windows. The one less thing is to make sure it comes across correctly and has mortar joints all the way at the top and bottom. I'll use my marquee, selecting a small region or using a Paint Brush and adding a white mortar joint just on top of the bricks here, because it needs a transition element, getting the size as close as I can and using the arrow keys to nudge it over if needed. I'll eyedropper my mortar color and fill this probably on a new layer so I can find it and move it cleanly if I need.
Now I have a brick arch over the windows, ready to save out as part of my texture sheet and I add additional detail to this building. I also use this technique on sills. I use it on soldier courses, turning a roll of brick to go at a floor line, and to add detail to an otherwise blank wall.
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