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Explore the world of modeling and texturing game props and assets in Autodesk 3ds Max. Author Adam Crespi demonstrates how to create both small and large props, from tools to shipping containers. The course begins with cloning and instancing objects for ease of modeling and unwrapping, and segues into multiple methods of unwrapping and painting texture by hand in Adobe Photoshop. Adam looks at various plug-ins that assist with normal map generation as well as sculpting in Mudbox, a digital sculpting application that can add realism and detail to your models. Finally, the course shows how to add lights to a scene and preview the objects in-game.
Note: A familiarity of basic modeling and unwrapping techniques in 3ds Max and a working knowledge of Photoshop will help you get the most out of this course.
Now that I've got my bounding box in, I'm going to make the corner boxes as part of the frame. I'll go back and look at the reference for a sec and make sure I've got the right pieces. As we can see in this image, these corner boxes, which actually hold the mating couplers for joining or stacking containers, protrude a little bit and it's important to make these, because they affect the silhouette of the container. Things like the corrugations and the internal ribs on the structure can be handled on a normal map, but getting the silhouette right matters.
We can see in the other images, even when the containers are stacked, that these corner boxes do protrude. These are about 6" x 6" x 4" and I'm going to make them with an instanced workflow. Here in Max, I'll make it a little easier to see first. I'm going to right-click and choose Unfreeze All and then select my bounding box. I'll right-click and choose Object Properties. In the Object Properties, I'll check Display as Box. That way this displays as a wireframe bounding box of a box. Being that the box and the bounding box are actually a match, I can snap to the bounding box and work through it or see through it.
I'll right-click on it and freeze it again. I'll also get my snap settings correct. I'll hold Shift+Right-click and make sure that Grid Points is not checked, Vertex is checked, and that Snaps Use Axis Constraints and Snaps To Frozen Objects are checked. Finally, I like to use the 2.5D snap, that way I don't accidentally snap something up on the Z axis when I only want an X and Y. I'm ready to start making my corner boxes. I'll hold Ctrl+Right-click, choose Box, and land a box in the scene.
It is black and I'll deal with that in a minute. I'll go to the Modifier panel and I'll put in my length, width and height; 6 for the length, 6 for the width, and 4 for the height. Now about that black display; it's shading correctly, it's inside our box. We can see as I bring it out, it turns into the right color. I'll click on Realistic and changeover to Shaded for now and it won't be lit. Now I'm ready to snap this. What I'll do first is to zoom in. It kills me to see people working like this.
You can't tell what you're doing. Zoom in close so you can see what's going on. I'll press Spacebar for selection lock and make sure my move is on the X and Y. I'm going to register the snap down on the corner of the box and snap it into the right place. If you're having trouble seeing the snap, orbit around. Move around as you need to get things on right. Now I'll snap this in. I will now switch over to a top view, hit Z to zoom extents, and make sure I register the snap and put it in the right place.
With one box in, I'm ready to clone it. What I'll do is Shift+Clone it, in this case, on the Y axis, holding Shift and dragging. I'll pull it over and make it an instance. That way when I get to unwrapping, I unwrap one and they all unwrap correctly. As part of this, I'll click OK, go in the top view, hit Z to zoom extents and rotate this 90 degrees. I'll press A for Angle Snap. Notice up at the top, my snaps are on. The Angle Snap allows me to snap this rotation; in this case, every 5 degrees as the default.
I'll press W for Move, make sure I'm on the X and Y axis, Spacebar for selection lock, register the snap, and pull it into place. I'll repeat the process, cloning and rotating these over all the other corners and then I'll snap the frames into place. I've cloned all of my corner boxes out, rotating them or mirroring them, so that from the original, the corners rotate around 90 degrees and mirror from top to bottom. Any number of ways of doing this will work. They are all cloned as instances and we can tell that's an instance by having four objects selected, the text box is bold, and the Make unique button is available.
This way if I unwrap one, they all unwrap. I'll press Spacebar to release the selection lock and G to turn off the Grid; sometimes I like to have the Grid off so I can see what I'm doing. Now I'm going to start on the frame elements and I'll begin with one, holding Ctrl and right-clicking, choosing Box and clicking and dragging from the inside of a corner box to the inside of the corner box, and dragging up for the height. I can come back and put the height in later. I'll go to the Modifier panel, make sure the dimensions are right on, 6 x 228 x 4, and I'm ready to continue modeling.
I do want to make sure my silhouette works. It shouldn't be 6; it should be 5 inches deep and then I can use my snapping and aligning to get these in the right place. I'll finish out the corner elements and then start to look at the side panels.
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