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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.
Often in a building we have a mix of materials we need to show in a diffused texture. In this building the main body of the building above the retail floors is brick with stoned windows sills and other trim and accents. We have precast concrete or stone forming the retail floors. Additionally, we may want to add other detail into the stone that makes this building different from other pieces. In stone, it can be dressed, finely honed, polished, or even rough chiseled. How we do it is really an artistic decision more than a hard and fast rule one way or another.
In this movie, I am going to demonstrate how to put stone sills onto our windows and also an option for making the middle of them look rough and chiseled. I'll start out with the texture sheet of the module, plus the vertical element and the arch from the previous lessons. First, I'll zoom in on the bottom of the windows and use the brick as a measuring tool to get the sill size right. I'll press M for Marquee and make a new layer to do the sill on. As a general practice in Photoshop I tend to make a new layer whenever I am doing a new element. My motto is when in doubt, it's another layer.
We can always flatten layers as we need, but it's better to have the flexibility to be able to tune things a little bit and test them in the texture and making separate layers really helps in that, versus trying to pick unique elements on one flatten background. I'll start my marquee with a normal style, making it fit the windows as well as I can and just about two bricks tall. This is pretty good for the sill, although I realize it needs to be a little bit wider. I'll handle this in the next step. Then I am going to fill this color with just a slightly yellow gray.
Now this will be my stone color. Alternately, instead of a yellow gray, I can eyedropper a brick color and swing it less saturated, brighter, and maybe a little yellower on the Hue, for a matching stone that's somewhere in the range of the brick without being too off. I'll go a little brighter on this. It's perfectly okay to adjust and tune it. Part of the flexibility I am building in by using new layers is tuning the color of the stone which will be different from the chisel marks I'll add on. I'll press G for the paint bucket and fill this marquee.
This would be my stone. I'll press Ctrl+D to deselect and now I need to move it over to make up for that width I forgot. We can see in the reference image that the stone sill actually goes outside of the window openings just a little bit. I'll use the Move tool, pressing V,, and pull this stone over just enough outside of that window. It seems to look pretty good, then I'll hold Alt and clone this over an equal distance on the other side. Sometimes I'll use the arrow keys to nudge this texture over, or pieces like it, to get that look right.
Then I'll press Ctrl+E to flatten the layers. Now I have a clean stone sill that I can put in the right place on my texture. Remember, we made the match line for this at the top of the wall. There is not actually a texture underneath the windows here. The geometry just sort of ends. I'll take this layer and I'll slide it up, holding Shift to constrain the direction so it fits right under the window. Again, I am going to zoom in and use my Nudge tools. As a possibility, I may take my Template layer and reduce the Opacity down just to make sure that this texture sits into, over, or even a pixel beyond that line.
I'll relock that layer just to make sure I don't move it. Now I have a clean stone sill ready for tiling. What I may want to do is now add chisel marks in. This is an option I am going to do to add further detail in here. I want to look for a sec at clouds in Photoshop before I get into making chisel marks, because it's important to understand how they are generated. If I make a new document, as an example, with the width of 800x800 and I choose Filter > Render > Clouds, I get generated clouds.
A document that is 200x200 will get the same size of clouds. Applying that same filter gets me the same clouds and less of them in my smaller document. What I'll do to get a lot of chisel marks here is actually make a document that's quite a bit larger. I'll start my clouds out at 4000 square and I'll run these clouds in light gray to medium gray. So I get good variation without having a color bias one way or another or any odd banding.
In this document, I get a lot of clouds. Now I can reduce this, choosing Ctrl+Alt+I for Image Size, and downsizing this to maybe 400 on a side, giving me a document with an abundance of cloud which will be my chisel texture. I'll select all and copy and paste this on to my existing document. Now my clouds fit fairly nicely over my windowsill. I also may want to scale these down to get the chisel marks to run in more of a direction. Pressing Ctrl+T accesses the Transform and you can move and rotate and scale all within this tool.
I'll pull mine down and scale it in to get more horizontal clouds. Hitting Enter accepts that transformation. Now I'll constrain that selection to this sill. I'll hold Ctrl and click on the layer thumbnail for layer 4, my sill, invert that selection by pressing Ctrl+I, and on Layer 5, my clouds, deleting everything that's not on the sill. This is pretty good, although we can't really see the sill color and I'd like to have a dressed or nicely done edge around it. Once again I am going to select the sill and then contract this selection, choosing Select > Modify > Contract, and I'll pull it in by four pixels.
Then I'll invert that selection. Once it's inverted I'll delete the outside ring on those clouds, leaving me this center ready for chiseling. Finally on this layer, I'll choose Filter > Pixelate > Crystallize. I'll pull down the preview and bring the Cell Size way down so I get what appears to be a lot of crystallization or faceting marks on that stone. It looks like chiseling. The last step then is to choose a blending mode that works and I'll often try 2 or 3 before I find the right look.
In this case Multiply may be too dark. It darkens my stone and makes it look almost pushed in and dirty. I may want to try a Hard Light or a Soft Light or something similar to get this to look right. I can also adjust colors if that's needed to get the chisel marks to stand out more. I am going to try this again as a Multiply, but I am going to bring back the Opacity just a little bit so the chiseling marks are almost the same color and now the middle of the stone has a rough look while the outside is dressed. The last step is to save this and test it in 3ds Max and see if it works in the texture.
I'll turn off my template and save a copy of this. I'll press M for the Material Editor and in my material where I have applied my texture sheet, I'll just load in that new bitmap, clicking on the bitmap parameters Bitmap button. When I pull in that new texture, I get a rowlock or jack arch above those windows and it chiseled the stone sill flush with the brick, ready for a bump map or a normal map and other things that make it look like it has more detail.
Pulling out and I can see I have got my sills above and below. When you are adding detail to the diffused texture like this it's important to keep in mind not only the colors you want, but how things were made. Buildings are an assembled language. Now we want to think of assembling our textures as, well, pieces of a building. Stone sills, brick arches, and so forth with matching colors. So it looks like a coherent whole with the same vintage. In this case, using a filter and some selections modifying and expanding, allowed me to produce what looked like chiseled stone sills, adding a further refinement of detail on my texture.
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