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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.
In the textures for a city, aside from brick, one of the main things you'll need is stone. Many buildings have a stone base and are often clad in stone as well. In the lower right corner of this photo we can see that this building has a granite base. Then it has precast concrete or another stone forming the blocks and relief. This modern office building is clad in marble, both on the columns as well as part of the facade above. Being able to paint a large chunk of stone and use it where we need in a texture sheet is a valuable skill.
To paint the stone I'll start with a new document, pressing Ctrl+N in Photoshop. I'll make this new document 2000 square. We'll run this as an RGB white background 8-bit image. Stone is really a series of chips in a matrix or different colored dots in an overall color. To start then, we'll fill this document with a 50% gray, pressing Shift+F5 and under the Contents in Use we'll choose 50% Gray.
I do this a lot because some filters need a color besides white to work on. Now I'll choose Filter > Texture > Grain. In the Grain filter, change the Grain Type to Enlarged. This gives us large soft clumpy grain. We'll crank up the contrast so we can see the colors as well. I'll press OK and return back to my image. I'll zoom in so I can see the colors. We're using grain here because grain generated in Photoshop is an even series of colors spread over the image and phases between colors we can select, such as purple, green, and blue.
I'll press W for the Magic Wand, making sure that Contiguous is unchecked but Anti-alias is checked. A low Tolerance, somewhere between five and 10, is fine. First I'll click on one of the purple blotches. Notice that with Contiguous unchecked, my selection is an evenly spread series of blotches. Pressing Ctrl+0 to zoom out verifies that the entire document has little bits selected. I'll make a new layer by pressing Ctrl+ Shift+N. I'll fill this new layer with any kind of an off-white, choosing in my foreground color a brightness near 90 and a slight yellow in the Saturation and Hue.
I'll use the Paint Bucket, pressing G, and making sure that Contiguous is unchecked, but Anti-alias is on. Pressing Ctrl+D shows an evenly spaced series of off-white dots. This is good so far. I'll repeat this process three more times to get a variety in the chips of my stone. I've repeated the process of selecting on the background layer with the Magic Wand, selecting different colors each time, and then filling that selection on a new layer with another color.
I've used black, white, gray, and a pale gold. Now I'll turn off the background color and make a new layer above the background. This new layer will be the matrix that the stone chips are in. For my foreground color I'll pick the main color of my stone. In this case I'm going to make a warm gray granite. I'll pull my Saturation down, make sure the Brightness is somewhere around 60, and shift the Hue over into the mid-20s.
Now I use the paint bucket to fill this new layer. Zooming out by pressing Ctrl+0 shows me an even field of granite. This texture is ready for use. We can flatten the layers, copy and paste it, and fill in parts of an unwrap, such as stone blocks on a building, headers or sills above and below windows, and even use this to look like terrazzo cast in a floor. Remember, that most of the things we need in a city are things that generally repeat.
It's not a singularity; it's always a pattern. If we look in our filters and think of making patterns, we can generate most textures that we need. I've used this approach to make granite. With some slight variation in the selection size and number of colors, I'll use this to make sandstone, marble, limestone, and even travertine. Often, I'll play with several layers of grain to further enhance the stone, giving a directionality or strata that's found in natural rock.
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