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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.
Once we've drawn a diffuse or color for a building in Photoshop, we want to reuse those layers and that texture much as possible to device things like diffuse or bump or normal or specular maps for use in other parts of a material. As we can see in this building, we've added in relief for things like the windows. We can also see just barely a little bit of darkness in the grout and the brick. And what this is from is well, the grout or the space between the brick, the mortar, being recessed slightly and over however many years of this building standing here gathering a little bit of dirt.
This is something that needs to show up in a normal map, which is an approximation of surface detail that appears to light correctly. We also need to add in relief around the sill, making it look like it sticks out a little bit and making sure that the stepping in the windows shows up with as much relief or depth as possible. Additionally, we've added stone chiseling on the windowsill. We want to make sure that really pops out. In the previous texture document, we had taken the layers, grouped them as a color group, cloned the color group as a bump, and are ready to begin a bump map. What I'll do to start is we can see here in the Layers palette is eliminate anything that's simply painted on, like the dirt.
Now I'll take my layers and desaturate them for use as a bump, selecting layer and pressing Ctrl+Shift+U for desaturate and quickly zipping through those layers and pulling their color out. Bump maps are grayscales where white is high and black is low and it's a relative measurement. It's not a particular white is 1 inch tall. It just happens to look higher. What I'll also do then is start to invert layers. As an example right now if I were to use this in a bump map, the grout between the bricks would stick out. I'd like recess it so I'll invert it by pressing Ctrl+I. The same will go for the brick arch mortar.
I'll invert that layer so in a bump where it's dark, this will appear to recess in. I may want to do this with the windows as well. Notice in this map that the window is considerably brighter. That's okay. Even though by reason it should stick out, we have to remember that the polygon this window was on is actually recessed back, so no matter how high it goes in a bump map, how bright these values get, it's still simply recessed back in the geometry. We can use that to our advantage, giving us what looks like extra depth or extra recess in the bump map.
Most of this looks pretty good. We'll have to try it out. My first inclination though is probably to take the mortar and just bring it a little bit lighter by pressing Ctrl+U is a quick way to do it for a Hue/Saturation and adjusting the Lightness. If you have another method such as Levels or Brightness/Contrast, feel free to use that. Use whatever is quick. We are just bringing up Luminance. It's very easy to go overboard on these. So what I'll do is make sure that the differences between colors are very subtle. I'll do the same adjustment with the brick arch mortar, brining up its Lightness until it's a reasonable match for the mortar around it.
Finally, I'll look at the stone sill. This does need to stick out which is good, but I need to either do something with the chiseling or flip it so it looks like it maybe sticks out further or has a little more relief. In this case, I can pick the chiseling layer, because it's very easily selected, and adjust Brightness/Contrast or even Levels to get it in the right place. I'm going to use my Brightness/ Contrast and pull up the Contrast of the chiseling, maybe even using the Legacy just to boost that a little bit. So get what looks like more relief in that stone.
Now this is ready for conversion to a Normal map or for use as a bump map if your application accepts it. Some game editors want normals, someone bumps. It depends really where you're going with it. In this case, in the next step, I'll take this and make a normal map out of it in Photoshop.
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