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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.
Now that I have drawn out the shapes for construction, I can actually start to model my building. I will check and make sure I have got the geometry in the right place prior to modeling. As we can see in the photo, I have drawn the floor to floor lines on this, but that may not be the optimal place for texture. Part of modeling is considering how to texture the building. What I will do is actually plan the texture division at the bottom or top of the window, to the bottom or top of the next window. That way instead of a text to break in the middle of a field of brick, I can have it at a place where I am likely to see less brick adjacent to brick, such as the top of the window, where there is a window surface and a possibly different material, or underneath the sill. With white sills that will be handled in texture, I have a clean line to break.
So I'll make my geometry go from the bottom of the window to the bottom of the window. Why/ Because right here down on the retail level these windows sit down on that table, and up at the top these windows, their tops, sit up at the freeze, so that's a good breakpoint. In 3ds Max I have a plane. Notice it has 4 and 4 Width and Length Segments, the default for creation. I will turn on the Edged Faces by pressing F4. What I want to do is use the Length and Width Segments to give me the geometry to be able to make my window and the division between easily.
I will set the Length Segments to 2 and the Width Segments to 5, then I will make sure I move this plane, pressing W for move and hitting spacebar for the selection lock. Up to the bottom of the next window, snapping to the frozen objects. Now I can use these shapes to line up the top, bottom and sides of my window cleanly. I will right-click and convert this to an Editable Poly. Then switching to Vertex by pressing 1, I will move the vertices to line up to those gray lines.
I've moved the mesh lines to line up with the window opening. I can then switch to Polygon and select the 2 Polys that will form the window openings and delete them. Now I need to size the brick between correctly, which I'd measured as 8 inches or one brick wide. To do this, I'll switch over to Edge and select one of those edges. With the spacebar on for selection lock, I will constrain the motion on the x-axis and snap this edge onto to the other edge. Then pressing F12 for the Transform Type-In, I'll move it back on the Offset:Screen X by negative 8.
Now I can take both of these edges and center them. Turning off the selection lock, I will select the opposite edge and press selection lock again. I'll snap this edge onto an existing window opening and then move it back by negative 30. This small piece of brick, or what will be brick, is now centered between two long window openings. Now I am ready to cleanup the mesh and make it into quads. I have right here a polygon at the corner. I can target weld these vertices up to the corner here and eliminate one more poly.
Every poly counts when you are dealing in low polygon work for a game. I'll switch over to Vertex, release the selection lock, and right-click and pick Target Weld. To see it easier, I will press F3 to switch to a wireframe. And I will target weld the vertices onto the corner. With the vertices target welded, I can eliminate one more polygon. I will take these two center vertices and target weld them over to one side. Lastly I'll press 2 to switch to edge and pick that center edge in the middle of this large triangle, and on the Edit Edges rollout press Remove.
Now I have an all quad model. All the polygons are four sided and it is optimized as it can be. The last step in this is to Extrude the Edges. I'll orbit around and pick these side edges as well as the tops. Right-clicking and choosing the dialogue next to Extrude, I will extrude back with a base Width of 0 and Height of negative 6. This is a rough gauge by looking at the side of the wall next to the window.
We can always adjust it if it looks too deep later in a shadow line. I will hit the checkbox to OK or accept that transformation. Now in a shaded view, I have got my module ready, where I have clean edges above and below ready for texture, and a clean break right under the window sill. One last step would be to bridge these openings closed. I will select these bottom edges next to the windows and under Edit Edges choose Bridge.
With the edges bridged closed, my module is complete and ready for texture and windows. Now I can clone this and be assured that I will have as minimal break in texture as possible. Now that I bridged the bottoms, I can also bridge across the windows, either capping a border or bridging edges. I'll select a border, hold Control to select the other, and under Edit Borders choose Cap. Now I'm ready to clone this and continue making the building elements in the next movie.
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