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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.
As part of our process of importing into our game engine we need to consider what will and won't come across. Materials as an example are barely there when they come in, allowing some customization in the game engine for better gameplay and a better look with a graphics engine supported. In 3ds Max if you have noticed I haven't done much with materials. As an example pressing M for the Material Editor shows us basic Standard materials with Blinn Shaders. I haven't adjusted the Specular Level or Glossiness. Really, all I have done for these roads is put the diffuse texture in.
The reason for this is that Unity is going to bring this in as a basic diffuse material. It has its own definitions for materials and shaders and where the maps go. I am using 3ds Max and the materials here really to place the maps, figuring I am going to tune the look, the shine, and other things in the game. I'll bring this file into Unity and show how it comes across. I will right-click in the Project window and import a new asset. I'll select the whole scene in this case, which has all of my roads.
I would assume that I break out other pieces in separate scenes for easier import. This way I can select unique objects easily. When my scene comes in, I have an overall prefab or package here with all of the objects in it. All of the objects have actually two nodes: how they're brought in and they mesh itself. Additionally, my materials came in from 3ds Max. Here is my square intersection, but it doesn't show anything on it yet.
It simply regarded this as a Diffuse Shader with one map for the Main Color and no other properties. When I pick my mesh and drag it into the Project window I can see it doesn't have its textures associated either. What I will do is bring in the texture separately. It's better to do that and let Unity optimize them. I will right-click and choose Import New Asset. I will go find those textures, browsing to the sceneassets images folder.
I'll bring in my textures, noting that I can bring in a PSD if needed. Here is my rectangular intersection. I will right-click and choose Import New Asset and bring in the square one and finally I'll bring in the street. Note in here in the Project window that naming is very important. Right now things are stacking up alphabetically and if my names are all over the place I may not be able to find my assets.
Always plan for several thousand assets in a game, between textures, meshes, and other objects, plus scripts and Unity elements. Now I will select my square intersection material. And in the Texture selection I will click on Select and scroll down and pick that intersection. I will pick the intersection color. Notice here that Unity regards the size and compresses it and note what it's doing. Taking a texture which as a TIFF is 3 MB and reducing it down to .7.
This is pretty good and we can go further with it. Now with this material as part of this object I can scroll back and find any of those intersections and we'll see where that texture apply. It looks like things came across nicely, although I am missing some other pieces. I'll repeat the process, choosing the rectangular intersections and their textures as well as the streets. Eventually, I'll have my whole street grid showing. The lesson to learn here is to be organized when you're ready to export.
We are going to deal in thousands of assets, possibly hundreds of textures, and having each one named in a way that we can find it easily and know what we are getting when it comes in is a big deal. We have to recognize that some things don't always transfer. Meshes and UVs come across; materials maybe not so much. With a full expectation we are going to customize them in Unity so it looks right in the game.
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