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Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
Illustration by Mark Todd

Layering color in window frames and doorways


From:

Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

with Adam Crespi

Video: Layering color in window frames and doorways

When we are adding detail to a texture of a building, we need to consider the small steps and small details we see in areas like windows where we may see more stepping or level changes in the window frame than there is in the entire facade. The brick is actually fairly flat, but in the windows they have upper and lower frames and a frame around which may have its own trim. We need to paint this in Photoshop so it looks right, even though it's just really a flat polygon. These windows are single hung where the bottom moves up inside of the top.
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Understanding the design process
      47s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      14s
    4. Software requirements
      47s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 4s
  2. 14m 36s
    1. Identifying key contours and shadows in concept art
      1m 59s
    2. Analyzing concept art for texture
      2m 28s
    3. Choosing between modeling and texturing
      1m 43s
    4. Understanding the limitations of normal maps
      2m 26s
    5. Analyzing concept art for key shadow details
      3m 10s
    6. Identifying shadow details as generated or painted
      2m 50s
  3. 44m 57s
    1. Planning the visible overlaid history in a city
      3m 6s
    2. Planning a "wedding cake" building: Base, middle, and top
      2m 50s
    3. Planning a modern building: Base and shaft
      3m 1s
    4. Designing the zoning: Planning the visible uses of buildings
      6m 43s
    5. Laying out city blocks
      2m 36s
    6. Planning modular textures and geometry: Streets and sidewalks
      4m 1s
    7. Texturing intersections
      3m 13s
    8. Modeling modular curbs, gutters, and ramps
      5m 7s
    9. Modeling modular street elements
      3m 14s
    10. Modeling corners with ramps
      5m 56s
    11. Unwrapping sidewalk elements
      5m 10s
  4. 38m 9s
    1. Laying out rectangles and planning how to clone geometry and texture
      4m 59s
    2. Using layers to organize construction elements and actual models
      3m 51s
    3. Extruding edges to form major shadow lines
      5m 17s
    4. Testing the module for correct floor-to-floor heights
      1m 41s
    5. Trimming down the module and cloning
      4m 10s
    6. Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry
      7m 10s
    7. Unwrapping the elements for correct proportion
      7m 48s
    8. Laying out a texture sheet for a façade
      3m 13s
  5. 39m 50s
    1. Making brick texture
      6m 23s
    2. Adding detail to the diffuse texture: Sills and arches
      4m 24s
    3. Adding stone accents
      7m 47s
    4. Layering color in window frames and doorways
      8m 39s
    5. Copying diffuse layers for normal map foundations
      2m 7s
    6. Desaturating the diffuse map copies and prepping for normal maps
      3m 42s
    7. Converting bump maps to normal maps using nDO
      6m 48s
  6. 1h 2m
    1. Analyzing the necessary silhouette and geometry
      5m 24s
    2. Examining existing buildings in different lighting conditions
      3m 8s
    3. Planning cornice elements
      3m 32s
    4. Extruding cornice elements from polygon edges
      9m 12s
    5. Assigning smoothing groups for optimal shading
      4m 31s
    6. Unwrapping cornices for lighting
      8m 43s
    7. Modeling sloped roofs
      7m 16s
    8. Adding fascias and soffits
      5m 21s
    9. Adding fascias and soffits for gable ends
      7m 31s
    10. Texture sheets for roofs
      8m 1s
  7. 13m 55s
    1. Arranging, aligning, and cloning modular elements
      3m 26s
    2. Setting pivot points for buildings
      5m 48s
    3. Reusing elements: Exploring possibilities in modular building design
      4m 41s
  8. 40m 3s
    1. Creating a texture library
      36s
    2. Creating rusty corrugated metal texture
      7m 53s
    3. Creating stone texture
      4m 42s
    4. Creating wood texture
      9m 50s
    5. Creating rough brick texture
      7m 44s
    6. Creating roads
      9m 18s
  9. 38m 44s
    1. Using the Walkthrough Assistant to assess texture needs
      4m 46s
    2. Drawing detail at the right size
      3m 30s
    3. Understanding tiling and non-tiling textures
      2m 57s
    4. Deciding when to use tiling and non-tiling textures
      3m 2s
    5. Using multiple mapping coordinates
      4m 3s
    6. Using multiple unwrap modifiers
      6m 47s
    7. Unwrapping objects a second time: Planning an unwrap for a light map
      7m 46s
    8. Unwrapping a building façade using overlapping texture elements
      5m 53s
  10. 30m 25s
    1. Understanding ambient occlusion
      1m 50s
    2. Assessing the quality of occlusion as a cinematic mood
      2m 48s
    3. Overview of the Ambient Occlusion shader
      5m 9s
    4. Baking maps using the Render To Texture dialog
      3m 15s
    5. Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt
      5m 28s
    6. Using occlusion from detailed models for texture
      5m 54s
    7. Baking lighting
      6m 1s
  11. 25m 18s
    1. Preparing for Unity as a world builder
      2m 26s
    2. Importing into Unity and recognizing limitations
      4m 12s
    3. Importing elements with detailed materials
      5m 59s
    4. Setting optimal texture sizes and resizing in Unity
      3m 12s
    5. Setting up a naming convention and scene management
      7m 40s
    6. Renaming tools in 3ds Max
      1m 49s
  12. 1m 21s
    1. What's next
      1m 21s

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Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
5h 54m Intermediate Sep 07, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the design process and software requirements
  • Analyzing concept art for texture and key shadow detail
  • Planning differently styled buildings
  • Laying out city blocks
  • Organizing construction elements and models using layers
  • Cloning geometry and texture
  • Testing the module for correct floor-to-floor heights
  • Arranging, aligning and cloning modular elements
  • Building a texture library
  • Creating stone, wood, and brick textures
  • Constructing texture sheets
  • Drawing detail
  • Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt
  • Preparing for Unity as a world builder
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Rendering Game Design
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Adam Crespi

Layering color in window frames and doorways

When we are adding detail to a texture of a building, we need to consider the small steps and small details we see in areas like windows where we may see more stepping or level changes in the window frame than there is in the entire facade. The brick is actually fairly flat, but in the windows they have upper and lower frames and a frame around which may have its own trim. We need to paint this in Photoshop so it looks right, even though it's just really a flat polygon. These windows are single hung where the bottom moves up inside of the top.

They also have a wood frame around. We can just see here in this sort of warm tan. To begin with, I'll start out in that diffused texture I had used in previous exercises, where I have my window polygons inside the opening of the window, sized as big as possible without overlapping. What I will do to begin a window is make a new layer. As always, make a new layer for new construction. It makes it easier to adjust and separate. On my template layer, just called Layer 1, as a note, I am going to rename this. I am going to call this template.

That way I can always find it and make sure I turn it off when I save the texture. I am going to select using the Magic Wand with the Contiguous option checked inside of the window. Then I'll expand this selection by a couple of pixels to make sure it overlaps the line of the polygon. Select > Modify > Expand, and I will push it out by 2. Then on that new layer, my Layer 6, I am going to fill it with a window color. I'll go back to my reference photo, zoom in as close as I can, and eyedropper a color. I may want to try a couple of times.

These are looking rather pink and I have a feeling we're seeing a little bit of extra red in the image. I am going to take this color now that I've got it and just pull the Hue around or desaturate it till it's not quite as pink. I am going to swing the Hue a little more towards yellow and brighten it up. Sometimes the reference maybe a little misleading depending on the conditions it was shot in. So we may need to push these just a bit. That looks pretty reasonable. Sort of an off-white buff color.

The first step then is on this new layer to fill that selection and then deselect. Now we have at least a clean blank space for the window. The trick with painting a window is to put in steps of color, to make it look right, as if there was extra framework in there or extra geometry. I'll start with a solid color and then make the frame of the window and finally the window frames around each light of glass. I deselected this so I could see clearly where that color sat. To reselect around a certain layer or a certain color, I can either use the Magic Wand or hold Ctrl and click on the layer thumbnail, and there's my selection again.

The first thing I'll do is contract the selection in to get me the first layer of frame, choosing Select > Modify > Contract, and I will contract in by 4. Then I'm going to fill this with a slightly darker variant of my existing window color. Choosing the window color and pulling the Brightness down by four or five points and filling the selection again. I'll do this one more time. Contracting the selection, darkening the color down, maybe down five points, down to 87, and filling.

What I'm starting to get if I deselect to show is a little bit of color stepping in there that we read as window frames. A lot of times window frames actually do have multiple colors like this or they get different amounts of dirt depending on where they sit. Now I need to make the interior frames on the windows. What I want to do is use the Magic Wand to select that color, making sure that the Tolerance is low. As you can see my Tolerance is too high and it's grabbing all the colors. I'll try a Tolerance of 5, deselect and reselect again.

That works much better. The important piece here is to use the Info palette and look at the height of this to get the size right. I'll go to Window and Info or press F8. I can see that my Height is 336. I want my size to be half of that for a top or bottom of the window. Half of 336 is 168. So I'll make my marquee a fixed size at a Width of 132, which I am getting from the width of that selection, and a Height of 168.

Now when I land a marquee inside this color, I can make sure that it's in the right place. The first step is to make sure the marquee sits cleanly inside, again using the arrow keys to nudge, and then contract it in maybe a pixel or two. This gives me an additional step in the window. Now I will fill this with one more slightly darker color.

Zooming back out shows me a slightly deeper rectangle. And again, I'm going to contract that marquee, this time to provide the thickness of the frame around the glass. I'll contract in by 6. Actually, it needs to be a little thicker. I'll contract in by another 2. It's fine to look at it and do it again. Much better. Now I am going to make the glass. And for the glass, it's not blue as it's a scorching bright blue. It's much closer to really a deep blue purple gray.

Really windows in the outside have a reflection and not much color of their own. So I am going to mute this out and fill here. That will read as glass fairly nicely. Now what I'd like to do is take this whole assembly and clone it down, pressing M for Marquee and lining up my marquee inside that dark window frame, zooming in if I have to. Notice I am hitting Ctrl+0 to Zoom Extents and Z for Zoom to zoom back in. Now I'll hold Alt while in the Move tool and moving that selection and cloning it down to fit in the window frame, zooming in as needed to see if it's in the right place.

With this selection still active, I'll choose Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and lower the Brightness by 10 or 12 points. Now the bottom of the window looks slightly darker, as if it's a little more in shadow. This is the basic diffuse texture for a window. We can continue to add to it, adding in either localized dirt by selecting colors and then painting, or adding gradients and reflections across. I'll show a little bit of dirt to finish the exercise.

What I'd like to do is to simulate some age in the window, as if the corners here are slightly dirty. As an example, I'll use my Magic Wand with a very low Tolerance and Contiguous on to select the window frame around the glass. Then I'll use my Brush tool, on a new layer of course, to add in some dirt. I'll work in a version of the window color, eyedroppering one of the window colors and then setting it darker. And in the brush, I'll brush with a soft brush, right-clicking to choose my brush if needed.

Hardness at 0 and Size fairly low, brushing in a Multiply at maybe 10% Opacity. It's important to do it in little bits, not just to smear on a giant brush of dirt. And now in the selection in the corner, I'm going to brush in a little bit of dirt just around the edges, almost outside of the marquee so it sort of carries in little bit. That's fine. A little more in the top is okay. And it starts to look like either a mix of dirt or shadow.

Making it irregular is just fine. I can repeat this process all the way around, getting me what looks like a dirty window. When you're painting textures then, you want to step back and look at the pieces you need remembering it's an assembled language that has been there over time. That the building was put up in pieces and has aged in different ways depending on which way the surface was facing. So build up your textures in pieces, using your selection and expanding or contracting to add steps in the color which look like additional levels of trim or detail.

Then on new layers, selecting colors and adding in dirt for acceptable wear, keeping in mind that this will repeat over and over and over on every element you use the texture for.

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