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Laying out rectangles and planning how to clone geometry and texture

From: Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

Video: Laying out rectangles and planning how to clone geometry and texture

In this chapter we'll descend from making streets to buildings, looking at techniques to make modular buildings that are easily cloned and form a kit of parts we can use to make other buildings that share elements and textures. We'll start on this building, a typical city fabric building showing older construction, stone below, brick above, and a one story cornice and frieze at the top. What I've done is to start to sketch out major mesh lines on the building, to give me an idea of how to lay out the modules. You can see that these pair of windows and sill clone all the way up the facade.

Laying out rectangles and planning how to clone geometry and texture

In this chapter we'll descend from making streets to buildings, looking at techniques to make modular buildings that are easily cloned and form a kit of parts we can use to make other buildings that share elements and textures. We'll start on this building, a typical city fabric building showing older construction, stone below, brick above, and a one story cornice and frieze at the top. What I've done is to start to sketch out major mesh lines on the building, to give me an idea of how to lay out the modules. You can see that these pair of windows and sill clone all the way up the facade.

Therefore if we needed, we could actually stretch this building taller or shorter and make another structure for a city. In 3ds Max we had a street layout from the previous chapters. In this case, I have turned off the blocks and sidewalks except for one block and left the streets on. We're ready to add a building into this space. What I'll do is in a Front view start to layout rectangles. On the Creation menu under Shapes there is a Rectangle object and the neat thing, why do I like rectangles here, is that rather than just using a ruler I can put in an exact length and width in feet or in inches.

What I'll do is I'll check against the reference. In the reference I'll gauge the floor to floor height as well as the width between major features, such as these vertical pilasters on the building. In this building I could count bricks and a standard brick being 8"x3"x4" would give me an accurate measure. It's like the building has a ruler built-in, but I'm going to gauge it roughly based on the windows, that these are probably 5 feet tall, giving me give or take 10 feet from floor to floor. The floor running right through the middle of this brick spandrel.

The spandrel is the piece of wall above and below windows here, concealing the floor and other structure. I'll also make this module the width of these pilasters, going if this is 10 feet tall, roughly 10 feet wide with a 2 foot wide brick protrusion, giving me 10 foot, 2 foot, 10 foot, 2 foot. Notice that I've rounded off my dimensions. The actual dimensions of the building, if you could get out there with a tape measure, may vary slightly. Things do vary when they're built. That's fine. For our purposes and construction making it even will be much easier.

Back here in 3ds Max then I'll make the length of my rectangle 10 feet. Remember we can add in 10 feet and it'll convert inches for us and I'll put the Width in of 10 feet as well. Now I'll make other rectangles that stand in for the window opening, not necessarily both windows, but really where do the window sit and am I getting the proportion right of wall to window on the side? Referencing back to the photos if this is 10 feet from floor to floor, this window is 5. If this window is 5 tall it's probably three wide as a good guess or maybe two and a half feet.

We can always resize it. Given that this is two and a half, we have two and a half, 8 inches or one brick, two and a half, giving us 5 foot 8 inches centered in that rectangle. Back in Max then, we can either make a new rectangle as I've done and put the dimensions in, or we can take the existing rectangle and clone it by pressing Ctrl+V as a copy. Then in the parameters for this rectangle I'll put in my length, 5 foot 6, to accommodate the sill, and a Width of 5 foot 8, which gives me the windows.

Because objects think their center is in the center by default, this rectangle is now centered on the existing one and there's my module. And I can use this to gauge the size and say, does this work if I clone it? To clone objects then I'll select both, press Spacebar for Selection Lock, make sure my Snap is on, 2.5 works fine, and that the snap is configured on vertices. I'll on go on the y-axis only, hold Shift, and click and drag from the top to the bottom.

This pulls up to Clone Options dialog and I'll put the Number of Copies at 6 to start. What I have then is a reasonable idea of how these windows will stack up and what I'll do is look at the proportion of wall to window opening and gauge it against my reference. Am I getting enough windows in here versus the amount of wall I need? And it looks like I could be a little bit taller on the windows and getting maybe too much wall above and below. When I cloned I cloned as an instance.

We can see the Make Unique button is available here. That means if I change one they all change. I'm going to make my windows a little taller, 6 feet, and again I'll gauge the proportion of wall between windows to window opening. This looks better. The windows are little taller. Now I'm ready to build the mesh that actually fits inside this template.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

78 video lessons · 6234 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
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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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