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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.
In this video, I'll continue taking my proxy objects and replacing them with actual geometry. For this, I'll focus on these round corners, adding ramps in and adjusting the smoothing groups and optimizing the polygon count. First, I'll take an existing proxy object in our model and hold Shift and clone it off into a blank space and then copy. Then to make things easier to see, I'll right-click and choose Hide Unselected. Then press Z for zoom extents. Since this is still a parametric cylinder, it can be easily adjusted to give me an optical mesh flow.
I'll make the Sides 12 and the Cap Segments 2. This will give me a division along this for shorter ramp runs and a flat space in the sidewalk. Next, I'll convert this object to an editable poly and optimize the back and bottom faces. A quick way to do this is to press 1 for vertex and pick the back bottom face. Then hold Ctrl and click on the Polygon button to select any polygons adjacent to that vertex.
Then I'll delete them. I'll pick one and hold Ctrl to add to the selection. Now I'm ready to model the ramps. I'll press 2 for edge and select the third and fourth edges in from the corner, holding Ctrl again to add to the selection. Pressing F12 for the Transform Type-In and moving these edges down -7 inches on the Z giving me my ramps.
I'll optimize the polygon count further by selecting the middle edge on the ramp and choosing a Loop selection off the Selection rollout. I'll scroll down to the Edit Edges menu and hold Ctrl and click on Remove to perform a clean remove, removing the vertices as well as the edges. Now we need to adjust the smoothing groups in this object. As a possibility, you can also remove other edges to eliminate tries if you need. For this, I'll just hit Remove because I want the vertices still there.
I'll right-click and choose Element, select the whole element, and scroll down to the Polygon Smoothing Groups. In the Smoothing Groups, I'll clear all the smoothing. Then I'll come back to polygon and pick the polys around the edge of the curb. Scrolling down to the Smoothing Groups again, I can clear their smoothing if needed and apply one consistent smoothing group so they look round.
Then I'll choose the polygons to the sides of the ramps and put them in their own smoothing group, so they're smooth but not with a curb. Finally, I may need to redirect the triangulation. You can just see a little bit of a dark line across this ramp, which means the edge is in the wrong direction. I'll right-click and choose Edit Triangulation and also press F3 to switch to a wireframe so I can see the dragline clearly. Clicking and dragging from corner to corner edits the triangulation inside the polygon, which will produce the correct smoothing.
I'll do this in all of the side ramp polys. Switching back over to shaded or realistic view with Edged Faces by pressing F3 again shows me the correct smoothing. I'll turn off the Edged Faces by pressing F4 and check my model. The model looks right. I have the shine on the curbs where it should be round and my ramps have clean facets where they should be angular.
My sidewalk is flat and my object is optimized on polygons and ready for texture. I'll right-click and choose Top-level and name this object Corner01 and then I can replace my proxy objects and my model with it and apply a texture. I've made my ramp and I'm ready to place it in the opening here. I've removed the proxy object. I'll go in a top view and snap this in place. I'd like to use my 2.5D snap for things like this, so it doesn't jump up accidentally.
Spacebar for selection lock lets me put my mouse where I need and I'll snap it right into the corner. But I can see I have an issue here. Probably because this was started as a cylinder and then converted to an editable poly, my width is off slightly and I have a small triangular gap. This, however, is easy to fix. What I'll do is add a symmetry modifier on to this object. As we can see, the symmetry modifier mirrors the object with a mirror plane shown in orange.
I'll right-click and choose Mirror and then press E for rotate, making sure my angle snap is on by hitting A if it's not already, and I'll rotate the mirror plane by 45 degrees, giving me a clean mirror of now the gap on both sides. In the symmetry parameters, I'll check Flip and my object is fixed, matching cleanly from sidewalk to sidewalk. I'll right-click and convert this object back to an editable poly, deleting the symmetry modifier. Pressing 2 for edge shows me that the new edge where symmetry did a slice and weld is selected.
I'll go down to the Edit Edges rollout. In the Edit Edges rollout, I'll hold Ctrl and click Remove again to perform a clean remove, thereby taking out the vertices as well and my object is ready. I'll right-click and press Top-level to return back to the whole object and proceed with texturing.
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