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Modeling a ladder

From: Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max

Video: Modeling a ladder

In this video, I'm going to add to my small props by modeling a ladder. We've got different kinds of ladders we can do; aluminum extension ladders, we can look at other ladders that are parts of scaffolds, and even site-built ladders like this wooden one. I'm going to make a single wooden ladder, so I can reuse some wood texture I'm going to use on the sledgehammer, and put in places to put a metal so it has some variable shine. Here in 3ds Max, I'm going to work in the same file I made my sledgehammer in. It's okay to do this and then export out things separately if you need.

Modeling a ladder

In this video, I'm going to add to my small props by modeling a ladder. We've got different kinds of ladders we can do; aluminum extension ladders, we can look at other ladders that are parts of scaffolds, and even site-built ladders like this wooden one. I'm going to make a single wooden ladder, so I can reuse some wood texture I'm going to use on the sledgehammer, and put in places to put a metal so it has some variable shine. Here in 3ds Max, I'm going to work in the same file I made my sledgehammer in. It's okay to do this and then export out things separately if you need.

First, I'll hold Ctrl and right-click and choose Box from my creation quad. I'm going to try to make this around 0, 0, although I can always move things later. I'll start out by making the sides of the ladder, clicking and dragging for a box and jumping to the Modifier panel to put in an exact size. I'm going to give this a width of 1, so it's fairly slim, and a length of 3. Finally, I'm going to make this an 8 foot ladder. I'll put the Height at 96. Notice I've got my Length, Width and Height segments down to 1, 1, and 1 as this box is straight, so I don't need to spend any extra polys.

I'll take this element and clone it. I'll press Ctrl+V to clone, and I'll clone it as an instance. I'll press W for move, and down in the Offset Transform type-in at the bottom on the X axis, I'm going to move this clone over by 16 inches. There are the sides of my ladder. Now I'll go in a Left View and press F3 to go to a wireframe and G to turn off the Grid so I can see what I'm doing easier, and I'm going to make the rungs. I'll zoom in on it so I can see what I'm doing, and in the Creation menu, choose Cylinder.

I'm going to make a cylinder. And actually the 6-sided cylinder I started out with will work very nicely. I'll go to the Modifier panel and give this a Radius of three-quarters-of-an-inch, 0.75. The Height I don't know about yet. The Height Segments, I'm going to leave at 1, and Sides at 6. I'm going to come back and deal with those in a minute. I'll zoom in, right-click, and convert this to an Editable Poly. Because this rung intersects the sides of the ladder, I don't actually need the end polys on it. I'll go into Polygon, select them, and delete them.

Now here's how we reduce the polygon even further and really make it look like a ladder. Climbing on the ladder with round rungs is doable but difficult. I'm going to flatten this out. I'll press 2 for Edge and pick one of these side edges. I'll scroll down to the Edit Edges rollout and there is Remove. Now Remove doesn't take out the vertices. I want to do what's called a clean remove by holding Ctrl and clicking Remove. The edge is gone and so are the vertices, and I've got now a 5-sided rung with a flat top.

I'll press E to rotate, right-click and choose Top-level and make sure my Angle Snap is on. I'll rotate it on the X axis by 90 degrees. And once I get the smoothing groups on, it will look round, but be flat on top and shine correctly. I'll go into a Front View, press W for move, and move this into the right place. I'm going to use my snapping tools; pressing S for Snap. I had already configured snap to work on vertices. I'll press Spacebar for Selection Lock, register the snap, and pull it over.

Now I'll press 1 for Vertex, release the Selection Lock by pressing Spacebar, select the vertices, press it again, and slide these over right on that X axis until that rung matches up. I can use the Align tool to get this in the right place. I'll click on the Align tool with the rung selected, and pick the box. It seems to jump out, and that's because I had my align on something else previously. What I want to do is make sure this is on the Y Position only from Center to Center, and the rung centers on the ladder.

I'll hit Apply, and now I'm going to position it on the bottom, going from on the Z Position, the Minimum to the Minimum. Now the rung is snapped to the bottom of the ladder, I can click OK, and move it up a precise distance as I want. I'm going to move this up on the Z by 12. Finally, I'll clone this out. I'm going to use my Shift+ Clone to start to clone this. And here's a neat technique. I've hit my Spacebar, so my Selection Lock is on. I'm going to make my snap 3D instead, and on the Z axis, I'm going to register, hold Shift, and click and drag up one rung spacing.

Because it's snapping only on the Z axis I can put my mouse anywhere. I'll let it go, make sure it's an instance, and give myself 7 copies. I'll click OK, and zoom out to see my handiwork. One rung, too many, I'll select it and delete it. Now what I've done is created my ladder and its rungs, ready for use. When I unwrap one or play with the smoothing groups on it, it will affect all of them. Likewise, on the boxes on the side, if I pick one and unwrap it, or deal with the smoothing, or model in some other way, the instance will reflect those changes as well.

I'm ready to refine, add detail, and unwrap in the next video.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max
Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max

93 video lessons · 5709 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      19s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 22s
  2. 26m 8s
    1. Overview of modeling a large prop
      52s
    2. Laying out the overall form and planning for modular textures and models
      4m 49s
    3. Adding the framing components
      4m 56s
    4. Adding the side panels
      2m 33s
    5. Unwrapping the sides
      2m 10s
    6. Unwrapping one corner box
      2m 25s
    7. Unwrapping one of each frame member
      2m 48s
    8. Laying out the UV coordinates
      5m 35s
  3. 53m 1s
    1. Overview of the texturing process
      1m 9s
    2. Creating a bump map for the corrugated sides
      5m 20s
    3. Adding more details to the bump map
      3m 23s
    4. Drawing the bump map for the door
      3m 33s
    5. Adding details to the doors
      2m 55s
    6. Painting the diffuse texture: planning the layers
      1m 47s
    7. Painting the base coat and logo
      2m 3s
    8. Adding tracking labels and other markings
      3m 9s
    9. Adding soft rust
      3m 57s
    10. Adding rust bubbles
      3m 46s
    11. Setting up a library of shipping container textures
      4m 2s
    12. Painting dirt and rust variations
      4m 43s
    13. Transferring wear from the diffuse texture to the bump map
      2m 43s
    14. Converting bump maps to normal maps
      4m 37s
    15. Testing the maps
      5m 54s
  4. 1h 3m
    1. Overview of modeling small props
      1m 1s
    2. Modeling a sledgehammer
      2m 52s
    3. Adding detail and smoothing groups
      4m 42s
    4. Unwrapping as part of a texture sheet
      4m 56s
    5. Modeling a ladder
      5m 6s
    6. Adding detail and smoothing groups
      3m 10s
    7. Unwrapping for the ladder
      5m 47s
    8. Placing the clean texture
      5m 51s
    9. Laying out a texture sheet for multiple tools
      4m 50s
    10. Painting galvanized steel
      6m 59s
    11. Adding dirt and wear
      6m 48s
    12. Planning for optimal texture usage
      2m 48s
    13. Painting dirt and age variations
      8m 34s
  5. 1h 9m
    1. Modeling furniture using simple parts and reusable textures
      1m 18s
    2. Planning and analyzing the modeling of a chair
      1m 46s
    3. Blocking out the basic form
      5m 26s
    4. Adding detail and smoothing groups
      4m 58s
    5. Refining the silhouette
      3m 31s
    6. Unwrapping for the chair
      7m 53s
    7. Painting the fabric
      6m 26s
    8. Making a normal map for the fabric
      4m 42s
    9. Planning the modeling of a table
      2m 7s
    10. Blocking out the basic table form
      5m 34s
    11. Adding legs and skirt boards to the table
      7m 9s
    12. Breaking up the model for texturing
      6m 21s
    13. Laying out the wood texture
      5m 49s
    14. Reusing parts to make a round table
      6m 22s
  6. 28m 5s
    1. Understanding the importance of painting textures from scratch
      1m 23s
    2. Creating the initial grain lines
      1m 31s
    3. Adding value variation across the grain
      4m 16s
    4. Warping and curving the grain
      2m 32s
    5. Adding knots
      3m 2s
    6. Colorizing the grain and planning for stains
      5m 10s
    7. Cutting out boards for a UV layout
      4m 22s
    8. Adding patina and wear to a final texture
      5m 49s
  7. 37m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of a low poly count
      1m 12s
    2. Overview of normal maps
      1m 45s
    3. Modeling a high-poly work for projection
      4m 8s
    4. Overview of the pipeline
      2m 41s
    5. Planning edge flow for elegant modeling
      4m 29s
    6. Smoothing groups
      2m 50s
    7. Adding details by beveling and extruding
      4m 28s
    8. Adding hinges
      5m 42s
    9. Using Push/Pull and Soft Selection to add dents
      3m 34s
    10. Baking the high-poly mesh onto the low-poly model to produce a normal map
      6m 39s
  8. 36m 3s
    1. Overview of Mudbox
      57s
    2. Preparing for a smooth export to Mudbox
      3m 16s
    3. Importing from Mudbox: choosing the right resolution
      4m 26s
    4. Using the sculpt tools in Mudbox
      4m 3s
    5. Painting in Mudbox
      5m 34s
    6. Exporting paint layers from Mudbox
      3m 1s
    7. Extracting and exporting a normal map from Mudbox
      5m 44s
    8. Projecting normal maps from a Mudbox model
      5m 53s
    9. Importing and assigning objects and maps in Unity
      3m 9s
  9. 25m 59s
    1. Overview of ambient occlusion and specularity
      40s
    2. Setting up ambient occlusion as a texture
      5m 14s
    3. Using ambient occlusion as a foundation for rust and dirt
      4m 36s
    4. Using ambient occlusion to add detail to textures
      4m 26s
    5. Painting a specular map
      6m 36s
    6. Streamlining the import process: placing maps in the right channels
      4m 27s
  10. 21m 7s
    1. Overview of importing into Unity
      33s
    2. Preparing and exporting large props to Unity
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new project in Unity and importing textures
      5m 21s
    4. Cloning props in Unity with different looks
      3m 41s
    5. Adding lights to test smoothing and textures
      3m 52s
    6. Refining materials
      4m 37s
  11. 1m 0s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 0s

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