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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.
This video continues with the construction of the kit of street and sidewalk elements started in the previous one. I'll be focusing on construction techniques for sidewalks, building the linear elements that bridge between the corners and driveways. This video will particularly emphasize clean modeling practices, including attention to smoothing groups and optimizing polygon count while maintaining the correct look. We'll pick up in the model where we left off in the previous video. We have detailed ramps in place, proxy objects for sidewalks and corners, and detailed textured streets.
What I'll do is start to replace my proxy sidewalks, here's one, two, and three, with one sidewalk element in multiple pieces. I'll take two of the parts and delete them. Then I'll take the existing element for a sidewalk and make sure it's not an instance. Notice that the Make unique button is grayed out. For this sidewalk I really just need to optimize the poly count to check the smoothing. I'll switch to polygon and spin around the backside to delete back and bottom faces.
With the back and bottom gone, this is a two-polygon sidewalk element. Now I'm ready to clone so that it can be part of one object, having one texture spanning cleanly between the driveways. I'll switch to element and select the whole element, which is really the whole object. Press Spacebar for selection lock and move only on the red x-axis, making sure my 3D snap is enabled, holding Shift and cloning this element to snap to the edge of the existing ramp. I'd like to clone this as an element instead of a new object.
Now I'll press 1 for Vertex, release this selection lock by pressing the Spacebar, and grab the vertices here at the end. Press Spacebar again for selection lock and snap these back onto the driveway. I'll repeat the process one more time. I'll continue working on this and show the completed version. Now I have my elements of one object cloned cleanly down the block from corner to corner and between the ramps. Lastly, I'll pick all of the elements again and scroll down to the Polygon Smoothing Groups.
In Polygon Smoothing Groups, I'll clear all the smoothing. This will prevent any accidental roundness from distorting my curbs. Finally, I'll right-click and pick Top-level. This object is complete and ready for cloning or further adjusting. What I'll do to finish out this block is clone the driveways and ramps as I need, stretch the sidewalks between, and attach the objects together to get one complete sidewalk for the entire block, which will share one texture we'll see in the next video.
Construction of street and sidewalk elements is an exercise in careful placement of minimal number of polygons. Beyond the simple placement of mesh lines, we as designers are charged with constructing conditions and transitions that we navigate regularly in our world, making the mundane world appear correct and well, mundane.
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