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Modeling sloped roofs

From: Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

Video: Modeling sloped roofs

Sometimes in the construction of your environment, you need buildings with sloped roofs. What we've looked at so far are largely flat roofs, where the roof sits inside of the walls a little bit and isn't visible from the street. Occasionally though, we may be modeling houses, we may be modeling barns, or similar structures that really need a sloped roof. What we want to do is construct these as elegantly as possible, with a minimum of polygons but recognizing that the roof is one of the largest elements we are going to see. We are going to see a large expanse of thatch or shingle or steel or whatever that roof is made of.

Modeling sloped roofs

Sometimes in the construction of your environment, you need buildings with sloped roofs. What we've looked at so far are largely flat roofs, where the roof sits inside of the walls a little bit and isn't visible from the street. Occasionally though, we may be modeling houses, we may be modeling barns, or similar structures that really need a sloped roof. What we want to do is construct these as elegantly as possible, with a minimum of polygons but recognizing that the roof is one of the largest elements we are going to see. We are going to see a large expanse of thatch or shingle or steel or whatever that roof is made of.

Additionally, we're going to see the edge of the roof and we need to make sure that's detailed correctly. To lay out roofs, I will start out with the building so I can look in a Top view and see a footprint, pressing T for Top and Z for some Zoom Extents. To lay out a roof, what I will begin with then are rectangles, splines or shapes. They give me the line with a throw of the eves, how far out do those come from wall? I'll start up a Rectangles. The first rectangle I will make will define how far out the eaves go. In this case, I'm going to put a roof eave all the way around, that we don't see the edge of the wall, that there is actually a slope all the way around the building.

I will begin this one with a 2 foot x 2 foot rectangle or 24 on a side. Then using my Snap tools and the Spacebar for Selection Lock, I will start snapping rectangles around my roofs as a measuring tool. Holding Shift, I will clone this rectangle. A Copy or an Instance is fine for now. It doesn't really matter. These are construction objects. I will pick it. Occasionally, I'll hit X, which turns off and on the Transform Gizmo.

That way I can find a vertex that would normally be hidden and distort where I'm moving. I will clone this around until my entire roof is done in rectangles at the corners. Sounds rather odd but very helpful. I can put one here, although I do have reference of both of these I am going to use with the Spline. The next step in making a roof is to actually lay out the roof planes. Most often we need a ridgeline in a sloped roof, and ridges tend to go in the middle or equally between the walls.

Additionally in a roof, when two roofs meet, we will have one from one side, and one from the top here. They will meet at a 45 on both places. I'll use a rectangle to lay this out. The first thing I'll do is use my rectangle to measure. Actually this isn't on the roof but I'm looking way down in the bottom right corner at the Width, 240. Then I'm going all the way over and looking at the Width of the rectangle here. 432 and a Length of 192.

That's an important one to remember. Now this isn't exactly the full roof. It's too big. What I need to do is actually make one plane and so in here under theLength I will actually put divided by 2 and let Max compute it for me. I will move this rectangle down to match up with my eave lines. Remember this Length 96. I will convert this to a Spline, right-click, and choose Vertex and move this top-left vertex in on the Transform Type-In by 96.

This will give me a 45-degree corner. I'll take a minute, fill the roof with rectangles as I've shown. Move their vertices and show what it looks like when I'm done. So I have taken my rectangles, cloned them around, and moved vertices as I need. What I need to do now is to get rid of this twistiness or the curve in the roof, as these should be straight. When you draw out a shape, those corners may be whatever the default is set to. As an example under a line, the Creation Method is Corner, with the Drag Type being Bezier.

What that means in a rectangle then is if we make it, it looks like a rectangle, we convert it to an editable spline, and any one of these corners we thought was a corner is actually a Bezier corner vertex where it has handles to give influence on the connecting segments. What I will do is pick my splines, select their vertices, both or just all at once, and right-click and choose Corner. I can do this at any point but it's helpful to see sometimes, where those curves are as part of the process of making the roof.

I've straightened out all the vertices, literally converting them to corners so that the adjoining segments are perfectly straight. I'll fill in the last part of the roof. For this I will create a line, by holding Ctrl+Right-Clicking and in the line, just to make sure it stays straight, I will make the Drag Type Corner, in case I accidentally click-and-drag. I will fill in the last part with a triangle. Close the spline and I'm ready. Now I can start to make my roof a surface.

For each part, not all at once but uniquely, I'll right-click, choose Convert To: > Editable Poly, and if I switch to a Shaded mode I can see where that is taking on a surface or it's a solid. Converting to a poly gives me the rest of my roof. The important thing I think is to do it one at a time, so you can spot any possible issues. Occasionally, you may have a more complex shape that's not closed and will disappear. And if it's overlapping with something else, it may be hard to tell what's missing.

I've made my roof or so it would seem but it's still flat. What I will do is I'll take this roof and move it up above the wall, so I can see clearly and then attach it together and elevate the middle. I have moved my roof up above the walls. Now I can start to attach it together, picking any one of the editable polys, right-clicking, and choosing Attach. Then I will select the other roof planes. Now my roof is almost ready to move. If needed, you can weld vertices.

I'm going to leave these alone for the moment. So I don't get any accidental smoothing from roof plane to roof plane. That is they stay flat. I will go by Vertex and select those ridge vertices. I can do them all at once. So if there is different ridges at different heights because of different roof runs or how horizontal it goes, I can do it one at a time. For this, I will grab on the Z- axis and pull up till it looks right. In this case, I am designing on-the-fly. What I've got is a sloped roof.

It's economical in polygons. As we can see in my Polygon Display, which you can toggle off and on with the 7 key. The total polygons I have selected are 5 or 19 vertices. That's pretty slim considering the amount of geometry it covers or the amount of texture it will show. Now I can take this roof and sit it down correctly on the walls and I am ready to fill in the edge detail, such as the soffits and fascia.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

78 video lessons · 6287 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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