Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max
Illustration by Mark Todd

Painting dirt and age variations


From:

Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max

with Adam Crespi

Video: Painting dirt and age variations

Things are coming along nicely with the models and the texture. We've got basic textures on the ladder, the sledgehammer, and the shipping containers. I still have a few things to work out; the holes in the shipping container, and I need some dirt. Why dirt? Well right now this is a really clean ladder and a really clean sledgehammer, and actually, the ground is really clean, next to my really rusty containers. A lot of what helps make those tiling textures match nicely in a scene are dirt decals, or overlays that add some local variation that we can move around as we need.
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  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 2s
    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 55s
  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 51s
    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 27s
    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 43s
    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 23s
  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 4s
    1. Overview of Mudbox
      58s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max
6h 5m Intermediate Jun 21, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Explore the world of modeling and texturing game props and assets in Autodesk 3ds Max. Author Adam Crespi demonstrates how to create both small and large props, from tools to shipping containers. The course begins with cloning and instancing objects for ease of modeling and unwrapping, and segues into multiple methods of unwrapping and painting texture by hand in Adobe Photoshop. Adam looks at various plug-ins that assist with normal map generation as well as sculpting in Mudbox, a digital sculpting application that can add realism and detail to your models. Finally, the course shows how to add lights to a scene and preview the objects in-game.

Note: A familiarity of basic modeling and unwrapping techniques in 3ds Max and a working knowledge of Photoshop will help you get the most out of this course.

Topics include:
  • Laying out the overall form
  • Planning for modular textures and models
  • Adding the framing components
  • Laying out the UV coordinates
  • Creating bump maps
  • Painting diffuse textures
  • Setting up a library of textures
  • Converting bump maps to normal maps
  • Testing maps
  • Laying out a texture sheet for multiple tools
  • Using a high poly to low poly workflow
  • Baking out normals and ambient occlusion for rusty and dirty surfaces
  • Modeling furniture
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
3ds Max Unity 3D Mudbox
Author:
Adam Crespi

Painting dirt and age variations

Things are coming along nicely with the models and the texture. We've got basic textures on the ladder, the sledgehammer, and the shipping containers. I still have a few things to work out; the holes in the shipping container, and I need some dirt. Why dirt? Well right now this is a really clean ladder and a really clean sledgehammer, and actually, the ground is really clean, next to my really rusty containers. A lot of what helps make those tiling textures match nicely in a scene are dirt decals, or overlays that add some local variation that we can move around as we need.

I'm going to zoom in on the sledgehammer and we can really see that it is really clean. I'm going to paint a dirt overlay with an alpha channel in Photoshop, and I'll bring this in and see how it looks and show some ways to apply it both in 3ds Max and in Unity. In Photoshop, I'm starting out with my working PSD of my tools texture atlas. I'm going to start a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N. I'll name this new layer dirt, so I can find it.

What I'll do is use my paintbrush. I'll hit B for brush, and make sure this brush is multiplying at a low Opacity, and really low Hardness. I'll right-click to make sure the brush looks right. Now I'm going to paint in some dirt, and I'm going to let it streak along the wood here a little bit. I'll zoom out, hold Alt to zoom out, and click and drag straight down and making tileable dirt and then occasionally, not tiling. I'm going to show some ways to make this kind of custom. I'll add some dirt along that ladder and a little bit more across the galvanized steel here.

Finally, I'll add some in making the hammer faces dirty. This is also a good way to add wear over time in a game. Things may start out clean and then get dirty from use, explosions, so forth. There's my dirt map and it doesn't look like much initially. I'm going to use one other component in there. I'll click below the dirt on whatever layer happens to be there, and press Ctrl+Shift+N again. I'm going to make a new layer and I'm going to fill this in a dark color. I'll eyedropper the wood color, and click on the foreground color, and take the brightness down, so it's nearly black, but has a hint of the original in it.

I'll press G for the Paint Bucket and fill that in. So really I've got kind of a very dark kind of cloudy map. How is this dirt, you might ask? Here's the trick. I'm going to use the alpha channel. I'll hold Ctrl and click on the thumbnail for my dirt. The selection bounds to whatever I painted, and that includes partial transparency. So it's actually catching all the feathering around this. I'll go into the Channels palette, and down at the bottom, I'll click on Make New Channel.

Now I have an alpha channel. Because alphas are grayscale, my colors default to black and white. I'll press G for the paint bucket and click in that selection. The selection fades off smoothly and now I have an alpha channel for my dirt. I'll press Ctrl+D to deselect. I'll make sure that I click back up on the RGB channels, and turn off the alpha. Now I'll go up to the Layers palette and make sure that the dirt is selected. Sometimes it's gray, and that's an indicator that we're selecting the wrong channel.

I'm going to turn off my other layers and I'm going to save this out as a TIFF. I'll choose File and Save As, and I'll call this dirt overlay. I'll put it over into my sceneassets > images folder. I'll make sure when I'm saving this to turn off Layers. I want a flattened TIFF here as layers get regarded differently when importing. I'll click Save and OK to the TIFF Options. I'll go over to 3ds Max and put this in as part of a composite map.

I'll press M in Max to pull up my Material Editor, and I'm going to rename this from wood to tools, so the material name is more reflective of what I'm doing with it. I've already got an image in here. I'm going to click on the M for Map next to the Diffuse channel, and I'll change this over from a Bitmap at the top to a Composite. I'll keep the old map as a sub-map, and now it's there as a composite map of one. In the composite map, I'll add a new layer in, and this new layer will be my dirt overlay. I'll click on the None box here for the Texture and choose Bitmap.

In the bitmap, I'm going to select my dirt overlay and click Open. I'll go up to the parent and make sure I show my composite map. There is my dirt laying over, although it's giving it more kind of spots, not working correctly. I'll click on that map and in the Bitmap Parameters; I'm going to unpremultiply the alpha, making it a straight alpha so it reads a little better. I've scrolled up to the top of the Bitmap Parameters and I'm going to change the Tiling of this map to see how it looks.

It starts out as a 1x1; as 1x1 we can see it here. When I switch over to 2x2, it appears to disappear. This will actually show up in a rendering, but we sort of max out what a graphics card can do sometimes. One way to look at it is to do a quick render. I'll click on Render, and I can see the spots along here. Looks like I need to go the other direction. I'm going to change the Tiling on this to less than 1x1. Instead of saying have multiple instances of this texture within that 0 to 1 space; I'm going to spread it out.

I'll make my Tiling 0.3 by 0.3. Again, I'm maxing out the graphics card, and so I can't see much here. But when I hit Render, I can see along this I've got some tonal variation going on. I can see where that dirt is wrapping along the ladder. This is a good way to add in additional detail. I'm going to do this in Unity as well and show what it looks like as a decal there. Here in Unity, I have a material assigned to my objects. I can see my hammer in the view here. And the material, if I scroll down in the Inspector, is the Diffuse Shader.

I'm going to make this instead of a Diffuse, a Decal. We can get more exotic with materials with some additional work, but for things like this where it's not really needing a bump map as much as multiple overlays of color, a Decal will work nicely. I'll choose Decal, and in those materials, now I have a second slot. The second slot allows me to bring in a decal. I've copied and pasted my dirt overlay file into my Unity assets folder in my Unity project. Unity imports it in automatically, which it did here, and there is that dirt ready to use.

Now with that material selected on my hammer, I've got my tools, and there's that Decal. I'll drag the dirt overlay onto the Decal and it regards the alpha channel correctly. We can tell it's going to use the alpha to tell where it goes by it saying RGBA. It's also here on the ladder. I'll pan over and see how it looks. We can see that dirt tiling and it's not nearly as hard-looking as it was in 3ds Max. That's because in Max, it wasn't rendering correctly. We were just displaying it in the view.

Here in Unity, it's doing a better job rendering, in engine, live. Now I'll change the Tiling. Again, doing a positive tiling on the Decal increases the amount of dirt, thereby giving me spots. Doing a fractional tiling such as 0.2 or 0.3, even going uneven, takes that dirt and spreads it out. So now along the ladder, I've got dirt in various places. It's along the sides and adding color in places and making it look a little dirty. It's also adding some color along the hammer, giving it a gentle patina.

If you want to get more advanced with this, you can actually put that dirt in a specular channel, such as the glossiness, bring it across from Max, and tell Unity to use that in a second set of UVs. That's outside the scope of this video, but for further exploration, we can look at using multiple UVs with multiple textures overlaying. The big deal in all of this is looking for the most bang for the buck out of the texture, that out of a 512 map, I can use it on several different objects. In this case, it's just 2.

But reasonably, I could use the same texture on other ladders of different sizes and other tools; things with wooden handles like long sledgehammers or maybe reuse the hammered-finish metal on crowbars or pry bars. I can use this wood again and again on pallets and crates and anything else in here. We can get a lot of mileage out of the texture if it's constructed well and implemented well. And if we're thoughtful about how we stack our UVs, we can make a lot of props for our game reusing the same texture.

There are currently no FAQs about Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max.

 
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