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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.
Once a street grid has been constructed we can further refine our transportation routes in the city. This movie will demonstrate the construction refinement of sidewalks, more streets, corners, and intersections, with a strong emphasis on modularity. After all we have miles of texture to deal with. I've got my basic street layout from the previous movie here, showing major and minor streets and intersections. Now what I'll do is make modular white box elements for use in corners, straight pieces of sidewalk, and driveways.
For a corner I'll use a cylinder to start with, and again this is really a placement icon rather than an exact model. I'll make a cylinder and in this case give it a Radius of 8 feet, fairly common for city sidewalks. Then I'll make the Height, 8 inches, curb height, 1 Cap Segment, and 6 Sides. Looks kind of chunky at the moment. It's a hexagon. What I'll do is turn on Slice On and Slice From 90 degrees to 0, which gives me a quarter circle.
This is missing its ramps and doesn't have enough geometry along it, but is a reasonable white box element to let me place pieces to make my city blocks. Then I'll hold Ctrl+Right-Click and choose Box. This box will be a sidewalk element. A Length of 96 so it matches the width of my corner. A Width of 100 feet, because I'm not going to use it exactly like that, I'm going to stretch it as needed, and a Height finally of 8 inches.
Again, I'll want to optimize this and map it correctly, but this is a white box element for placement. Then I usually want to do a separate element for driveway. I'll make another box. In this case, my Length will be 96, my Width will be 240 or 20 feet, and a Height of 8. I could model the driveway at the moment, but really what I prefer to do is simply let it be a different color, as we can see in the Object Color here, so that when I clone it I can recognize the driveway elements from the straight sidewalks, as they may have different textures such as red curbs.
We'll get into texture on the streets in later movies, but I at least want to plan for mapping on all of my elements. The neat part to this approach is that I've taken my street elements and cloned them as instances. Notice the Make Unique button is available. So later I can come in and right-click on the spinner for Width Segments and reduce it to 1, giving me optimal geometry. Then I can apply UVW Map modifier to this. That's a square. The street width becomes the length of the map, and there is my square mapping.
Now I've made up a texture here. I'll show how to make in a later movie. I'll press M for Materials, and in the Diffuse slot I'll add a Bitmap. And here is my street texture. This is a tiling texture with three lanes and a center safety lane, just like we planned. I'll apply it to this module, show it in the view, and there is my street. I can apply this to all of my major streets and they will all map the same.
Finally, I can take this mapping, right-click on it and copy it, select a minor street and paste that mapping on, then assign this material, reducing the Width Segments. Assign this material to my minor streets and they have lane lines as well, using the same texture thereby optimizing memory in game. I can do this with my intersections which I'll show in a later movie. In this movie, we've made the lead from regional within a city to truly local, demonstrating how to design at the street level.
As part of this we've also cemented the module and nature of our design, literally embedding it in the streets.
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