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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.
When we are finally ready to bring our objects across into Unity we need to consider exactly what we will be taking with us. It's uncommon to take an entire world out of 3ds Max and into Unity. Much more commonly, we will take pieces out, separate scenes, single objects, single textures, and bring them in and place them in Unity. This will also allow us to take things that maybe replicated many, many times and package them in Unity. A prefab then will allow us to take one object and clone it and reference it, thereby saving memory and overhead.
Additionally, with textures we want to think about the size we drew them, the size we mapped them, and how large the resolution will be in game. We have greater control over this in the game engine than we do here in 3ds Max. This is an example of a prototype or a design model. I laid out the streets here using my various intersections and short and long and wide narrow streets to make the chunk of a city I needed, complete with super blocks seen on the right and bottom here. Where a block comes to a T it's be blocked by a building.
I wouldn't bring this across into Unity, and the reason is I can put this at exact coordinates and space. I also have repetitive elements such as the small and large intersections, which as long as I know a coordinate in space,e I'd be better off cloning it there. It's perfectly okay to make a model here in 3ds Max. Select elements singly and choose under File > Save As and save the selected object out as a separate scene. That way we can bring one scene with one object in Unity and have a cleaner project.
The same thing applies in Photoshop for textures. This is an example. This street is drawn at 1024 square. I like to draw things big so I can put in the detail I need with the knowledge that going into game I may reduce this. I can specify in Unity that this texture may max out at 512x512. This won't affect things like the lines too badly as Unity does a great job on compression. We can also bring in layered PSDs if we really need. So we have some flexibility. The important thing is to stay organized and plan out exactly what will be and won't be exported, and to make the difference in your mind between a prototype or design model and the final piece to bring into the game.
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