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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 importing objects into Unity, once you have cleaned up the scenes and named everything properly there are a couple of key things to consider. One is how does the mesh come across? You can see in this that this mesh is composed of tris. I didn't intend for it to be that way out of 3ds Max. If I look at the original in 3ds Max it looks far different. This is the original mesh. I constructed this out of rectangles, converting one to a spline attaching together making it into an editable poly and then extruding the edges.
Finally, capping a border to get the recessed window. This could be done in any number of ways, but how that edge flow works depends on how it's made. In this case, I haven't used the Cut tool in the poly to put in any edge lines. What Unity did for me is it triangulated it. Those edge lines were already here, but it turned them on and it may have flipped one or two if I didn't define them. The structure of the editable poly has no interior edge lines until we need them. Therefore, it's a good practice to make sure that things are modeled in quads or tris, four or three sided pieces, so you have control over those interior mesh lines when they come in.
I'll go back to Unity. I will put a light in and look at optimizing the texture size. Here in Unity to put a light in, I can choose GameObject > Create Other and I'll put a Point Light in for show to be able to see my material. I will do this quite often. When I bring in an object, rather than bring it in light up everything, I will put in one light that really shows off the properties of that object. In this case pulling this light back and forth shows me pretty nicely that my texture is working and my normal maps are decent, although a little bit understrength.
Now I want to look at the maximum texture size. In a game, if I'm going to get this close to this mesh, I'll be fine. As an example I might stand up on that windowsill and try to grab some cover behind that ledge. If I'm going to stand back from it-- and this will always be a background object. Let's say things up on a ceiling on a warehouse where I need them to be there, but I can't really make out the detail. Then I may want to optimize the texture. Unity does a great job of this. I will select my diffuse texture, wall sectionC shadows.
Notice down at the bottom of the previews it records the size, that it is an RGB image versus a grayscale, and that it is compressed down to 0.7 MB. What Unity lets me do, if needed, is put in a maximum size. Therefore, I can use this many times and expect different Maximum Sizes. I will degrade this down to 512. When I check Apply, it will reduce this and my wall still looks pretty good. Unity does a terrific job downraising things, taking textures and reducing them in size while preserving quality.
Therefore, when you're painting textures, paint big. I regularly plan to pay my textures twice as big as the final. In this case, my texture was painted at 1024 for final use at 512, introducing a little bit of blur and softening the look, giving me a nice overall look on the wall while reducing the memory footprint even further.
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