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Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry

Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry provides you with in-depth training on 3D + An… Show More

Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

with Adam Crespi

Video: Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry

Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by Adam Crespi as part of the Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
    2. Understanding the design process
    3. What you should know before watching this course
    4. Software requirements
    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
    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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Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry
Video Duration: 7m 10s 5h 54m Intermediate


Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by Adam Crespi as part of the Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

View Course Description

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the design process and software requirements
  • Analyzing concept art for texture and key shadow detail
  • Planning differently styled buildings
  • Laying out city blocks
  • Organizing construction elements and models using layers
  • Cloning geometry and texture
  • Testing the module for correct floor-to-floor heights
  • Arranging, aligning and cloning modular elements
  • Building a texture library
  • Creating stone, wood, and brick textures
  • Constructing texture sheets
  • Drawing detail
  • Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt
  • Preparing for Unity as a world builder
3D + Animation
3ds Max

Stretching the vertical elements to minimize geometry

Now that we've cloned our module vertically to produce some of the building facade, we need to add the vertical elements that go between the modules. Tall brick pilasters that give us an extra shadow line. We will do these as continuous elements. We don't want to waste geometry by cloning the same block over and over. I will start out by making a box, making sure that my Snap is on in 3D. I'll zoom in down at the base where one of the vertical elements sits and create a box snapping clearly between the vertices and up to, well, somewhere.

It doesn't really matter where at the moment. This gives me the box at the right width and now I can stretch the height as I need. I will go to the Modifier panel and change the length of this box to 4. Well, it's small. I will optimize this. I will right-click. Choose Convert to Editable Poly and delete the back, bottom, and top faces, selecting polygons and pressing Delete.

Now I have clean geometry. I will press 1 and switch to Vertex and then select the top vertices and in the front view, stretch them up to the top. I'll zoom out to view the whole building, press W for Move, and grab the y-axis and pull these up, matching it evenly with the top of my modules. I will also check in the Top view, pressing T for Top view and maybe F3 for Wireframe instead of Shaded, making sure that my brick is snapped to the front of the module.

Again I'll move on the y-axis, snapping on one of the vertices and pulling it forward. Now I'm ready to map this. We can see I have got one vertical brick element, which optimizes the amount of geometry I have. For mapping these, we're going to map at a 45. The idea is that we can push the mapping through from two sides by rotating the mapping gizmo, thereby getting the text to flow around the object. It's a great technique for things like this where we need to see that continuity.

When we are working with texture at 45, we need to scale down the mapping and here's why. As an example, I'll make a plane. Onto this plane I'll put some on unwrapped checkers I have generated. I will press M for Materials and in the new material, in the Diffuse Color, I will add in a Bitmap. In the Bitmap, I'll go browse to my images directory under sceneassets and choose one of my texture-based files. These are included with these exercises for you to use. I will choose texture-based 512x512.

This is a series of rainbow checkers with letters and numbers in them. This will let me see if this map is distorted and also let me see where it repeats from red to green and blue to orange. I will press Open and assign that material to my plane. I'll make sure in my Material Editor that this map is showing. When I apply UVW Map Modifier to this object, I'll map the texture on square.

Let's say this texture is 200x200. Right now the mapping gizmo is straight on the plane, giving me square squares. When I right-click, choose Gizmo and rotate this Gizmo 45 degrees, those scores will stretch. This introduces distortion in the texture. We can tell as the letters and squares are stretched horizontally. What we need to do then is multiply the width on this by half of the square root of 2, which will scale these back to the right size.

Based on that multiplication, I will put the width in my UVW Map at 141.42. Because I have scaled down the width but rotated the mapping, I've compensated and the width is essentially back to 1. My squares are square again and my letters and numbers are not distorted. Now I'll switch over to my vertical element. I will right-click and choose Top Level to get out of the mapping on that plane.

For this, I'll assign a brick I've got made already as part of a texture sheet. I will press M for my Material Editor and in a new material, on the Diffuse Color, I will choose a bitmap. In the sceneassets, I'll choose my texture. I will make sure the texture shows in the view and I'll make sure I know how big this texture should be. One way to do this, especially in a unit surface like bricks, is to count bricks.

This one comes out at 16 feet square, figuring that a brick is 3 inches tall and multiplying out. I'll apply a UVW Map Modifier to this object and I'll put a Length in 192. If I put a Width of 192 in, that'll be a square. I need to get that aligned correctly first. In the UVW Map, I will scroll down and try alignment one on X or Y until it flips in the right direction.

With the material assigned to the object and mapped on the Y alignment, I can see my brick. Now I need to compensate using that scale factor to get the width right, after I rotate this mapping at a 45. Using the formula, the Width for this comes out to 135.7. I will add that into my Width. Then right-click and choose Gizmo. Now I can rotate that Mapping Gizmo by 45. I will zoom in on my object to see if this worked.

It looks like the bricks are wrapping cleanly around. I can right-click and press Move if I need to move this backwards and forwards. I will hit S to turn off my Snap as well. I will pull this in and we can see the texture cleanly sliding on the building. I will get the bricks just in the right place, mapping around that vertical element. It's almost there, except I have a white space. One thing with mapping, especially when using a texture sheet, is we may need to move the map side-to-side to work right.

I will pull this over on the x-axis, until I get the continuous section of brick to wrap around the object. I'll check on both sides. It looks like my brick is good and my vertical element is mapped with the brick flowing cleanly around. It's also optimized. I have stretched this element the whole height of the building, using the minimal amount of geometry to make the maximum shadow impact.

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