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Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
Illustration by Mark Todd

Unwrapping objects a second time: Planning an unwrap for a light map


From:

Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max

with Adam Crespi

Video: Unwrapping objects a second time: Planning an unwrap for a light map

Once we've got the base diffuse texture unwrapped for an object and we want to start to add on grunge or dirt or light overlays, we need to think carefully about how we unwrap the objects for that extra mapping. Part of this is looking at the size of the element and what kind of texture will be on it and really planning out in that UV space how we'll use it. For this warehouse, I've applied tiling textures to the walls, the sidewall elements, the windows, doors, and doorframes. This is ready for a grunge or dirt overlay.
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Understanding the design process
      47s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      14s
    4. Software requirements
      47s
    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
      36s
    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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Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
5h 54m Intermediate Sep 07, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Rendering Game Design
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Adam Crespi

Unwrapping objects a second time: Planning an unwrap for a light map

Once we've got the base diffuse texture unwrapped for an object and we want to start to add on grunge or dirt or light overlays, we need to think carefully about how we unwrap the objects for that extra mapping. Part of this is looking at the size of the element and what kind of texture will be on it and really planning out in that UV space how we'll use it. For this warehouse, I've applied tiling textures to the walls, the sidewall elements, the windows, doors, and doorframes. This is ready for a grunge or dirt overlay.

I'll use an Unwrap UVW modifier using Map Channel 2 and plan out these UVs very carefully. For something like a grunge or dirt overlay, it's going to span the entire size of the wall. For this one, I'll have most of my dirt down here at the bottom where rain and things splashing up are likely to make the wall dirty. Additionally, I need to plan in some wear around the garage door. Because people will be touching it, it'll get stained putting a dirt, and possibly some along the windows, especially on the lower floor where I can really see that texture.

I need dirt on the sill and on the sidewall elements. I'll add an Unwrap UVW Modifier to this object. It shows on my map seams quickly. The first thing I want to do here is change to Map Channel 2 so I don't distort the existing UVs I have. I'll do this in the Unwrap UVW modifier. I'll scroll down to the Channel rollout and change the Map Channel from the default 1 to 2. In this case, Max is going to pop up a warning for us about changing channels.

I'm going to abandon the changes and display the existing UVs. Now when I open up the UV Editor, I'll have my polygons ready for use. I'll open up the UV Editor and I can see my UVs overlaid. This is a little awkward at the moment. Even turning off the checkered background doesn't seem to help. I really can see that they are all overlaid, which is as they should be. That's how I did them originally, with a tiling texture. The first thing then especially in a building is to flatten the mapping out again.

What this involves is right-clicking, choosing Face, and in this case, selecting all pressing Ctrl+A. Under Mapping, I'll choose Flatten Mapping. The default settings will work nicely for this. What this will do is break things apart if they meet at or above 45 degree. When I do this, I get a whole bunch of pieces. What I want to look at in laying out this UV is where do I allocate the most texture size and where can I stack elements even though it is a dirt or overlaid map? In my view, I'm going to overlay the garage doors, as they are all going to share pretty much the same kind of dirt and occlusion.

They all have the same condition. The garage door elements are these slightly taller rectangles. These can all be stacked. To start, I'll grab them all and pull them over onto one door. I can repeat this process with the windows. The windows are these slightly squashed rectangles. All of these can be overlaid, because again, the windows are all the same size and they're all going to share the same condition, basically dirty on the bottom and up around the edges and not so much at the top. Therefore, occlusion will look the same on both as will dirt.

I'll stack these and then show how it looks. What I've done is to stack out the door and window elements. What I can do in mMapping is also slide things out of the way. I really have this whole area around it as my playground for scratch space, we can call it. I'll select everything at the moment and then hold Alt and deselect the major wall elements, these are clearly visible, and we can see which one they are readily. I'll take the other pieces and slide them off to the side. Later after I scale the wall elements out, I'll take these pieces and arrange them by placement on the model, sides with slides, tops with tops, bottoms with bottoms.

So when I do a bake, they all get the right occlusion. Now I'll pay attention to the wall elements. The trick with unwrapping is to make the big pieces as big as possible within this normal or 0 to 1 space. I'll select all four of these and press R for scale. I want to keep my scale uniform. One of the things I do in architecture, especially flat building elements, is to flatten the mapping. This makes sure that the pieces are all the same relative size to each other and that the UVs are as distortion free as possible.

I'll scale this out and press W for move, fitting it into that space as well as I can. In the Arrange Elements rollout, I have some options for packing if I want to try it. Sometimes this works nicely. I'll try out Pack Custom. It's okay, but I'd rather have a little more scale. So it does boil down to a manual process of moving and scaling. I'll scale these out, move them, and fit them just inside that square. The important thing when you are laying out UVs is to get it either inside the square or far outside.

Things on the border is where game engines get finicky sometimes. Now I'll take these elements and switching my Move tool to Vertical, slide them down onto each other, keeping space between, but maximizing that space as much as possible. One of the things I see beginners do and I've seen this quite a lot in teaching is not using the UV space well enough. This is one of the first things that employers look for: how well did you use the texture space. In this case it looks like I need to scale down just a bit, but this maybe tempered somewhat by a judgment call. Which am I most likely to see and where can I get away with a little bit less resolution? I'm going to take the longest wall here and scale it down.

And the judgment call on that is that the shading along the bottom where I would get dirt or something splashing up or just general darkness and grit is constant. That unless I'm going to put something there, I need just basically a line of dirt across. So I can make this element relatively smaller next to everything else. I'll move it down into place. Later I can slide it over. And then I'll fit in more and more complex elements, holding Ctrl to select and pulling them down to fit. That's better.

Now I'll take this wall and make sure it's scaled as large as possible. Don't be afraid to zoom in. Finally as part of my layout, I'll make sure that I'm sliding these elements over. I'll switch over to the Horizontal Move instead and pull this wall just about even with the others. This is ready for the inclusion of the other elements or other use of the texture space here. We might see a roof or other pieces occupying the rest of that.

As a personal preference, I like to flip my elements around. This wall is facing upside down. I'm going to use the Rotate 90 degrees and flip it to orient with the others. That way when I'm painting, I can paint all the bottoms, all the tops, all the windows, and not have to worry about rotating around to catch the opposite side. It's a very big deal to lay out your UVs correctly. How you do it and how you maximize that texture space affects the performance of your game. If we're loading in a square texture, we have to load in all the pixels regardless of they're being used.

So it's better off to use all the space in that texture as thoroughly as possible with as many pieces spread as big as possible to get the most out of that memory.

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