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Explore the world of modeling and texturing game props and assets in Autodesk 3ds Max. Author Adam Crespi demonstrates how to create both small and large props, from tools to shipping containers. The course begins with cloning and instancing objects for ease of modeling and unwrapping, and segues into multiple methods of unwrapping and painting texture by hand in Adobe Photoshop. Adam looks at various plug-ins that assist with normal map generation as well as sculpting in Mudbox, a digital sculpting application that can add realism and detail to your models. Finally, the course shows how to add lights to a scene and preview the objects in-game.
Note: A familiarity of basic modeling and unwrapping techniques in 3ds Max and a working knowledge of Photoshop will help you get the most out of this course.
With my panels unwrapped, I'm ready to start tackling frame elements. I will look first at one of my corner boxes. I'll select it and press Z to Zoom Extents on it. Remember that I had instanced these and rotated them. So they do actually rotate 90 degrees around from each other, and flip from top to bottom. These are used for mating containers together, and there are actually pins that will go into the holes on these, which we're going to draw, that help lock them in so we can stack them. In this case, the default Unwrap coordinates are not going to work.
I'll going into the Modifier List and put an Unwrap UVW Modifier on. I'll open up the Editor and see what I've got, and we can see that the defaults are square mapped in the zero to one space. I'm going to unfold this object so that I can paint the sides uniquely. As although they're small, we can actually see all of the six sides of this depending on where we're standing. I'll press 3 for Faces, Ctrl+A to Select All and under Mapping I'll choose Unfold. Because it's a box, I can walk it to the closest face and get a pretty good unwrap quickly.
An unfolded box looks like a T. This will work fairly nicely as we've got top, sides and bottoms all joined. The last thing I'll do is just to verify as I select by face which is which. You may want to turn off the Active Map dialog, the checkers here, to see which one is showing. It looks like this worked nicely, as the most exposed face of this, the top, is centered and the sides all joined. So this corner right here, if it has rust on it, will spill over and I can paint it nicely.
The underside of my box, under here, which may be in shadow, joins onto the side and so I can paint that transition between those two edges. This is a good unwrap and now I'm ready to scale it. One last piece on this, remember these were instances. I'll right-click and choose Top Level and we can see here in the Modifier panel that the Unwrap UVW and Box are both bold, and the Make unique button is available. With one operation I've actually unwrapped all eight of my corner boxes.
Because they're rotated, the textures will be in the right place when I paint them. Now I'm ready to start unwrapping the frame elements in the same way, working in instance pairs, or instance quads as needed, and unfolding these for positioning.
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