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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.
In this movie I'm going to show some layer management. It's important to keep things organized when you're making a project or making a building or making a game, as you can have literally thousands of assets, and if we have extra stuff coming across from export into the game editor or game engine again it's more geometry and possibly issues with objects that the editor or the engine don't like. What I'll show here is the layer manager. Note that I've taken the previous exercises single row of buildings and cloned it out to approximate the spacing of the original building and added in some slim rectangle to stand for the brick pilasters.
Essentially, I have tried to map out this short side of the building figuring that this same arrangement will repeat on the long side once I've got the elements together. In 3ds Max we can access the layer manager either by a button or under Tools. For layers everything starts out on the default layer 0. If we open up that layer we can actually see all those shape objects on it with various switches here for Rendering and Color and Frozen and Radiosity and so forth. The check denotes that this is where objects will be created on this layer.
What I'll typically do is organize my layers, select my objects if I've made them already, and clicking on the Create New Layer (Containing Selected Objects) button. Alternately, I can make a layer and set it as active and objects will be created on that. For this I'm going to name this layer Construction objects. That way things that will be placeholders, layout tools, measuring tools, shape objects I'm going to delete, maybe center point objects for referencing things, will all go on this layer so I can always hide it or delete it so it doesn't get exported.
Next I'll make a new layer and I'll name this new layer Building or building elements or actual objects or something that denotes that they are the real construction. Notice that by clicking on the square you can switch the active layer. Now when I start to make a mesh it will show up on the Building layer and my construction objects here can be hidden or frozen, so they can't be accidentally touched or move. What I find as a best practice is lot of times I have to save me from myself, that I need to actively hide, freeze, and manage objects so don't move a reference and end up with a model that's slightly off.
Now I'm ready to build my actual model in here, which will show up on the Building layer. I'll close the Layer Manager and in the Snap Constraints accessed by Shift and right-click, I'll Snap to Frozen Objects, so I can snap to my layer which is frozen. Switching to a front view I'm ready to create my first plane of a wall. This object as we can see in the Layer Manager is on the Building layer.
It's really important to organize. We can't stress that one enough. The big deal is that we're not just making one building, we're possibly making dozens or even hundreds, and we're not just making one street. We're making city blocks worth and that we may have thousands of objects in a game, and if we can't find them or if they come in with off names or they coming with extra objects, it's going either slow down our game or make the export more difficult. And we'll have enough issues trying to bring things across in the way we want, so we don't need to complicate our lives further.
So remember to name your objects, name your layers, and organize your objects by layers. That way you can find things easily in your scene when you're dealing in thousands of assets. So remember to name your objects, name your layers, even color code objects and organize them by class such as shapes, so you can find things easily in a scene. Remember we're dealing with possibly thousands of assets and organization is key.
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