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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 the process of mapping object for a game, we can apply multiple mapping coordinates to different parts of an object to get the look right. In this example, I have the warehouse. I've created a Multi/Sub-Object material with the textures and assign polygon IDs but I haven't mapped anything yet. What I will show then is using a combination of UVW map and Poly Select modifiers to put the mapping in the right place. I am going to start out with a few pieces of the brick wall then move over to the windows. First, I will choose Polygon and select the large face of the brick wall shown here outlined in red.
On top of this I'll add a UVW Map Modifier. Initially, the mapping is all over the place. That's just fine. What I will do is down in the Length and Width specify an exact size for my map. I'll make this 96x96, as I made it that big in Photoshop. By counting the bricks I can get the right size. As an alternate I could use a real world map size, I will show that one on another piece. I will rotate this by right clicking and choosing Gizmo and then hitting E for Rotate.
I will rotate it over 90 degrees exactly watching down at the bottom in the X, Y, and Z fields for the correct rotation. The important thing when you are mapping is that as you're facing the map and if the map is facing in the right direction, that the tag is up and the green side is on the right. That way things like a bump map or a normal map will face out correctly. When I zoom in I have my bricks. And if needed I can align them up and down to match up to a windowsill or header. Now I am going to look at mapping the sides of the windows.
To do this I will add on a Poly Select modifier. That way I can switch my polygon selections and apply mapping only to selected sub-objects of this warehouse. Under Selection Modifiers is Poly Select. I will choose it. Right now it shows I have deselected all the polygons. I will go into the Polygons and select all the right sides of the windows in this view. I'll pick one, hold Ctrl, and pick the other four.
One of the strengths of 3ds Max is being able to copy and paste modifiers. I will right-click on my UVW map and choose Copy. Then I will right-click on the Poly Select and choose Paste. Now I have that exact same mapping. It's also with the exact same height, which is important to get the brick to work around that corner. I will rotated it 90 degrees, pressing E for Rotate and right clicking and choosing Gizmo. I'll rotate this mapping 90 degrees, making sure that that green side is on the right.
As we can see in this close-up, I have the brick flowing cleanly around. I can adjust it if needed. I will do the other side in the same way and then look at the Windows. I'll spin around the object and this time I'll copy and paste both Poly Select and UVW Map. Selecting both, right-clicking, choosing Copy, back up to pick UVW map, right clicking and choosing Paste. This second Poly Select in the Polygon menu will let me choose the other side of the windows.
Picking one, holding Ctrl, and selecting the others. In the UVW Map, I can flip this around 180 degrees, right-clicking, choosing Gizmo and rotating around. Now the window is mapped. If needed I can repeat the process to form the headers and sills here, but I'll move on to the windows for this exercise. In my materials, I've assigned separate textures for the brick and for the windows.
I will press M to show this in the Material Editor. I have set it up as a Multi/Sub- Object material for now, so I can see all the different parts. I will need to rework materials a little bit in Unity to get it optimized. In the window material, I've drawn a two pane window with some dirt on it. If needed I can tweak this for better tilability, but I will try it out. The important thing here is that I'm applying different mapping size, noting that I only need two panes here and even more, maybe less but I'll try two. That way I am drawing an entire window worth with fewer pixels per window.
I am adding better detail into a smaller map. I will copy and paste the Poly Select and UVW Map again. Selecting both, right- clicking and choosing Copy. Picking the UVW Map, right- clicking and choosing Paste. Now in the last Poly Select I will pick the window polygons. We can either do them altogether or one at a time. I will try these and see if the spacing works. In the UVW Map I will set the Length and Width to 24x24.
I will also rotate this mapping by right-clicking and choosing Gizmo and rotating it back. There are my windows. Almost nearly aligned, not quite on. I need to move it back and forth a little bit but I'm starting to get it to look like a warehouse. I will right-click and choose Move and then on the Y-axis pull these windows over slightly.
As an alternate to this, we can use real-world mapping coordinates. Instead of specing an exact size of length and width, I can check real-world map size. Notice that my windows completely go gray. In the Material Editor instead of using a texture with an explicit map channel I can check Use Real-world Scale and set the Size instead of tiling to that exact size. Putting in 24x24 gives me that exact map. Once it resolves here in the view, we will see it.
What this means is that anytime this image appears it will always be this exact size. We only have to worry about position instead of possibly accidentally scaling the map out. I'd repeat this process through this building, mapping the brick on all the sides, including the sides, adding in the rusted door frame and the door itself on all the different doors and parts, and finally finishing out the windows, giving me one simple mesh with multiple materials and multiple UVW Map modifiers.
It's a powerful tool to be able to map parts of an object very selectively, to get the look exactly as it should be, with the texture placed exactly where you want it.
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