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Explore the world of modeling and texturing 3D game props and assets in Autodesk Maya. Author Adam Crespi provides strong technical modeling techniques, from blocking basic forms and leveraging simple parts and reusable textures, to simulating real-world detail like dirt, wear, and grain with UV maps and ambient occlusion. The course includes workflow and integration considerations such as planning UV space for projection, and also steps into Mudbox and Unity for further refinement.
In this video I'll add some detail to my chair. I have continued on the blocking end. I slimmed down the legs because I realized mine were a little too thick. I have also moved in and rotated these backs slightly, so it's got a little more of an arc in the back here, and I snapped the feet down to the floor. I'm ready to start tapering things and adding details, such as the skirts--also playing with the smoothing groups to round over some corners. I'll start to look at adding detail here in the back legs. I'll look at the reference to see where they taper first. We can see on the back legs, it's really after this stretcher that they need to taper--that they're fairly consistent from here most of the way up.
I'll taper that down making sure I taper from the outside corner in. Then I'll go and add some skirts in and finally these bars across the middle. I'll pick one of the back legs, I have put both in, and it's very likely I'm going to end up deleting and re-copying or something similar. I'll zoom in on it, spin around, and pick the bottom polygon. I'll hit R for scale and press V and D move the pivot. I'll put the pivot on the outside corner, and I'll Ctrl and scale this polygon down to give it a taper.
I'll make sure I look at it from all different sides. This looks pretty good, although there is one last detail to take into account. I'm going to zoom in and press 4 for a wireframe. This chair needs to sit flat on the floor not with the leg at an angle. I'll press F9 for vertex, pick these vertices, two at a time, pressing V for snap and holding the Y axis and snapping down to the other leg. I'll make sure this is done on both of them. That way this leg sits flat on the floor, and I don't have strange occlusion or clipping issues.
Now I have got my chair, and I'm ready to add in some of the back. For the back where it's got that curve in the top, I'm going to make the piece flat and then bend it into place trying to make it at an angle between these two curved sides can get interesting and awkward. What I'd rather do is go into a front view, press F to focus and look at my chair. I'll start out with a box, holding Shift and right-click and choosing Poly Cube. What I'm going to do is press and hold V for Snap, snapping this box cleanly between, dragging up for the height and coming back to the polyCube4 attributes and giving it a different Height. I'm going to say it's about three quarters of an inch thick.
The Width is where I want it to be and the Depth is too much. But what I'll do here is model this in versus trying to adjust the Depth to the right measurement. I'm going to give the Subdivisions with a few extra parts. Let's put it up at 4 as an example, and I'll see if this works on that curve. Now what I'll do is press F9 for vertex, grab these bottom vertices and pull them up. I'll look at the reference again and see if I'm in the ballpark. It looks pretty good, I need to add in this bump in the top. I'll pull these up a little more and then pan over, grab the three vertices up at the top, which are actually six--three in front and three in back--and pull them up.
Then I'll pull the center up just a little bit to make that curve. Now what I'll do is get this in the right place, but first, I'll optimize it just a bit. We can see in a shaded view--and I'll turn on the Wireframe on shaded--that I have got faces on the side, as this element will cleanly be between these legs, I can delete those. As I make things I want to go through and delete the parts I don't need. I'll delete those and spin back around. I'll go into a Side View and get it lined up. This is a place where we can either switch to a wireframe or choose Shading and X-Ray.
I'm going to pull this down and then hit E for Rotate. This is one place. I'll press and hold E, left-click, and hold anywhere and turn off my Discrete Rotate as I'm not really sure what angle that is it just has to look right. I'll pull that back in. I'll press and hold W and switch from the World axis over to the Object. This way I can slide it forward on the Z. There is the back in the right place, and now on its local Y axis I'll pull it up, letting the legs just stick up over the back a bit. This camouflage is that transition where I have got the missing face because I deleted it and gives me yet another little twist in the silhouette.
One more thing to notice that's not perfectly meeting, which is how this furniture should be, there's lots of little overlaps and under-laps here. I can repeat this process to get the back stretchers in. And finally, I'll make new boxes to clone these in, the skirts underneath and the stretcher under here. What I also need to do is to work over the smoothing as usual. Hopefully you have noticed this is a pattern. I'll turn off my X-Ray and turn off the Wireframe on shaded. It looks pretty good, but I want to make sure that this leg is nice and smooth.
What I'll always do is model and then go back and work over hard and soft edges. I also need to add some taper into the seat and round over these corners. I'll do that and deal with the smoothing groups on all of them. To round the corners I'll press F10 for edge, pick those two, hold Shift and right-click and Bevel them. I'll uncheck Offset As Fraction, and I'm going to Bevel them at 1 inch. I think that works, and I'll bring up the Segments to 3, and it looks like I have got clean coverage over that leg, looks like it's a little bit off.
I think will end up doing is moving this leg and just a little bit so it just slips under there. Alternately, I can taper it out because this seat is actually not a square, it's a taper. I'll try a taper and see if this behaves any better. It's really a question of massaging the proportion. Everything in here changes in every direction, nothing should be exactly straight. I have got those vertices selected, and I'll scale them just a touch. That looks pretty good as it overlaps that leg. Now I'll do the same on the back and then look at those softened and hardened edges.
I'm going to fit this seat into the back legs, scaling it in so that I get yet another small shadow line there. When I'm dealing in occlusion in a game, even screen space occlusion it will be a little dark there. I'll press F8, and now I need to soften across here. I'll pick this object, make sure I hold Shift and right-click and harden up all of the edges. Then I'll come back and press F10 for Edge and pick these two middle edges, taking those two and holding Shift and adding to the selection on the other side. I'll hold Shift and right-click Soften/Harden and Soften Edge.
I'll deselect, and it looks good. Again, my test is I should see flat to round to flat. I'll do the same thing on the back leg making sure that the corners are preserved as hard and these edge rings actually edge loops that travel in a ring are soft. It's important to do this, so we don't get flickering in a game. Then I can finish roughing out my chair, adding in the other elements and see if there's anywhere else I need to deal with before unwrapping.
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