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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 will look at beveling and extruding on these boards. I have added in some new edge loops, and I've done this also with the Preserve UVs check box on. What we can see here, if I look in the Texture Editor is that the UVs have propagated. As I have subdivided these boards with just the Insert Edge Loop tool, those new edge loops land still along the existing shells nicely. Now I am ready to subdivide, and I will show what this looks like. When I choose Mesh > Smooth and making sure in the dialog that I am preserving my hard edges. I'm going to see these smooth.
And there is those UVs preserved nicely. This is good because it's a one-to-one match right now in the UVs of the high poly versus the low poly. We do have some latitude, and that's the point behind projection and a percentage we are going to see in the Transfer Maps dialog, where we can project a cage outside of the mesh looking for other parts. That way, if I take a board and push it up or down, the low poly will look outside the original zone of the board, we'll call it, and find those extra pieces of geometry.
Now I am ready to bevel a bit. I have put my division levels at two and subdivided, so I have got some room to move, we will call it, I have some material to work with. One of the big things on this table is that the boards are rounded. I can't spare the polys in a game to do this, but a Normal map will help a lot. I will press F10 for Edge and double-click on this edge loop. It takes me halfway along that rounded corner and down that side. I will zoom in or just double-click on the adjacent one, and it should round that corner nicely.
I'll add to this, double-clicking on the other edge loops I would like to bevel. Sometimes we need to help the edge loop selection along as there may be places, such as the round corners, that I've broken the edge flow. Because I've made essentially a T here, of an edge loop coming down and across, Maya doesn't regard it as a complete loop anymore. I'll add to this selection all the way around, and now I'll see what it looks like when it's beveled. I will hold Shift and right-click and choose Bevel Edge.
I will uncheck Offset As a Fraction and reduce this Offset down. It's interesting, Offset As a Fraction right now gives me a small offset, unchecking it makes the shape go irrational. But I'm working in scene units. I will put the Offset at .2 and the Segments at 3 and see how it looks. It's not bad. I may want to reduce this down a little bit more, here's an eighth of an inch, and I am getting a decent bevel. I may want to come in also and crunch these corners, and I'm okay with it being a little faceted for now.
As an alternate, if we are feeling it's not really working, we could come in and remodel this corner, but I don't mind it because I can use that facet once I start sculpting. More importantly, right now this has given me, well, rounded corners. I will turn off the Wireframe on Shaded, and I can see I am starting to get some flat, to round, to flat, here on the corners. It's going to make these corners look a little bit softer. I will do this on the other board. Instead, I'll press F11 for Face, pick a face, and grow that selection out.
There's different ways to select. I can also, because it's one distinct element, double-click on a face, and that selects all the faces. Now I'll bevel them and see what it looks like, holding Shift and right-clicking and looking for bevel. Because I have got faces selected, Bevel is not available in the marking menu. So I need to find it on the Hotbox under Edit Mesh. Here is the Bevel under Chamfer Vertex. I'll bevel it and see what I get. It's not bad. I don't mind the extra geometry here because I'm going to bake it anyway.
I'll put those Segments up to three and round over those corners. Yes, this is a high poly board, and that's okay because when I deselect and take a look, it looks nice and round, and I have got lots of geometry in here to sculpt. As an alternate, instead of beveling I could go in and bevel edges. Here is how we get out of this. By the way, if you ever need to remove a particular piece from the history, I will right-click and choose DG Traversal. In here are my bevels, there is polyBevel3, which is the last one I just put on, and I can select it uniquely.
With it selected, I will hit Delete, and now this board is not beveled because I have selected the bevel as a unique note and removed it. I will try instead beveling edges, double clicking on edges and holding Shift to add to the selection. I will go all the way around. Again because this is a box, the original edge flow takes one side only. It's not a loop all the way around because it was, well, a box, and this is a corner. I will add to that selection and zoom around. I will double-click on more edges because I would like to catch all of it at once.
And once I have done that, I can bevel it. With all of the outer corners selected, I will hold Shift and right-click and bevel those edges. Now I will turn off Offset As a Fraction and put the Offset at .25. I will put some segments in so it's nice and round, and there is my board. It's looking round, and this is going to project a normal nicely. I may want to work over hard and soft edges as I can see in the middle of this bevel, there is a bit of a facet. What I can do here is soften the whole thing. In this case, I'll press F11 for Face, and use that double-click trick again, double clicking on a face and then choosing Normals and Soften Edge.
I'm going to soften this whole element. So when I press F8, go back to object and deselect, we can see that those corners are nice and round all over, that seam there is because of the UVs, not because of the mesh. And I can tell when I press 5 and go back to a shaded view. I'm getting some good bevels, rounding over corners and making those boards look, well, softer and more like boards. The first step in the high poly model is to get in here and soften things up. I may want to actually pick the whole object and soften it. I will mix my hard and soft edges up.
We can see here that I've got a smoothing artifact where I need to bevel that corner because it's trying to shade unevenly. The centerboard looks good, and this corner is kind of neat, it's got a facet. So I think later when I start to sculpt it. I'm going to push this around and use those facets to my advantage as if the table has been banged into things. This last board needs some beveling on the corners. As we are seeing smoothing artifacts where it's going dark underneath is Maya trying to smooth between 90 degree faces or, well, collections of faces.
And I'm getting oddness because it's trying to make a round out of a block. I'll continue beveling. It's really okay in a high poly to bevel like crazy, adding in all kinds of geometry and really rounding out edges. We are going to bake from it and then discard that high poly as part of the transfer maps operation.
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