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Identifying key contours and shadows in concept art

From: Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop

Video: Identifying key contours and shadows in concept art

In this video I'll look at some key contours and concept art, things that we need when we're modeling a building. I'll start by opening up some reference imagery, pressing Ctrl+O in Photoshop. In my Reference Images folder I've got some gas station images. I'll click on one, scroll down, hold Shift, and click on the last one in the series. I'll click Open and they'll open up. I'll press Ctrl+0 to maximize the view. In each of these we can see, well, a decrepit gas station, in various states of repair and in different architectural styles.

Identifying key contours and shadows in concept art

In this video I'll look at some key contours and concept art, things that we need when we're modeling a building. I'll start by opening up some reference imagery, pressing Ctrl+O in Photoshop. In my Reference Images folder I've got some gas station images. I'll click on one, scroll down, hold Shift, and click on the last one in the series. I'll click Open and they'll open up. I'll press Ctrl+0 to maximize the view. In each of these we can see, well, a decrepit gas station, in various states of repair and in different architectural styles.

The big deal with the game is silhouette. We can do a lot in texture, but having the right silhouette really matters. But I'll start out with a lot of times is simply drawing the major silhouette or contours on a model. I'll make a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N and hitting OK. I don't really care what this layer is called at the moment. I'll press B for Brush, and I've changed my foreground color to a bright blue. What I'll look at are the major lines. I'm going to click on the bottom corner of the building, hold Shift, and click up on the top, and I'll start to line out the major contours here.

This is a useful exercise in getting a feel for the building, identifying the biggest things that are really necessary in geometry. Things like the detail in the garage doors can be handled in texture. Things like the dirt also show up in texture, but this contour, where the door opens into the building or the major corner here on the building, needs to be in geometry. Now since this building appears to be falling apart somewhat, I'm going to add in some additional lines. What we'll also see, possibly, are things like this.

This line here going from the top of the door to the window will let me take this corner and wiggle it slightly, so it's not absolutely perfect. We can see that this building is aged and so the ability to have some of the lines just out of parallel is pretty helpful. We'll see lines like this also on the ground. The occasional extra polygon or extra vertex lets us really make that ground wiggle, so it's not a perfectly flat ground plane. I'll finish this out by drawing out any of the other major contours, noting where I might need something in the game, such as a doorway to duck into or something that might be operable such as the door here which has been boarded up.

I'll add in things that give the major shadow lines, such as the overhang here, drawing in the polygon lines and making special notes where there's a curve. I can see in the reference imagery that right here on the edge it's a little bit of an Art Deco style and we need a bit of a curve. What I'll typically do in a place like this is to add in just a few more lines, and these don't have to be perfect; they just have to note that there are extra polygons there to make this curve. What I'll also look at our edge tests.

What this means is if I'm going to see this object against a contrasting material, as an example--I'll zoom in by pressing Z and zooming in on the island-- we can see that the island here is in concrete and is up next to either asphalt or stained concrete. We need to make sure that any curves here read, because is a good chance of seeing some facets if we don't do enough geometry. I'll press Ctrl+0 to zoom out and finish lining this. After I've got this lined in on the major geometry, I'll start to look at texture possibilities in the next video.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop
Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop

45 video lessons · 6277 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
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  1. 8m 26s
    1. Welcome
      42s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      22s
    4. Setting up the workflow
      5m 45s
  2. 18m 51s
    1. Identifying key contours and shadows in concept art
      3m 25s
    2. Analyzing concept art for texture possibilities
      4m 19s
    3. Adding perceived detail through texture
      2m 20s
    4. The limitations of normal maps
      2m 57s
    5. Analyzing concept art for key shadow details
      2m 43s
    6. Identifying shadow details as generated or painted
      3m 7s
  3. 34m 35s
    1. What is a module?
      3m 15s
    2. Overview of the snap tools and precision modeling techniques
      6m 30s
    3. Blocking out the basic form of a building
      7m 5s
    4. Designing modular elements
      6m 29s
    5. The iterative process: Assembly and teardown
      3m 35s
    6. Planning for occlusion and texture stacking
      7m 41s
  4. 47m 10s
    1. Adding foundation elements
      8m 28s
    2. Modeling a high-poly roll-up garage door
      8m 35s
    3. Improving building details
      5m 35s
    4. Building an island and a canopy
      12m 53s
    5. Constructing high-detail doors
      11m 39s
  5. 21m 58s
    1. Adding door elements
      7m 43s
    2. Building a roof
      4m 11s
    3. Modeling light-tight walls
      5m 14s
    4. Adding miscellaneous elements such as air conditioners, signs, and steps
      4m 50s
  6. 35m 38s
    1. Mapping UV projection types
      7m 33s
    2. Moving and sewing UVs
      7m 34s
    3. Planning a texture sheet
      10m 49s
    4. Stacking UVs
      9m 42s
  7. 42m 53s
    1. Overview of ambient occlusion
      6m 46s
    2. Overview of the Transfer Map dialog and baking
      6m 4s
    3. Baking occlusion using the Batch Bake dialog
      7m 20s
    4. Using occlusion as a foundation for dirt
      12m 3s
    5. Baking a normal map using the Transfer Map dialog
      10m 40s
  8. 56m 23s
    1. Assessing the size of elements on a texture sheet
      9m 41s
    2. Drawing detail at the right size
      13m 22s
    3. Using tiling and non-tiling textures
      11m 29s
    4. Painting layers of dirt and wear
      9m 25s
    5. Painting specular and transparent textures
      12m 26s
  9. 44m 38s
    1. Cleaning up, exporting, and importing the model
      15m 19s
    2. Importing textures and marking them for use
      6m 52s
    3. Adding lights to test smoothing and textures
      7m 6s
    4. Refining materials
      14m 22s
    5. Viewing the final project
      59s
  10. 17s
    1. Next steps
      17s

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