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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 chapter I'll look at modeling furniture for use as Game Props. We can model rooms fairly easily, but really, if you look at a room there is--well-- a lot of stuff in it, and it's not necessarily very special things but simply the stuff that's there's the function of the room. As an example, if I walk into a house, most likely I am going to see some kind of dining area. If I walk into an office I'll probably see a desk and chairs, that sort of thing. Additionally, if we're dealing a place that's maybe abandoned or run down, we might see furniture that's strewn around.
And we need to make pieces in order to have debris. It's very easy for an environment in a game to look really empty unless we fill it up with stuff. And we want to do so in a way that is matching the theme of the game. What I'll show how to model then is a wooden chair here, and I have got two different examples, a standard ladder back, and also one that's bent. There is all kinds of regional variations of these. But the basic idea is we have got some place to sit, and it's made of wood, and it's got a very distinct form.
In this case this hoop in the back is very, very recognizable in silhouette and poses a particular challenge for us for a game, as it's very curvy both around the piece and then obviously the back here in the loop. Additionally, the legs flare out. This chair may be easier as it's simply got squared-off elements. However, it's got a big curve here from the foot all the way up to the back. So we need to make sure we have that in place. What we want to think of while we are modeling this kind of furniture is we're going to work on a textured sheet that most likely will have one or two chairs, maybe even six, if you are dealing in a dining room as an example, and they all need to share one texture.
But we need to position them around so that it doesn't look like they're sharing a texture, obviously. This chair in particular may need some modification in the texture so it doesn't look like an obvious repetition. We can see this mark right here and another one right there that are very definite. We'll make sure that as part of our layout that although it's patina'd and worn, there aren't obvious repetitive marks. This chair is a little easier as it's basically a uniform brown stain with some wood grain showing on the seat. However, this seat is unique because it's got the holes on it.
What we need to think of then is for our game if we are dealing with a texture sheet, do we need the holes in the seat or will it simply be a flat piece of wood? The common theme here in modeling furniture just like with the tools in the previous chapter in the gas pump is we need to share textures as much as possible. We're seeing poly counts not be as much of a limit unless we're going out to a small form factor like an iOS. The bigger deal is really that we're reusing our texture space as well as we can, keeping our load times down and keeping our realism up.
So when we're running around our environment we see, well, chairs maybe strewn around and knocked over, but definitely recognizable as chairs.
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