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Get a thorough overview of techniques for creating characters for video games or real-time rendered applications. Author Chris Reilly covers low-poly modeling, texturing and animation, using 3D model and texture assets created in Maya and Adobe Photoshop. The course also includes an overview of Unity 3, including importing characters and making interactive animations with the Script Editor.
In the last video we applied a texture to our high poly character. In this video we will create a normal map from the high poly character and apply it to the low poly character that will allow us to add some more detail to the low poly character without adding extra geometry. So to start I go to my Channel Box/Layer Editor and make sure both the high poly and the low poly layers are turned on. And you notice that two meshes are sitting right on top of one another. That's exactly what we want when we go through this process. I am going to come up here and switch to the Rendering menu and under Lighting/Shading bring up the Transfer Maps tool.
I am also going to bring up the Outliner. So go to Window > Outliner. This will just make it a little bit easier to select between the two different meshes. So my Target Mesh I want to set to the low poly version of my character. So in Outliner I am going to select low_poly and click Add Selected. In my Source Mesh I want to make sure its set to the high poly version of my character. So in Outliner I click hi_ poly and click Add Selected.
Now one of the settings I want to take a look at in the Target Mesh is this search envelope. So the two meshes aren't exactly the same shape. There is a little bit of deviation. So we want to make sure that Maya searches just a little bit outside the Target Mesh to make sure that it captures all the geometry. So if we increase the Search envelope, well, nothing happens because we need to set this Display to display both the mesh and the envelope. So now as we increase the Search envelope you can see Maya is going to give us that sort of pink representation of how far away from the Target Mesh it's going to be searching.
You don't want it to have this too big. Otherwise it's going to make Maya take a really-really long time, because it's going to be searching for an area that's way outside the Target Mesh. So if you are doing it visually you just want to make sure that the Search envelope is outside of both the Target and the Source Mesh. I am just going to set this to 1.5%. It might be different depending on your character and I will just turn off this Search envelope display for now. So now in our Output Maps we are going to tell Maya which sorts of texture maps to generate through this process.
So we want to do a Normal map and we want to do a Diffuse map. So what that's going to do is transfer both the visual texture that we applied to the high poly version and it's going to transfer a normal map, which is going to help capture some of the detail from a high poly version without adding extra geometry to our low poly version. So for both of these I am going to set the File format to Targa.
The file format is not extremely important. You could really set it to whatever you want. Targa is just kind of a standard for working with 3D models. And I am going to save this to my source images folder. This one is the Normal map. So I will title this bug-low-poly-normal and click Save and the color map I will set to bug-low-poly-texture. And under Connect Output Maps I want to connect both of these images to the shader of the Target Map so that's the low poly version of our model and I want to connect them both to a new shader.
So Maya is automatically going to create a new shader for the low poly version and it's going to attach both the Texture and the Normal map to that shader. Then under Maya Common Output I will set the Map width and height both to 1024x1024 pixels. I want to Transfer in World Space and the Sampling quality? At first you probably want to start out with a Low sampling quality if you are just doing testing. I am going to set this to High. It's going to take a lot longer so again before you get this perfect do it on Low couple of times maybe just to see that it's going to work and give you the results that you want.
I am going to increase this Filter size to 8. Again, this is another setting that you want to start out with Low til you get it looking good and then increase it. And Fill texture seams, I'm going to set this to 4. So this will actually cause the texture image to bleed out over the UV shells and if you set this to 0 or 1 what can happen is the seams of the UV maps can sometimes end up looking a little bit funky. So just make sure that all the seams in the UV maps transition nicely into one another. Then I am going to click Bake and Close and this process can take a long time, so be patient.
It's probably a good idea to do a couple of test with the sample quality and the filter size set lower, so you don't have to wait around quite as much to see the results. Okay, so our Transfer Maps process is finished. I am going to go ahead and turnoff this hi_poly_layer and you can see our low_poly_layer now has the texture applied to it from the high poly layer. So I will do a little bit of cleanup in Photoshop as necessary but now our low poly version of the model has both the Texture and a Normal map, so it's going to help it to look a little bit more detailed once we import it into Unity.
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