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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 incorporating Autodesk Mudbox in the pipeline. Mudbox is a purpose-built digital sculpting application. The neat part is that it's very, very integrated. We've got send to buttons in 3ds Max, Maya, and Mudbox to go to the other applications. The idea behind Mudbox is we're going to bring in an object, or start native here, and sculpt it subdividing it to a very, very high poly count and then baking out normals. We can also paint, and we can sculpt and paint in a mixed flow.
Then we can take this back out as imagery, baking out our normals and our color maps as we need. I'll give a quick example starting out with a Basic Head. The user navigation is like Maya, Alt and the left mouse to tumble, Alt and the right mouse to dolly, Alt and the Mouse Wheel to pan. The idea is I'm going to subdivide the mesh. I'll press W for wireframe and show the basic head, and then I'll press Shift+D, which is also found under Mesh and Subdivision adding new levels.
I'll add in a few, we can see up here in the poly count I am up to 128,000 on this head. Reasonably that could be an entire game environment. But for a head it's a little bit much. What I am going to do though is sculpt on it. I'll press W to turn off my wireframe, and I'll go over to my Sculpt Tools. All of our tools here in Mudbox are down at the bottom. Sculpt Tools, Painting Tools, Posing, and Curving. So if you are dealing at a character you can take across a rig as well and pose it. I've double-clicked on my Sculpt Brush, and there are the properties over on the right, the Size and Strength.
I've also got Mirroring on, and we can change that around. I'll take this head and add in some things. Let's give this guy some horns up the side. In fact, let's give him two rows. I'll use my Bracket keys to up size the brush. The idea here is it's made to handle large poly counts, I can sculpt this in a fine detail, finer than I could do in Maya and with a poly count that would really choke the application. In this case though, I can quickly, easily add detail into this fellow.
The tools down here are like we'd find in traditional sculpting. Pinching, Grabbing, Flattening in things, and we can also stencil. I'm going to stencil some patterns on his head on the side as an example. I'll pick Stencil and go in and pick elephant skin. I'll just sculpt in a little bit of detail as an example here. It's neat because we can add in detail on a model very quickly. The point here is we can work with a very, very big poly count, and as part of this add in great detail.
Along with it we can paint, and I'll click on Paint Brush and give him some green. Once I click in the model it defines what map we'd like to paint, and we can paint all of our common maps here, we can paint straight into normal, and we can paint things like Diffuse, Specular, and Gloss, we could even paint incandescence. If objects need to look they are emitting light. I'll paint into Diffuse and paint this model. It's loaded as UVs in, and now that I've started in. I'm going to paint.
This is his base coat, and right now he is, well, a very pleasing shade of green. The idea then is we can sculpt and paint and really mix it in the pipeline. It's as if we had a sculpture and decided to paint it but not fire it and comeback and sculpt more well the paint was still wet and mix that up. Something that in real life would be difficult to keep separate. Here in Mudbox it's not a big deal, we'll go in and sculpt and paint, and let's give his head stripes a little different color, and we can blend them. I'll just blend in a little bit of yellow.
And I'll bring back the Strength on this paint so it's not quite so fierce, there he is a nice green guy with a yellow patch on the side. Now this is just a quick example, but the tools in here are fantastic, and it's made to get a non-technical artist up and running in five minutes or less. And when we're ready we'll go and take out those Maps, extracting out our Texture Maps choosing either normals, vector displacement, taking out our diffuse maps. It's also linked we can take this channel and put it out to Photoshop as a PSD or bring in something we've done in Photoshop is the basis for a texture.
If you can think of it, you can sculpt it, and you can paint it, it's very quick and intuitive and fits terrifically into the pipeline.
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