Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Overview of modeling a large prop and planning for modular textures and models

From: Game Prop Creation in Maya

Video: Overview of modeling a large prop and planning for modular textures and models

In this chapter, I'll look at modeling large props for a game environment. I'm going to model a rusty old gas pump to go with my gas station that I've modeled in my Game Environments for Maya course. I brought up the gas station reference, as well as some reference I've collected for various gas pumps in different states of repair or disrepair. I'll start out by looking at the gas station. I'll press Ctrl+0 in Photoshop to zoom extents on that image. This gas station has been around for a while and has some gently Art Deco theme styling. There's round corners in the canopy and the straight lines and long windows are horizontal, meant to evoke the feeling of speed.

Overview of modeling a large prop and planning for modular textures and models

In this chapter, I'll look at modeling large props for a game environment. I'm going to model a rusty old gas pump to go with my gas station that I've modeled in my Game Environments for Maya course. I brought up the gas station reference, as well as some reference I've collected for various gas pumps in different states of repair or disrepair. I'll start out by looking at the gas station. I'll press Ctrl+0 in Photoshop to zoom extents on that image. This gas station has been around for a while and has some gently Art Deco theme styling. There's round corners in the canopy and the straight lines and long windows are horizontal, meant to evoke the feeling of speed.

We need to find a gas pump that matches, as the existing gas pumps are now missing from the island. In place, there's a bush. That gives you an indication of the age of this place and how long it's been abandoned. I've collected a gas pump reference on the Internet, and there's a number of different sites you can go to, or you can generally search. You may want to, when you're searching for reference, add in terms like "gas pump" and "rusty" or "gas pump" and "old" or "abandoned" rather than simply "gas pump." I've made sure in my reference that I've collected details, as well as pictures of the whole thing, and looked at different styles.

I've got may be more modern from the 70s here in Gas pump06, and fairly old ones here in B01. I'll start up by looking at these and see if they're going to be a good fit. These might work nicely for my station. I'll zoom in and see if they hold up. They're Art Deco in style with a waterfall side, a separate front panel, and horizontal trim. They've also got fairly intact dials, and we can see at least where the hoses and pump should go. There's one over here on this one even though it's leaning off to the side.

It's a good idea though to look at all kinds of reference and cull down what you need. This is another good candidate, especially because it says Ethyl up at the top, and the design is fitting our gas station. It's got a shoulder up at the top. This is a very Art Deco touch here, with this two-step top and long chrome band. This again might be a nice candidate, depending on what kind of reference I can find. It's also good to look at wear and tear. Even though this might be a different gas pump here, the amount of rust and general decay of this is important.

We'll need it when we paint textures. You can never have enough reference. What we really need to do then is get a bunch of reference and look it over, and really understand not only gas pumps, but how do they rust and what do they look like after they've been sitting out in the elements for a while? These are decent, although I'm missing too many pieces to really tell what's going on. I've gone through my reference, arranged it, and zoomed in on the gas pumps I think I'm going to use. What I need to figure out with a model like this is how I can economize on geometry and texturing.

Here's the big deal with large props. It's very difficult to see more than three sides at once. As you can see with the gas pumps, we can see one front and one side, and maybe something that sticks off the other side, but we can't see both sides of one gas pump. We can also barely see the top and definitely see the front, or we could probably stand way up high and see the top but not the front or side. Here's the other thing to consider. If you're dealing in props, will there be more than one? As an example, we can see two gas pumps here on this island.

It's very likely then that we can see one side and the same side next to it, so the textures need to be either a seamless match or just different enough or rotated around to make it look like they're two different pumps instead of an exact clone. However, they're manufactured to be alike, so we have some advantage there in matching geometry. What I'll plan then is for a modular texture and a modular model. I know I'm going to make this and duplicate it twice, and possibly four times, depending on if I add another island to my gas station.

A lot of times what I will do is I'll make a new layer in Photoshop, pressing Ctrl+Shift+N, and calling it anything particular, pressing B for brush. By the way, in Photoshop, it's okay to do this to your tools, and bring them up to a smaller strip on the side instead of a long strip that goes all the way down the view. My brush settings reflect what I was drawing earlier, and so I'm going to bring this back up to normal at 100%. Photoshop will keep settings for tools until you use them again or change them. Now on this layer, I'm ready to draw, and what I will do is make sure I hit Escape.

That way Normal is not highlighted. Use the bracket keys to downsize the brush and start to draw out the mesh, laying out the overall form. I know I'm going to have a mesh line here, and it's going to go up to the top and across on the chrome, and down the side here, so that's one big panel I'll need to make. My suspicion is that I want some geometry right across there to help outline the inset face. I know I'll end up with a mesh line on the side here and finally down at the base. It's okay to spend a few polygons here to get the form right.

As we can see, if I turn off this layer, it's actually very curvy. All the sides are gently curved. So we don't want to make this just a box, as it won't have that Art Deco look to match the gas station. I'm going to need to spend a few faces up on the top. I'll probably end up with some kind of geometry up here to help make this curve, and then it needs to curve across the back. Finally, I'll have some additional mesh lines running down the side. One of the things we need to plan, especially in dealing in modeling and texturing for games, is our polygon structure, and making sure that subtle curves look right without obvious facets.

A curve like this side, and yes, it is curved, will most likely have at least three or four polygons to make that curve, so when I soften the edges, it looks correct. I'm prepared to spend some polygons up here on the top, because it's a very visible piece, and I need to make sure it looks curved like the original. There is a good chance in a model like this that it's going to be subject to an edge test, and what that is is when an edge is visible against another material. As an example, I can see these gas pumps clearly against the side of the building, and that curve looks curvy.

So my model better be ready for that kind of a test, especially since my gas station, and I look back at the reference here, is white, dirty, rusty, mossy or moldy, but still white. And so if my gas pumps are shown against it, they're going to be in sharp relief. So I'm going to plan out my pieces. I'm going to model this in various elements, fronts and sides, and try to put them together so I can clone side to side and front to back. I'll try to do it in a way that my textures show up rusty but not the same rust everywhere.

I'll see if I can do this on one texture sheet and simply move around the pieces for my gas pump. I'll do this while trying to preserve the curviness and fluid design of the original, because matching the style of the props to the environment is important for the immersion in a game.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Game Prop Creation in Maya
Game Prop Creation in Maya

90 video lessons · 6145 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 22s
    1. Welcome
      43s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 35s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      23s
    4. Setting up the workflow
      4m 41s
  2. 46m 16s
    1. Overview of modeling a large prop and planning for modular textures and models
      6m 53s
    2. Blocking out the overall form
      6m 14s
    3. Adding curved panels
      3m 26s
    4. Rounding the corners
      6m 46s
    5. Unwrapping the face frame
      6m 39s
    6. Unwrapping the sides
      5m 8s
    7. Moving and sewing UVs
      5m 23s
    8. Laying out the UV coordinates
      5m 47s
  3. 1h 50m
    1. Overview of the texturing process and PSD networks
      4m 43s
    2. Creating a bump map for the sides
      10m 55s
    3. Adding details to the bump map
      8m 6s
    4. Drawing the bump map for the front
      7m 51s
    5. Adding details to the panels
      7m 45s
    6. Painting the diffuse texture and planning the layers
      3m 35s
    7. Painting the base coat and the logo
      5m 24s
    8. Adding labels and other markings
      10m 45s
    9. Adding soft rust
      8m 32s
    10. Adding rust bubbles
      8m 58s
    11. Setting up a library of gas pump textures
      6m 40s
    12. Painting dirt and rust variations
      5m 23s
    13. Weathering away the paint
      5m 1s
    14. Converting bump maps to normal maps
      5m 36s
    15. Testing the maps
      11m 8s
  4. 1h 28m
    1. Overview of modeling small props
      1m 59s
    2. Modeling a sledgehammer
      6m 11s
    3. Modeling a pry bar
      6m 26s
    4. Adding detail and hardening edges
      5m 28s
    5. Unwrapping as part of building a texture sheet for small tools
      8m 27s
    6. Modeling a metal ladder
      8m 51s
    7. Unwrapping and cloning
      8m 46s
    8. Placing the clean texture
      8m 39s
    9. Laying out a texture sheet for multiple tools
      8m 37s
    10. Painting rusty steel
      7m 46s
    11. Adding dirt and wear
      5m 42s
    12. Planning for optimal texture usage
      7m 37s
    13. Painting dirt and age variations
      3m 42s
  5. 1h 45m
    1. Modeling furniture using simple parts and reusable textures
      2m 53s
    2. Planning and analyzing the modeling of a chair
      4m 56s
    3. Blocking out the basic form
      8m 24s
    4. Adding detail and softening edges
      6m 42s
    5. Refining the silhouette
      12m 9s
    6. Blocking out the form of a round chair
      7m 39s
    7. Adding detail and softening the edges of a round chair
      5m 20s
    8. Unwrapping as part of building a texture sheet for furniture
      14m 36s
    9. Planning the modeling of a table
      3m 14s
    10. Blocking out the basic table form
      4m 41s
    11. Adding legs to the table
      7m 6s
    12. Breaking up the model for texturing
      7m 55s
    13. Laying out the wood texture
      9m 29s
    14. Reusing parts to make a round table
      10m 12s
  6. 39m 23s
    1. Understanding the importance of painting textures from scratch
      2m 9s
    2. Creating the initial grain lines
      4m 43s
    3. Adding value variation across the grain
      2m 22s
    4. Warping the grain
      2m 50s
    5. Adding knots
      4m 27s
    6. Colorizing the grain and planning for stains
      6m 53s
    7. Cutting out boards for a UV layout
      5m 26s
    8. Adding patina and wear to a final texture
      10m 33s
  7. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding the importance of a low poly count
      4m 46s
    2. Overview of normal maps
      9m 26s
    3. Overview of the high-poly projection pipeline
      3m 10s
    4. Planning the UV space for projection
      5m 29s
    5. Working with hard edges and subdividing
      7m 22s
    6. Adding details by beveling and extruding
      6m 50s
    7. Fixing geometry
      7m 39s
    8. Using the Sculpt Geometry tool and soft selection to add dents
      9m 32s
    9. Baking the high-poly model onto the low-poly model to produce a normal map
      8m 21s
  8. 51m 4s
    1. Overview of Mudbox
      4m 26s
    2. Preparing for a smooth export to Mudbox
      7m 43s
    3. Importing from Mudbox: Choosing the right resolution
      5m 9s
    4. Using the sculpt tools
      8m 30s
    5. Painting
      8m 58s
    6. Exporting paint layers from Mudbox
      1m 35s
    7. Extracting and exporting a normal map from Mudbox
      6m 2s
    8. Importing and assigning objects and maps in Unity
      8m 41s
  9. 41m 4s
    1. Overview of ambient occlusion and specularity
      5m 55s
    2. Setting up ambient occlusion as a texture
      7m 3s
    3. Using ambient occlusion as a foundation for dirt
      6m 44s
    4. Using ambient occlusion as a foundation for rust
      10m 5s
    5. Painting a specular map
      6m 48s
    6. Streamlining the import process: Placing maps in the right channels
      4m 29s
  10. 21m 46s
    1. Overview of importing into Unity
      3m 15s
    2. Preparing and exporting props to Unity
      7m 54s
    3. Cloning props in Unity with different looks
      5m 21s
    4. Adding lights to test smoothing and textures
      5m 16s
  11. 22s
    1. Next steps
      22s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Game Prop Creation in Maya.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.