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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 video. I'll show how to bake the occlusion, now that we have a good idea of what occlusion looks like and the power it has to pop out details. What I have done then is to take my low poly and unwrap it. I'll press F3 to go to polygons and take a look in the editor. My thought is I'd like to have two shutters, because there is a good chance I'm going to see two or more in a scene, and this is the kind of prop we're going to see in a lot of places. It's not uncommon to see whole towns, villages or even just clusters of houses all with shutters.
So having a couple of shutters that match together but are slightly different is a good idea as we can swap out colors if we need and reuse them. I'll press Ctrl+H to hide this mesh, and now I have also tuned up this high poly. What I have done as I spin around back so you can see is to delete all of the back faces. What I'd like to do on this is hit it with a planar mapping, mapping all of this into the size of that one big polygon. This way when I project, it goes right into there, and the detail fits on.
I can also use this to bake out normals. Because I have got the low poly overlapping, I need to make sure that I'm only baking one set, whether it's normals or occlusion--that I'm not overlapping, which could yield some funny results. Now I'll get this unwrapped, and I'll choose Create UVs > Planar Mapping. I'll put this width at 36 and then flip it flat by taking the 90 degree rotation on the Y down to 0. I'll check in the editor and see how this looks.
It looks pretty good. I should get a good occlusion bake. I have mapped this straight on, and it should bake nicely, and the right proportion. Now what I need to do is map it over the low poly and make sure these UVs line up. I'll show the last hidden object, and I'll pick both, right-clicking and choosing Object mode and selecting. Now I'll look at them in the editor, and I have got what looks like a moderate mess. In reality, it's working very nicely. What I'm going to do is to take this high poly, grab it all with the Move Shell tool and scale it down.
I'll scale these, making sure they stay proportionate and match them over the low poly. I have got a couple of options, but I think what I'll do is to get it as close as I can, match it in by eye and then snap the low poly right over it. I'll zoom in, and there is my low poly shell. I'm going to pick both of them, and move them into place. It looks like I'm pretty close.
If you're feeling very picky about it, you can zoom in, pick individual points and use the Align to selected U and V values. I'm okay with it like it is. I can pull it back and forth if needed, but being careful not to select any other shells. I'm ready to bake. In reality, it's not a projection as choosing a source and a target as much as rendering one object and then placing it on the other's UVs. I'll pick the low poly and hide it, and then I'm going to go into my batch bake and bake.
I'll press F6 for Lighting and Shading, and under Lighting and Shading, choose Batch Bake (mental ray). I had used this previously, so it was already set to the occlusion. What I need to make sure of is that I'm baking shadows using a bake set override. I have dropped down in the Color mode and chosen Occlusion, and I have played with the distance. This Falloff is just like we showed in the previous video, the maximum distance at which objects stop occluding, my rays and my quality setting, and there is the Resolution. I'm going to bake this at 1024 square and see how it looks.
I have named it high res shutter, and it's a TIFF. It's going to go deep in the mental ray section of my render data in my Maya project. I'm baking one map with an alpha, and when I'm ready, I'll hit Convert and Close. My occlusion finished. I'll close this dialog and select the object and see what the material looks like. It added this occlusion into the new Lambert on this material. Really I don't care about the material, I just want the occlusion map. It put it in the incandescent slot, and I'll go in and take a look. When I click on View, we can see the occlusion, and it's looking pretty decent.
I think that Falloff Distance is a little bit high as it's giving me some gray in here where I'd like to have white. I can also see where I need to have a few less polygons. I'm getting some overlap here because of overlapping UVs. It may be worth breaking these off separately or deleting those polys. I'll run the occlusion one more time and then bring it into Photoshop and lay it over as a foundation for dirt in the next video. The fix I need if I look at the UV editor is to take these back bottom polygons of the louvers and move them.
What we're seeing, and I'll press F3 to go back to my Polygons menu and into my Texture Editor is that I have got some overlap. The selected polygons are red, meaning they're facing backwards from the direction I mapped. What I'm going to do is simply map these and throw them off to the side somewhere. What I care about is the occlusion rendering on all the blue faces, anything else is irrelevant as I'm simply using this to make a texture, not as a final model. I'll take these pieces I have got selected, and under Create UVs, choose Planar Mapping.
I'm going to grab them and just move them over. I'll press W to move or Ctrl+F12 to convert to UVs, and I'll pull them over here off to the side. I'll shrink them down by using the Scale tool, and really, I don't even care if they're mapped oddly, skewed, or shrunk down to nearly nothing. Here's what I'm after. When I zoom in and take a look, I have got just about all blue. It looks like there is one more poly under here that's still red, so I need to go in and find it, but I'll try another render and see how this looks first.
It may take a few steps of tweaking, taking things and removing them, making sure that the projection is one-sided. We may end up with things kind of strewn around our UV space. All we really care about is having this render be clear. So, whatever you have to do to get there is fine. I'll run the occlusion one more time, Batch Baking, and see how it comes out. I have run my occlusion, and before I did that, I reduced the Falloff a little bit, so they're not quite as gray in the shutters.
I'll see how this looks one more time. In the Incandescence on now Lambert three, there is my image. I'll click View and pull it up. It's much better. I could use a little more strength in the anti-aliasing, but the shutters are definitely popping out. It's a terrific way to start out with some dirt, and it makes that detail really sing. In the next video, I'll use it as a foundation for painting in Photoshop and make these nice and grungy as old shutters that have been left out in the weather are apt to be.
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