Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up the scene, part of Game Art: Model & UV Map a Low Poly Character.
- In this video, we just want to take a minute or two, so as to highlight some of the setup options that've been applied to the scene files for the course, as well as take a look at some of the tweaks that I have made to my 3DS Max setup, so as to make our modeling workflow just that little bit smoother. Probably, the first thing worth pointing out here is the fact that we have a modeling material set up. If we press the m key, we are just using a standard material with a color and highlight setting that will make it nice and easy for us to see the curvature of our mesh, as we make changes to it.
The next tweak that I want to highlight is the fact that, over in the modify tab of the command panel, I have a number of modifier types already set up in an easy to access button set. These, essentially, are the modifiers that I find myself typically using quite a lot, whilst working on modeling projects, so, edit poly, symmetry, open sub diff, and so on. We can easily set those up for ourselves by clicking on the configure modifier sets button in the stat controls, and then, from the popup menu, selecting the list entry of the same name.
This brings up a straightforward, and easy to use, dialog, that lets us create and name our own modifier button sets. We can choose the number of buttons that we want in the set, and then, from the modifiers list on the left, all we need to do is drag and drop entries onto the modifier set, clicking the save button once we are done. It is also worth noting here, as you can see in the view port, that we are going to be using what is called an exploded mesh as modeling reference throughout the course.
This is because, up until recently, my substance based workflow, this was the only way to bake out the normal maps, as meshes that were close to each other would incorrectly receive normal information from surrounding parts of the geometry. Substance Painter, though, now allows us to work around this using naming conventions and material ids. However, as using this workflow would mean modeling our low poly object directly over the top of an already existing high poly reference version, I have opted to stick with the older workflow, as this makes the modeling process much easier for newer modelers to follow along with.
In future courses, we may look at more advanced techniques for modeling and baking out our normal maps. Last, but by no means least, I also want to highlight here the hotkey, or keyboard shortcuts, that I have created. If we come to the customize menu, and choose the customize user interface entry, we can use the group drop down to quickly isolate the shortcuts found in the edit poly group. From here, we can take a look at some of the changes that I have made. So for instance, the cut tool, I have assigned to the alt and c key combo.
Extrude mode is set to shift e, and so it goes. Now, of course, these hotkey settings are tied to my personal preferences, and so, if you want to stick with Max's defaults, as you work through this course, then that is just fine, but keep in mind, if I do use any of these custom keystrokes, then you will need to do some transposing. For instance, the cut tool in Max actually has no default keyboard shortcut assigned to it, and so you would need to access it through the ribbon UI. If you would like to use the same keyboard shortcuts as me, simply for the sake of ease, as you work through the course, then all you need to do is click on the load button that we see here, and then, from inside the exercise files project structure that we have already looked at, jump into the 3DS_Max_keyboard folder, and, from there, load the modeling_shortcuts.kbdx file.
I have also provided a straight text file that lists all of the keyboard shortcuts being used, meaning, should you want to, you can just take a look at and memorize them, which nicely wraps up our quick look at the setup tweaks that I have made for this course.
- Gamma and scale
- Setting up a scene
- Creation and shaping
- Using symmetry modifiers
- UV mapping
- Using guide objects
- Detailing and finishing
- Refining a model
- Prepping a model
- Exporting a model
- Fixing issues
- Normal map baking