Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before watching this course, part of Creating Cityscapes in 3ds Max.
In this course, we'll be using Autodesk 3DS Max 2015. We'll also be using Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud 2014. In 3DS Max, you should be familiar with selecting, moving, rotating, and scaling objects. And also creating basic primitives. In addition you should be familiar with changing viewports, using your hotkeys. Such as T for top, L for left, and B for bottom. We can also hit V for the viewport menu for example and choose right or back.
Additionally, we'll create cameras choosing create on the command panel and cameras and making either target or free cameras. I'll be using the default with enhanced menu, although you can choose your UI as you need. Feel free to manipulate your user interface to suit your work flow. For creating objects, I'll be using the modelling quad, accessible by holding control and right clicking. For example, I'll create a sphere now by clicking and dragging in the scene. Right clicking to stop creating is important, so keep that in mind.
You should have a good working knowledge of a 3DS max project. Clicking on the application icon, and choosing manage, and setting the project folder. It's important to set the project and then open the scene, so that 3DS max can find any textures that go with it. Lastly, I'll be using the snaps extensively. These are accessible by pressing S to toggle them off and on. Additionally, A toggles off and on the angle snap. And occasionally we'll use the spinner snap, which you can click on the spinner snap toggle up in the main toolbar.
For the snaps, I'll switch back and forth between 3D snap and two and a half D snap. These are accessible by clicking on the snap toggle and flying it out. Hold Shift and Right-click to access the snap options quads. I'll switch my snaps over from grid points to vertices and also enable access constraints and snaps. Personally I like to snap to frozen objects, so i've turned on that option. I'll be using the mental ray rendering engine in my city. This is accessible by pressing F10. And in the render setup, if you don't see it active, going down to the bottom of the common tab, and opening up the assign render dialogue.
In here, click on the choose render a button and choose a video mental ray. For any detailed buildings, I've placed a mental ray arc and design material on the different objects. And those are set with their textures. So as long as you set the project first and then open the file, you'll have everything in place. In adobe illustrator, you should have a good working knowledge of the selection and direct selection tools. Additionally, you should have fluid knowledge of the pen tool and also basic shapes such as rectangle, ellipses, and lines.
Additionally, you should have a good command of the transform palette as we'll be using it extensively to move objects around. The path finder will come in handy for combining multiple objects such as the street lights for example. That also will make heavy use of the align tools. Lastly, you should have a good command of the layers palette for organizing your drawings. As part of that, we'll make extensive use of cut, cut and paste, and paste in front and paste in back. For organizing on the different layers, and arranging within those layers. I've provided all the working textures we'll be using in 3DS Max.
However, if you'd like to edit these, you can do so in Adobe Photoshop. These textures were produced from scratch in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and with some use of NDO and DDO by Quixel. As a last reminder, make sure you always set the project before you open the scene. That way, 3DS Max will find all of the textures and load them properly. Now let's get started building a city
- Conceptualizing the city
- Planning the city in Illustrator
- Drawing buildings
- Laying out the city grid
- Creating tree and lighting elements
- Building a reference structure
- Modeling streets modules and fixtures
- Creating referenced objects and mental ray Proxy objects
- Exporting layer markers for compositing