Modular assets or models are anything that is intended to be combined other assets to make bigger more complex objects, scenes or environments. These modular models should snap together easily and be designed so the workflow and use of the objects is as smooth as possible once they are imported into their final destination. In this chapter we'll look at techniques we can use to make simple modular components to our environmental scene kit.
- [Voiceover] The concept of modular structures isn't new, it's used in real world construction, urban planning, and our every day life. The concept's been around in video games almost as long as video games have been around. But with advancements in game engine lighting, middleware tools and the modeling and texture tools, the practice has become popular as it saves production time and cost. So what are modular assets? Modular assets are the parts and 3D pieces that fit together to create easy to assemble 3D game environments.
Similar to how toy blocks click together to make larger more complex structures, modular assets are built to a grid and should fit together to create more complex environments for our players to enjoy. This process of building 3D models is an easy way for beginners and advanced artists to create massive game environments. There are a lot of different systems that have been developed to create modular assets. The systems will vary based off the scale, game type, software, and game engine one plans to use.
The specific settings and software I'll be using in this course are targeted at platformer games or pre-rendered types of games. But be assured that the techniques and processes covered in this course can be applied to any situation or game type. I'd recommend doing a little research on the grid scale unit settings that will best work for the specific software and game engine you have access to. Also keep in mind that other 3D software such as Maya or Blender can be used to build the same assets that we're building in this course, but they may have different scale and numeric systems.
I think you'll find that modular 3D models will be an efficient and effective way to make large environments for your next project.
He first introduces the modular pipeline in Max and the basics of making modular models. Then Christian shows how to ensure your texture maps align to the grid, and places objects in the scene to build the complex final structure—an ornate castle—shown at the end of the course. With a little patience, attention to detail, and the skills learned in this class, you can create design kits that speed up development and result in more realistic and immersive game environments.
- Setting up the workspace, units, and grid
- Modeling the main walls
- Working with back-facing polygons
- Creating base objects
- Building modular elements
- UX mapping modular meshes
- Changing materials