Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Constructing high-detail doors, part of Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop.
In this video, I'll look at constructing the high-detailed doors and by extension, the windows next to them over here in the cashier's section. What I've done then is to finish out the canopy and the island, I've worked over the hard and soft edges, making sure that the corners are round and the flat sides stay flat. I've also deleted the faces on the bottom, optimizing the poly count wherever possible, and looked it over, making sure there's no other extraneous geometry I need to take care of. What I'd like to be able to do then is make one high-poly model for a door and transom window--the window over the door combination--and then use that, just stretching it a bit, to make the normals and occlusion map for the window units to the side of the door around the cashier's area.
If I do it right, I should be able to use this same piece right here to become the bathroom window as well. I'll start out then in a side view. Press 4 for a wireframe and F to focus in. I've got an area here where my door needs to go, and I'll start out by holding Shift and right-clicking, choosing Poly Plane, and snapping a poly plane in that opening. Now, I can hide everything else, by choosing Display > Hide > Hide Unselected Objects. This lets me see a little bit clearer.
This door is 6 foot 8 inches tall, as we're able to tell in measuring from where the door handle is. What I'll do then is take this poly plane which is 10 feet tall, put some divisions in, and start to extrude. I need to make a door frame, a door, a window in the middle of the door, and a window frame up above. I'll put in my Subdivisions Height here on this plane, the number 2. And because this started out at zero, and I can tell it's at zero as the Height is 10 and the Translate Y is 5, I can use my Absolute Transform to put this edge in the right place.
I'll press F10 for edge and select it and put the Absolute Y at 7 feet. Now I am ready to model the door. I'll go back and look at the reference and see what I need on the frame. In looking at this door, it's got a fairly tall toe kick at the bottom, maybe a foot tall to account for wet weather or heavy traffic. The rails and styles are about 4 inches wide or so, which is pretty typical. And it's got a fairly flat frame around. As long as I gave it a little bit of detail, it should look fine.
The window frames are similarly boxy. It's a little difficult to tell how they look, so I do have some latitude. I'll start out with them, making the doorframe. I'll press F11 for Face, hold Shift and right-click, and choose Extrude Face. I'll extrude this in and scale on the top and sides. I'll try to get these as even as possible. I can always come back and move this in a precise amount. I am going to do that to make sure this looks right, as this is one of the things we see a lot of, even though we may not register it.
We walk through a lot of doors over our daily lives, and so we need to get these things looking correct. I am going to press spacebar for my Hotbox and choose Window > Settings Preferences > Preferences. And in the Settings, I'll switch over from feet to inches. As I start to get deeper and deeper into a model, I start to work in smaller and smaller units. Now I'm going to take this edge, pressing F10, W for Move, and hold V for Snap. I'll snap this back onto the outside. So actually, I've erased that face or made it have zero area. And I'll move this over on the Relative Transform by 2 inches.
I'll do the same on the other side, making sure I've got the right dimensions all the way around. I'll press F11 for Face and press 5 for Shaded View. I'll pick the bottom face and delete it and then take this bottom edge and move it down. I'll hold V for Snap. If you notice, I do this a lot. I hold V for Snap and move on one axis. Now I am ready to extrude that door in.
I'll press F11 for Face, pick this face, hold Shift and Extrude Face in, and I'll pull it back on the Z. I am going to push this in by -3 inches, so it's got a deep recess on it. I'll delete this bottom polygon, and now I am going to bevel these edges. Then I'll work on the interior of the door. I'll press F10 for edge, pick one of these inside edges, hold Shift, double-click on the opposite one, and hold Shift and right-click and choose Bevel Edge.
I'm going to bevel this, turning off Offset As a Fraction, at an Offset of 0.25, a quarter inch, with three segments here. This is going to give me good roundness, making it look like, well, the round edges of a doorframe we'd expect. I can see as I spin around, I've got a little bit of a highlight there. It's rounding nicely. Now for the door. I am going to use the same technique: pressing F11 for Face and selecting that large face, holding Shift and right-clicking, choosing Extrude Face, and scaling to make new geometry that's coplanar with the existing.
I'll hit G to repeat last, and I'll push this in by -1. Now I need to get these in the right place, as it's not quite in the right area for the door. I am going to use the same technique I did on the sides, picking one of these long skinny faces on the side of the door, holding V for snap, and snapping it onto that doorframe. Then I'll pull it back by -4. I'll work my way around very quickly. The technique here then is to make new geometry and then move it into the right place.
We could probably figure out the percentage of extrusion as a scale factor, but that gets kind of messy. What I like to do is make the stuff and then put it where I want it to be. Finally, I'll put the bottom in. I'll snap this down, and I'm going to move it up by 12 on the Y. This gives me that tall kick at the bottom, and there's my door with all kinds of good detail. Lastly, because this is a high-polygon model, I'm going to bevel this door frame.
I'll press F10 for Edge and double-click on the edge loop that goes around that door glass. I'll hold Shift and right- click and bevel that edge, and do the same thing: turn off Offset As a Fraction, put the Bevel at 0.25, and give it 3 segments. There is my high-poly door. I wouldn't want to take this into a game, but for rendering out a normal app, it will look pretty good.
I'll finish out the windows in the same manner. Here is a trick to get these divided evenly. We can see that this window has a mullion right across the middle, and it's got an extra frame, it looks like, on the bottom one here. I'll hold Shift and right-click and choose the dialog next to the Insert Edge Loop tool. I'll put multiple edge loops on using an equal multiplier of one, and I'll snap an edge loop perfectly across the middle. Notice I can't drag it because it wants to use an equal multiplier.
This is a good way to evenly divide across a polygon, even when you don't know the exact height. Now I'll press F11, W for Move to get out of inserting the edge loop, and pick these two faces. Under Edit Mesh I am going to uncheck Keep Faces Together, hold Shift and right-click, and extrude those faces in, scaling in and scaling over to make those window frames.
I'll pick this top one, hit G to repeat last, and push this in, moving it in by maybe 2 inches. Then I'll take this one, hit G to repeat last, and push it in ever so slightly. G one more time to do another extrusion, and I'll extrude this frame in. Finally, hitting G one more time to repeat yet again, I'm going to push this in and hold V, as in Victor, for Snap and snap that extrusion onto the glass up above so that both glasses are at the same plane.
Lastly I'll repeat my bevel, zooming in on that frame and double-clicking on those edge loops. I'll pick all three at once, holding Shift and right-click, choosing Bevel Edge, turning off Offset As a Fraction, putting the offset at a quarter-inch and 3 segments. It's okay to go through and bevel lots of things in a high-poly model. It's going to add a richness and detail to that model, and we are going to bake a normal map out of it. Now I need to work over the hard and soft edges, and my door module is pretty complete.
What I'll typically do is select the whole object and harden up all the edges. Now, I'll come back through and soften edges selectively. I'll press F10 for edge and zoom in. I am going to double-click on the two middle edge loops, holding Shift to pick the second across that bevel, holding Shift to add to that selection and doing a few at a time. There is the edge loops around the inside of the door and the door frame.
I'll even add to those up at the top. With all of those middle edge loops selected, I'll hold Shift and right-click, choose Soften/Harden Edge > Soften Edge, I'll press F8, and turn off the wireframe on shaded, and we can see that I've got flat surfaces, round corners, and flat surfaces. There is my detailed door done very quickly. Now, to add to the general wear and tear if we need, we could put some edge loops through the middle and move these around a little bit.
I'm going to let it be as it is and simply paint in the wear and tear and general dirt. This is a pretty good door. For the normal map, I'll make one version like this and either make it a solid color diffuse for the bathroom or simply take out the panel entirely in Photoshop, replacing it with the standard blue that surrounds it. But I can take this and bake normals out of it very easily. I can also use this to bake out occlusion so I get detail: dirt and shadow. I can paint on other details such as the handles, or I could model them as geometry if I think I am going to get close enough.
I can also add in other little bits of geometry if needed, such as the threshold, and get this ready to start baking. What we've got here out of this chapter is actually a mix of high- and low-poly objects; some high-poly pieces, ready to bake or render into a normal map or occlusion map; and some low-poly pieces that add to the silhouette and the general realism of the model. We'll see a lot of times that a model in Maya doesn't look exactly like the end model in game, that there is interim steps and extra parts we need to really make things look right that we're going to use and not take all of across to our game engine.
Once I've got these all set, I can start to make the low-poly pieces these will project on to, and make sure that the mapping fits together for accurate baking.
- Analyzing concept art for contours, texture, and shadow detail
- Blocking out the basic form of a building
- Modeling modular elements
- Planning for occlusion and texture stacking
- Creating the low-poly-count elements
- Planning a texture sheet
- Stacking UVs
- Transferring maps
- Baking occlusion and normal maps
- Drawing detail at the right size
- Painting layers of dirt and wear
- Adding lights and refining materials