Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Modeling a high-poly roll-up garage door, part of Creating Game Environments in Maya and Photoshop.
In this video I'll look at modeling some high-res doors or high-polygon that we can use for baking out things like occlusion and normals. I've taken my building and added in the rest of the foundations. I've even put the small bit of sidewalk around the cashier's booth. I need to add in some bevels here, to add a radius to these corners. This is one place where I feel comfortable spending a few extra polygons, as in the original, this is quite round. What I'll do is press F10 for Edge and select these corner edges, picking one, holding Shift, and picking another.
Now I'll hold Shift and right- click and choose Bevel Edge. One of the things I hear for my students a lot is that Bevel doesn't work, and as you can see, I've had a small explosion here. It's actually okay. It's working exactly as advertised. What I'm going to do though is in Bevel, uncheck Offset As Fraction. And now this bevel is in scene units. I'm going to make this Offset 1 so it's got a good size radius on it. I'll put the Segments up at 3 and now I've got round corners on that curb.
I can come back if I need and quad this mesh using the Split Polygon tool, or just leave it alone. When I export it out, it's going to triangulate anyway. What I'll do is spin underneath, press F11 for face, and make sure I take out the extra bottom faces that the beveling process puts in. These, again, will be down on the ground. I'm not going to see them, so I need to economize my geometry. I'll press Delete and they're gone. The last step I usually do is to harden up the edges and then soften selectively the ones I want.
My general thought--and I'll turn off the wireframe unshaded here--is that I don't want to let Maya make a choice for me on whether things are hard or soft. I want them be deliberately hardened and crisp or soft and rounding over. I'll pick this object, hold Shift and right- click, and choose Soften/Harden Edge > Harden Edge. Now it's all faceted. I'll press F10 for Edge, come back and pick the middle two edges on those beveled corners, picking one, holding Shift, and picking the others, and then I'm going to soften them.
I'll hold Shift and right-click, choose Soften/Harden Edge > Soften Edge. Now I have got flat, round, and flat corners nicely. Instead of being sort of round and sort of flat, they're distinctly one way or the other and will shade nicely in the game. Now I'm ready for the garage door. I'll go into a side view, looking at the front of the building, and press 4 for wireframe. I'm going to start out by holding Shift and right-clicking, Choosing Poly Plane and holding V for snap.
I'll snap a new poly plane right inside that garage door. Notice that the Height comes out to 10 foot, 5. This accounts for both the original height of the building from 0 plus the extra 6 inches I've added down here at the base. What I'll do is put the Subdivisions Width at 3 and the Subdivisions Height at 5 for my garage door. This is going to be a high-poly garage door I'm going to bake using either Transfer Maps or a batch bake in mental ray to get occlusion in the normal map from. I can spend all the polys I'd like to on it. What I'll do is choose Display > Hide > Hide Unselected Objects, so I can see my door clearly.
I'll go back and look at the reference and see what I need to do on the door. I've zoomed in on the reference, and I can see that the bottom of the garage door is a bit taller, so that will account for those extra inches. I can also see that these middle windows have an extra frame on them and are slightly smaller. I'll take care of that and then extrude in all the panels at once, except for this middle. In a normal or occlusion map we really don't care if it's glass or panels. First I'll press F10; that takes me to Edge.
I'll double-click on one and hold Shift and double-click on the second edge loop on the bottom. I'll take these on the Y axis and slide them up slightly. This gives me that smaller-size window in the middle and the extra length on the bottom to account for the larger piece of wood at the base. I'll right-click and choose Object mode. As you can see here, occasionally Maya leaves behind a piece of a selection. We can clear this out, and it's worth doing, just to make sure we don't have accidental things selected. I press F10 for Edge, and I'll pick all the edges and deselect them.
Now I'll work by face, pressing F11 for Face. I'll also press 5 in this case to switch into a shaded view so I can see a little clearer what I'm doing. With all the polygons selected, I'll go up to Edit Mesh and uncheck Keep Faces Together. Now I'm ready to extrude in all the panels at once. I'll hold Shift and right- click and choose Extrude Face. I'll extrude them by scaling on the Y and that pulls them down, but wait, that's not it. That doesn't look right. Why not? As you can see here, the scale on the rotation ring overlapped and Maya decided that I was picking rotation.
One of the things to do in this case is to make sure you're in the right place and even hit plus to make that gizmo a little bigger. Now I'll click on the scale and I'm going to pull these in. This makes the frames for the garage door. Then I'll scale down on the X axis and make the sides. Now I'm ready for the rest of the frames. What I'll do at this point is press Q for select, hold Ctrl, and Deselect those middle panels. I'll hold Shift and right-click, choose Extrude Face again, and I'm going to push these in on the Z axis, and over here I'll put in an exact dimension.
I'll put on the Local Translate Z, -0.15, because it sounds good and looks right. What I'll also do is scale these slightly on the X and Y axes so they have a little bit of a slant to that face. When I make a normal map then it's going to have a little bit of a bevel to it instead of being a straight drop-off. There's my main panels, and now I'm ready to tackle the windows in the middle. If we look back at the reference, we can see they've got an extra frame element in here.
I'll put that in and then finally extrude in for the glass. I'll pick these middle polygons, hold Shift and right-click, and choose Extrude Face. I'll zoom in and make sure I can see what I'm doing clearly. First I'm going to push these in ever so slightly. There is a little bit of a lip there. Then I'll hit G to repeat last and scale in on the X and Y axes. There's that window frame. Now I'll hit G one more time and I'm going to push these in for that window glass.
If you're concerned about the depth, you can hold V as part of the extrusion and snap it onto the other extrusion. Now I know I've got a consistent depth all the way around and the detail I expect to see in that garage door. I'll press F8 and step back and take a look. It looks pretty reasonable, although I think the indents here in these panels might be a little bit severe. I can let them ride or I can also bevel them. One of the things we'll see in a high- poly model like this is some beveling on edges so that normal maps are nice and smooth-looking.
After all, this is not going to go into the game, so we can spend as many polys as we'd like. Here's how I'll bevel this. I'll press F10 for Edge and double- click on in edge loop surrounding that door panel, holding Shift and adding to that selection. Even though I had Keep Faces Together unchecked, this still thinks of itself as one loop. I'll zoom in, hold Shift and right- click, and choose Bevel Edge, unchecking Offset As a Fraction and making this offset very tiny.
Here's .05, and I'll give it three segments. Now I've got a small round edge on this garage door, and it looks pretty good. This is the kind of thing I'd do to make a model that's suitable for baking a normal, where I want to model in all kinds of detail, maybe even adding in divisions in the panels and denting or moving them slightly, adding general wear and degradation to this, and then finally baking out a normal. I'll see what else I can add to this, finish it, and move on to making the walls all light-tight and clean.
- 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