Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Rounding the corners, part of Maya: Game Prop Creation.
With my curved sides in place, I'm ready to round over the corners. I'll check back on the reference and see how it looks. I haven't set up an image plane here. I don't think it would do me a lot of good, as it's in a perspective already. I typically use image planes when I have orthogonal views drawn of an object and I can match the model in a front or side view directly onto it. Rather than see an image plane and spin around, or have it occlude something, I'm comfy just switching back and forth to either a browser or over to Photoshop to look at that reference and draw mesh lines on if I need.
Here in Photoshop then, I'll zoom in and take a look at that gas pump. It's got a curve on the front, which I've just put in, and a little bit of a radius right here. There's even a little bit of a notch, and we can just see it over there. That's that Art Deco form coming in. The recess here will be handled through a normal map, but I need to have this curve in at least, so I get a streamlined form going. The vents will be part of a normal map as well. And these rivets and probably some of this display will end up with a normal map.
This will be a normal map. And finally, more vents and extra fins will be in the texture as well, but these curves are a big deal. Here in Maya then, I've got some options. My thought is I'm going to end up extruding some top faces to make those curves, and so I could either extrude the top and then add the side curves in or add them in and then extrude the top. I can make both work. The choice I'm going to take is to curve the sides first. I'll press F10 for edge and pick those sides.
I'll hold Shift and select all four corners and then bevel them. What I want in a model like this is consistency. It's important to make sure that you're beveling things like these corners all at once, so they all have the same dimension. We could go back and put in the same dimensions if we needed, but having it done in one operation will go smoother. I'll hold Shift and right- click and choose Bevel Edge. The comment I always hear on Bevel is "Bevel didn't work; my shape exploded," and if we look at this, it doesn't quite look right.
Here is the deal with bevel. There is an Offset as a Fraction, and if we take that and put a zero in for off, now we're beveling in scene units. I'm going to put the Offset at 1.5, an inch and a half, so it's nice and curvy, and then I'll come down and put the Segments in at 2, so I get one extra edge right in the middle of it. I can soften this later and get the form right. I'm ready to start getting in the top. What I'll do is instead of having these small triangular faces here from the bevel, I'll delete the top faces, fill that hole, and then extrude that top polygon.
I'll press F11 for face and select the faces. Then I'll hold Ctrl and deselect the vertical faces I've got, leaving me just the top. I will hit Delete and then press F10 for Edge. I'll double-click on the top edge, which is now a border. I'll hold Shift and right-click, and here on my Marquee menu, I'll choose Fill Hole. Now I've got one n-sided polygon, which is fine. I'm going to extrude it and I can come back and quad it if I need. I'll press F11 for face and pick this top face.
I'll hold Shift and right- click and choose Extrude Face. The Extrusion tool is really fantastic for modeling, because it's got Move, Rotate, Scale, Local and World axes, and also Divisions all at once. I'm going to pull this up and set that Extrusion Height at 6 inches so I come out right. Over here on the Local Translate Z I'll put in 6. Then I'll hold Ctrl and scale on the Z axis. What that does is actually scale the X and Y proportionally. I'll give this a taper.
And finally, I'll come in here to the Divisions and add in 3. This gives me divisions to make the curve on the side. I'll go into my front view and start scaling out these edge loops to make those curved corners. I'll press F10 for Edge, W for Move to get out of extrusion, and double-click on an edge loop. I'll press R for Scale and hold Ctrl while I scale on the Y axis in green. I'll pull these in and out, knowing that it's making the same curve on the front and side. I can't double-click and select the top, as we can see here because it's one big n-gon and I've broken the edge structure.
I'll press F9 for Vertex and select those top vertices. I'll even turn off my grid so I can see what I'm doing a little better, and now I will scale those in, to make the rest of that curve. It's a matter of kind of pushing and pulling it around to get it in the right place. It's working, and there is the top curve of my gas pump. What I'd like to do to avoid some smoothing artifacts later is come back here and use my Split Polygon tool or bridge across. I can do this now or I can simply leave it alone, and it will triangulate nicely.
I'll take the first choice. Under Edit Mesh, here is my Interactive Split tool. I'll click and drag to a vertex and over to its corresponding vertex. I'll put it in place and hit Enter. And there's a new mesh line. This will let me smooth across these edges, and I'll repeat this all the way across the top. I'm hitting G to repeat last, and I'm landing these mesh lines right across. This will put in new vertices and let me smooth this over later.
If you miss, like I just did, you can hit Z to undo. I'll hit G to repeat last and snap that edge line in again. Now, I'll click and drag along the edge and land it. You can see it's snapping in, and hit Enter to accept it. I'm ready to play with the hard and soft edges, and then I'll get into unwrapping. It's a fairly straightforward model on the gas pump, and I've got my curved form in place all the way around. I'll go back and check the reference one more time and see what else I am missing. It looks like it can flare out a little bit at the base, so I'll take the top, and scale it just slightly.
I'm also going to put in a mesh line so I can bevel or inset this area where the dials are. First, I'll add the taper in the top. I'll press F9 for Vertex and select all the top vertices. I'll press R for Scale and hold Ctrl and scale slightly on the Y axis. The X and Z scale in ever so slightly, and it's got a little bit of a taper. Now, I'll turn back on my reference, press 4 for a wireframe, and go into a front view. I'll hold Shift and right-click and choose the Insert Edge Loop tool.
I'll go into the dialog on this and see what it's set to, because it holds the settings from last time I used it. I'll make this a relative distance and then close the Tool Settings. I'll land in one edge loop, and I've already got a second up here. I'll press W for Move, V for Snap, and I'm going to snap this right onto my reference object. Now I've got a clear place in front to come in and model that inset face.
- Planning for modular textures and models
- Blocking out the overall form of a prop
- Moving and sewing UVs
- Laying out UV coordinates
- Texturing with bump maps
- Converting bump maps to normal maps
- Unwrapping and cloning objects
- Breaking up a model for texturing
- Painting textures from scratch
- Adding detail with beveling and extruding
- Baking high poly model onto a low poly model
- Painting in Mudbox
- Importing and assigning objects and maps in Unity
- Adding lights in Unity