Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up the workflow, part of Game Prop Creation in Maya.
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In this video, I'll look at the workflow in Maya, Photoshop, and Unity I will be using over this course. I'll also explore how to set the project file so Maya and Unity can find all of the assets correctly. For my workflow, I usually try to minimize the UI as much as possible. What I'll typically do is press Ctrl+Spacebar and make that UI go away. I'll rely on my hotbox, and I'll slim down that hotbox to get the controls where I need them. I'll press Ctrl+Spacebar to bring back the UI, and you can really see a difference.
We're limited in how much view we have, and I'd rather have more working viewport than simply UI clutter. First, I'll slim down the hotbox, pressing and holding the spacebar for the hotbox and choosing Hotbox Controls > Show Polygons > Polys Only in this case. This is the Polygons menu, and the tools here are geared towards working in polygons. I'll hold Shift and right-click and access the marking menu for polygon creation. I'll choose PolyCube, noting that Interactive Creation is on, and click and drag in my objects.
There's a cube. And it should go that fast. I'll minimize elements of my UI to give me more working space. I'll leave the toolbox on, and I'll leave the Status Line on at the top. What I will do is press and hold the spacebar for the Hotbox and click in the space to the right of Maya. I am going to turn off my Shelves and I also have turned off the Time slider and Range slider. I'm not animating in this course, and so I don't need the timeline cluttering up the view. I use Ctrl+A to toggle between the attributes and channel box.
This way I can keep this minimized and see attributes if I need. I'll use my default hotkeys Q, W, E, and R for Select, Move, Rotate, Scale are some of the most important. I'll also use F8 through 12 as my function keys to access components in Maya, such as Vertex, Edge, Face, and UV. Finally, I'll use my other marking menus. For example, holding Shift+right- click gives me a modeling menu. I'll insert an edge loop by clicking on an edge. My tools are closed at hand, and very quickly, I can model something and add to it, preserving a good edge flow and not dashing up to the top for my tools. It slows me down.
Not necessarily minutes or hours a day, but it interrupts my chain of thought, and I'd rather have my thoughts be as transparent as possible getting out into Maya. Any way that you can streamline your UI and make your tools fit your hands, you'll get faster, and you'll get a better model going quicker. I'll go over to Photoshop as well, and look at the way to customize there a little bit. Here in Photoshop, we tend to have a lot of palettes running around. Typically what I'll do when I draw is I'll start out a new document and press F: once to take away the Windows UI and once more to go full screen.
I'll use the Tab key to take my menus off and on. I'll press F one more time, and that brings back the Tab menu system up at the top. I'll toggle between these and use Ctrl+0 extensively to zoom extents in the drawing. I'll also customize my layer palette, dropping down in the options and choosing Panel Options. I've made my thumbnails large so I can see what's going on. I'll use my hotkeys extensively: B for brush, V for move, M for marquee, and G for the paint bucket.
This lets me get around quick and draw fast, again getting my thoughts out here as fast as I can make art. In Unity, we can customize the UI somewhat, choosing our display modes up here at the top: Textured, Wireframe, or Textured and Wire. We can also grab tabs and pull them around as we need, so that we can see what we need to when we need to. We can even have floating or modeless windows. I'll pull this back on, and now I've got my project and inspector on the side, and I can pull the viewport down and see my game.
I'll also make sure to set the project here in Unity. I'll choose File > Open Project. Unity looks towards the last projects, and here is my Game Props Unity folder. Right now it's working in the default project folder it creates upon install, set in Documents called New Unity Project. Always make sure you go in and open the project, and then you can open the scene. The same is true in Maya. Set the project and then open the file. This way both programs can find the textures that are associated with scenes, and you won't get blank spots or missing files.
Things will work smoothly and you'd be much happier with the game props you've got. I'll go ahead and set this to the Game Props Unity folder and get started modeling my game props. Now that we've got everything set up, let's get started modeling props for games.
- 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