The Mapping Process

3ds Max has several different mapping methods available to users. All of these mapping methods are available when you first apply the Unwrap UVW modifier to the object that you want to unwrap. The Unwrap UVW modifier lets you select Vertex, Edge, and Face subobjects. After you choose several Face subobjects, you can select the mapping method to use. The available default mapping methods include these Planar mapping. Bases the mapping on a projection from a single point. Cylindrical mapping....

Skeletal Rigging

This is the final stage of character model creation, where you'll install a bones system in your character so that you can articulate and animate its mesh. The skeleton is much like a real skeleton in that it contains bonelike objects connected at joints that when moved cause the surrounding mesh to move with them. These bone objects are invisible during render time. 3ds Max 8 has an integrated set of features called biped that is used to implement a humanoid skeleton into your model. You can...

Fixing Mesh Errors

Now that you've separated your elements, you can reapply the STL Check modifier to each item and correct its errors. I like to keep this modifier on top of the stack and work on the mesh below it, with Show End Results toggled to On. Beginning with the boot, look for the errors and zoom in on them. In Figure 4.4, I saw some multiple-edge errors, so I clicked and dragged over a single vertex in Vertex Edit mode. The Modify panel showed three vertices selected, which means that area has duplicate...

Texturing the Arms and Hands

The arms and hands aren't much to talk about. There's plenty of mesh definition, so the base texture nearly suffices. The only thing I did was to highlight the areas where the finger-less glove are. Also, remember to pull the skin color from the face so that the skin tone matches. 1. Open the UV templates for both arms. Add a new layer to each file, copy the skin color from the head texture image, and fill both arm textures with this color. 2. Add Noise to texture, with about 5 percent...

Adding and Manipulating Dummy Nodes

You need to create several dummy objects to represent those critical game hooks. Dummies are simply inert boxes that you create, label, and link to specific parts of the character's body so that the game engine knows where to place items like weapons, backpacks, and so on. Some common ones for Torque are A mounting location called Mount0. This is the primary weapon-mounting location on all characters. For the Hicks model, it will be on the hand of your choice. It's required on all character...

Remapping Commonly Used Max Shortcuts

Over the years, I've worked with several modeling animation programs and have found that with each, I've had to remap the program's default shortcuts to the ones described in Table A.1, making my work go even faster. Modeling is an intense multitasking scenario making frequent use of both hands on a near-constant basis. Newer peripherals, such as the SpacePilot from Logitech (see http www.3dconnexion.com), are available that attempt to consolidate many common functions onto themselves so that...

Shaping the Pants (Lower Body)

3ds Max Groin Area

The pants are baggy in keeping with military style. They also include shin and knee guards, like the marines in Aliens. A leg is basically a slowly extruded cylinder primitive all the way up to the torso. After you've tweaked one entire leg, you apply a Symmetry modifier, making a mirror copy of it. The boot and pants, which constitute the lower body, will be a single mesh entity with its own UV, texture, and normal maps. 1. Because the pants have shin guards going all the way down to the laces...

Texturing the Head

After you've loaded the UV template into Photoshop, we'll begin painting the texture. We'll start with the head because it has the most detail. Select the loaded head template. The first step is to create a base texture that covers everything. This base texture should be the most common material for the object, such as a leather texture for the boots or a skin texture for the arms. 1. Fill the entire layer with skin tone color by selecting the color and using the Edit, Fill menu. Then select...

UV Unwrapping and Mapping

This next phase in character development involves preparing your model to be textured. As I briefly explained earlier, a model consists of a large number of points called vertices, and these points are connected via edges to make up a mesh object. Every vertex in 3D space has an X, Y, and Z Table 1.2 3D Modeling File Types Used by Popular Modeling Software Table 1.2 3D Modeling File Types Used by Popular Modeling Software coordinate that defines its location in that space. When a mesh is...

Game Styles

Highest Polygon Count

The style of game dictates nearly all the components of a character model. One of the most common game styles that use the type of character that we are creating is FPS, meaning that the player views and controls the game-play through the eyes of the player's character. If you have difficulty discerning between the terms first, second, and third in terms of game-play, here's how it works. In first person, you, the player, are actually in the game as if you have taken over the main character's...

Step 2: Unwrap the Legs

Next we'll move onto the legs and the pelvis region. The legs are symmetrical, but the items around Hick's utility belt are different on each side, so we'll need to create a separate mapping for the pelvis region. Let's start by getting the legs unfolded and stashed away. Here we have the option of symmetrically stacking the legs for texturing or texturing each one separately. For this character and Hicks' utility belt, we'll keep the legs separate. This uses up some of the precious texture...

Creating Walk and Run Cycles with Biped

Now that you have a feel for keyframe animation, it's time to get a little more complex. A simple walk cycle seems easy enough just put one foot in front of the other but you need to remember to swing the opposite arm, and there's a lot of secondary motion involved in a walk cycle that makes the walk believable, like swinging of the hips and raising and lowering of the shoulders. Another key benefit to using Max's biped is that it understands all these complex secondary motions and can...

Fixing UVs: Add a Checkerboard

Even though you did a careful and neat job of unwrapping and organizing the UVs, there's still a chance that the isolated UV portions of the texture map are inverted like looking in a mirror or that texture coordinates are crossed resulting in smearing , overlapped causing a duplication of texture , or not properly relaxed causing bloating or shrinking of the texture . I can almost guarantee that at least one of the aforementioned scenarios exists in your setup, but it's not a huge ordeal it...

Rendering Templates

3ds Max includes a feature that renders the UV template to a bitmap that you can open into Photoshop. This is really handy and gives you the chance to draw directly on the template showing all the UV edges. To render a UV template, select the Tools, Render UV Template command from the Edit UVWs window. This opens the Render UVs dialog box see Figure 6.17 . From this dialog box, you can specify the bitmap's dimensions and the size and colors of the edges and base. 1. Select the torso object and...

Summary

This chapter discussed how to texture a character in Photoshop CS2 using the UV templates as a background. We started by testing the mapping for each part by applying a checkerboard texture to it. This allowed us to make any changes to the mapping before moving to the texturing phase. We then built each texture by adding new layers to the existing file and filling the layer with a background color. Then, using the various Photoshop tools, we added details to the texture. At the end of the...

Selecting Body Parts

In the previous chapter, we divided the Hicks character into several parts so that we could texture them separately. We can use symmetry to reduce the number of textures that we need to create, but the base list will include the following Legs including the pelvis region For each body part that is selected, you can choose a specific set of faces to be textured separately. For example, when texturing the arms, you'll want to separate all the hand polygon faces from the rest of the arm and scale...

Changing the Character's Pivot Point

Notice that the mesh's general axis displays the Z-axis pointing up, the X-axis to the left, and the Y-axis to the rear. Game engines will specify the axial orientation many times this is default, but some will say to have the Y- or Z-axis pointing forward. To change the pivot point, rotate the entire mesh 180 degrees about the Z-axis with Angle Snap toggled to On see Figure 4.9 . Then, in the Utilities panel, apply a Reset Xform. Now the mesh has the Y-axis pointing forward. After you've done...

Step 3: Unwrap the Arms and Hands

The biggest issue I have with Hicks' arms is his fingers. There's a lot going on there with all the joints and skin folds. However, because there won't be a whole lot of texture detail on them, and most of the hand will be covered by fingerless gloves, unwrapping and texturing it won't be too hard. We can simply split the arm down its length and divide the hand in half. Sound good Well, if you were a movie producer and needed this character in your film, that wouldn't sound good at all. In...

Step 1: Unwrap the Boots

We'll start with unwrapping the boots, which are separate objects. If the boots were part of the same object, we could flip and apply the resulting mapping to the opposite boot so that a single texture would cover both boots, but because the boots are separate, we need two mappings. Having two mappings lets us color the boots differently. For example, we might use a different mud splatter on each boot. The best method for mapping the boot skin is to use Pelt mapping, but before we Pelt map the...

3D Game Character Design Basics

The video game development community has come a long way since its general inception in the late 1970s. That's particularly true of character design and texturing. The intention of this book is to completely focus on modeling a cool game character that is endowed with a texture, optimized, rigged with what is called a skeleton, animated, and then exported to a few popular game engines. This is quite a process, but don't be discouraged. The entire character creation sequence is straightforward...

Stretching the Pelt

After you define the seams, you can open the stretcher, which aligns all the seam vertices along the outer edge of the stretcher interface. You can see this interface by clicking the Edit Pelt Map button. This also opens the Pelt Map Parameters dialog box see Figure 5.3 , where you can set the options for the stretcher. After you set the options, click the Simulate Pelt Pulling button to have the stretcher pull all the internal vertices toward Figure 5.3 The Pelt Map the outer edge of the...

Opening the UV Templates in Photoshop

The first thing we need to do is open the UV map for the part we want to texture in Photoshop. Then, as you paint the various textures, you can switch over to Max and view the updated texture. The UV and texturing portion of our work is closely related and, in our case, relies on two separate programs. With enough system memory, you can efficiently work with both of these programs open and update back and forth between them as you model, UV, and texture. Start by opening your UV mapped Hicks...

Crack Your Knuckles!

Let's get started Whether you're new to this field or even somewhat experienced, I highly recommend reading Chapter 1 before you begin because it contains vital information you should know to get things done right. Other than that, grab your coffee, Red Bull, or other favorite beverage, and let's kick it into high gear Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

Weighting the Model

After you've added the bones to the Skin modifier, they're linked to the mesh, and you're free to grab them and move them, which in turn should drive the mesh that surrounds them. However, before you move the bones, you need to be sure that the envelopes of the bones equally surround all vertices of the mesh, so that the mesh moves smoothly at each bone location of the Hicks model's body. Also, stray vertices that weren't included in an envelope stick in 3D space and don't move with the bones,...

Adding and Attaching a Biped

Biped How Many Spine Links For Human

The first thing you should do before you begin adding a Biped is hide all the objects that you created earlier, except for the Hicks model mesh. Doing so helps unclutter your workspace. To hide all your objects, click on the Display panel, and then choose Hide by Name within the panel's rollout. In the Hide Objects dialog box that pops up, select everything except the Hicks model item, and then click Hide see Figure 7.1 . Use the Display Figure 7.1 Hide everything except the Hicks model mesh...

S

Save XML Animation File dialog box, 152 boots, 78-79 clavicles, 131 eyes, 112,113 Hicks model, 134 segments, 47 UV mapping, 80 Scattered Dry Brush Small Tip brush, 109 scenes, rendering, 99 SDKs software development kits , 12 seams adding, 85 aligning, 76 creating, 84 defining, 75-76, 79, 84 editing, 74 torsos, splitting, 88 second-person objects, cameras, 4 sections, Mapping Coordinates, 119 segments multiple, creating, 53 scaling, 47 sizing, 42 selecting Bitmap option, 98 body parts, 75...

Box Modeling in 3ds

This chapter represents the focal point of the entire book. I will show you how to model the entire Hicks character using box modeling, a simple technique that is particularly common in the game development industry. This technique offers ease of modeling with high detail and low polygon count however, note that the level of detail LOD of this model will be fairly high for the texture baking process later on in this book. The final polygon count for the game-ready character will be about 50...

C

Calculating keys, 156 Caligari Corporation, 177 Call of Duty, 3, 6 cameras second-person objects, 4 selecting, 88, 90 camouflage, adding, 110 canteens, 52, 87 Cap Holes modifier, 34 Capsule primitive, 52 centering boots, 65 channels analyzing with STL Check, 63-65 animation, 149 adding dummy nodes, 162-166 creating facial expressions, 158-161 creating run walk cycles, 154-158 game engines, 168 with keyframes, 149-154 LODs, 166-167 Torque, 168 biped adding, 125-137 attaching, 135-137 installing,...

Baking Textures in 3ds

The Hicks character is looking good, but there are currently too many textures to carry around in the game engine. We can fix this by baking the textures into the model. That will free up a lot of memory as we go through the animation process in the coming chapters. Each vertex holds information about where it is located in space, but it can also hold color information using vertex colors. Baking textures is the process of taking the color information for each vertex and attaching it to the...

Applying Textures in 3ds

3ds Max Apply Texture Models

After you've sized all the textures and you're ready to apply them to the Hicks character, you'll need to open the mapped Hicks Max file that includes the UV mappings. Then you can use the Material Editor to create a material for each part. Because earlier we created a material for each part and applied a checkerboard texture to the various parts, at this point we only need to replace the checkerboard with the correct texture and view it in Max. 1. Open the HICKS-textured.max file from the...

Making the Face

Tesselate Face

The face is the last organic feature to model. Despite its small surface area, it s quite possibly the most difficult object to mesh. Take a look at 3D models in movies ever notice how realistic every animal in the animal kingdom can be modeled, yet doing a human face always seems slightly artificial That s because our faces aren t coated with thick fur, and we have hundreds of tiny muscles beneath our skin that are used for communication and projecting emotion. That s something that is...

Creating Reference Planes in 3ds

Assigning Texture Material Slot

Now let s use the three character sketches and place them on flat 2D planes in Max. These will be reference planes so that you can model in the X, Y, and Z directions simultaneously, thereby creating a 3D model. Most modelers put their images on three planes and go from there I like to take it one step further and make the character sketch stand on his own with a transparent background. The planes you ll create will have the same relative length and width in meters as the pixel dimensions of...

Orthogonal Sketch

Character Orthogonal

Before we begin modeling, we need some type of sketch art images to place on reference planes in Max. Most modeling techniques utilize front, left or right , and top sketch art orthogonal views so that you can create the character in three dimensions. For the character in this book, I ve provided some cool sketches of a military-style android that you can use to follow the examples throughout this book but by all means, feel free to use your own sketch art . This...