Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 14 - Merging Traffic Lights

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Industry
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Animation
  • Modeling
  • Scripting
  • 2014
  • Environment
  • Workflow
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
5 min

Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 14 - Merging Traffic Lights

In this tutorial, you merge traffic light assemblies that include the traffic light itself, the light post it is connected to, and a trash can at walking level. You will duplicate and place these assemblies around the major intersections using simple Transform tools.


Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2014
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2014 or higher.

Transcript

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Now that you've taken a look at the provided Urban Design Components library, you'll merge the traffic light assembly into the city block scene.

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Open your own city block scene or use the file named: CityBlocks_UD.max.

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If you haven't done so already, select the Daylight System and hide it from view, you can always unhide it later if you need to edit it.

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Also hide the Cameras category to minimize clutter in the viewports.

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You'll start with the light poles/traffic light/trash can combo. You need to place those on the main intersections.

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These include the perimeter and the center cross-sections.

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For the smaller inner roads, you'll only use stop signs.

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Use the Merge tool and browse and select the urban components file you viewed earlier.

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From the Merge list, choose the light pole assembly and click OK.

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Relocate the light to the bottom right corner of the center intersection.

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This traffic light will be used for people travelling left to right on the center horizontal road.

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To complete the three remaining corners, you need to clone this assembly in a circular motion around the center of the city block.

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If you deselected the objects, double-click the light pole to select the whole assembly and switch to Rotate mode.

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Change the Reference Coordinate System to: Pick and then click the city block.

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Next, switch the pivot point to use the Transform Coordinate Center which is the center of the city block.

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Now hold Shift and make three copies at 90 degrees.

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This takes care of the center intersection.

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With these four light assemblies in place, you can now clone them to create the perimeter assemblies.

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In the Front view, zoom in on the center intersection.

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Select the two light assemblies to the left.

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In the Top view, use Shift move to clone the selection to the right intersection.

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Make sure you use the Copy method.

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Repeat the procedure for the left intersection, only this time, select the two assemblies on the right of the center intersection.

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You can now use the same technique to complete the upper and lower perimeter intersections.

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Use the Left view to make your selections this time.

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This way you select a whole line of assemblies,

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and then you can fine-tune the location as you see fit.

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Try a render of the camera view.

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Note that you can't see the green lights even though they were made 100% self-illuminated.

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This is a common phenomenon when using the mr Photographic Exposure Control set by the Daylight System.

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Go to the Environment dialog (8 on the keyboard) and note it is set to use Physical Units.

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Switch it to Unitless with a value of 50000 to 100000.

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This should take care of the Standard self-illuminated material applied to the assembly.

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This will let you see the self-illuminated lights both in the viewports and at render times.

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Go ahead and change the status of some of the traffic lights to add more variety.

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The traffic lights are now all placed in the right spots.

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However, you still need a few more duplicates of the light poles on their own to go around the building lots.

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In the next movie, you use two cloning methods, Array and Spacing Tool to complete the placement of the light poles.

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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Modeling
  • Scripting
  • 2014
  • Environment
  • Workflow
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