Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 24 - Exploring Building Maker's Functionality
In this tutorial, you explore additional Building Maker functionality to fine-tune building creation solutions. You learn to create multi-part parapets that are mapped differently, and you learn to copy levels to insert and edit building blocks after you have created the building hierarchy.
- Recorded in: 3ds Max 2014
- Scripts used: http://areadownloads.autodesk.com/wdm/3dsmax/HTM-PRJ_cityblks-BMscripts.zip
- This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2014 or higher.
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Continue working on your file or open the file CityBlocks_Bldgs_bmroof.max if you need to catch up.
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In the last movie, you created a commercial building that has multiple footprints.
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If you recall, I mentioned in passing the problem you may encounter when creating parapets.
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I said parapets may need a different texture or color such as a metal flashing wrapping the top and inner parts.
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It doesn't look too awful using this particular concrete texture, but it could be much worse in other scenarios.
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Let's try it on this rectangular shape in the corner.
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Create a new building using this stone facade texture as a color map.
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Assign the corresponding reflection map and adjust real-world dimensions as you have learned to do.
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and add a new level for repetitive floors.
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Make the necessary adjustments,
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and add a penthouse level and adjust it as well.
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Zoom in and consider the top of the building. You can see the parapet texture as it is already part of the penthouse color map.
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If you tried to enable the Level 1/Level 2 bevel options, you will get a parapet but the texturing leaves a lot to be desired.
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This is because unlike the concrete texture before, the penthouse texture has quite a bit more color information.
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Even window frames and glazing are being mapped from top and this doesn't look good, especially if the building is viewed from a higher vantage point.
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Instead, and in a case like this, it is best to treat that upper part separately, by separating that parapet part from the penthouse volume.
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To do that, bring down the Height Multiplier value until the parapet disappears.
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Next you need a separate level for the parapet, but you still want it to use the same image as the penthouse.
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Instead of adding a new level the traditional way, select the penthouse level and copy it.
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This adds a new level above the penthouse that shares the same specs, from image selection to all other associated properties.
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This means you can now select the new element, and adjust the Z-position of the image and the Height Multiplier to isolate the parapet.
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You can make other adjustments as well, such as protruding it a bit, maybe by 0.3m.
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In that case, you would need to cap the start to prevent any holes between the penthouse element and the roof.
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The start cap will exhibit the same mapping problems as the top of the parapet earlier.
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Chances are they would be less visible though.
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An alternative would be to create a thin flat slab,
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mapped with a simple color, which you can sample from the surroundings.
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To create the metal flashing that wraps around the top, add a new element at the same elevation as the parapet.
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Instead of fiddling with parameters, copy the properties of the parapet. This way, you ensure all values are based on the same starting point.
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Clear the maps as you will only need a diffuse color which you will set in a moment.
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Set the Starting Width to 0 to create an offset and a width base for the parapet.
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Enable Level 1 and set the outline to a value equal to the protrusion of the parapet.
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Earlier you set the parapet Start Width to 0.3m and the current element start width is 0m.
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In this case, set the Level 1 Outline value to 0.3m
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Assign a Diffuse color, sampled from the surroundings.
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If you want a wider parapet, you can play with the Start Width/Level 1 Outline values to suit your needs.
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Here, I'll settle for -0.2m and 0.5m respectively.
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You still need to add a gravel surface, use Add New Element to that effect.
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Either adjust its parameters manually, or use the Copy Building Element Properties button to sample an already existing volume.
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Note that you can sample volumes from other buildings as well.
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Finally, let's revisit the Replace command: earlier you used it to replace one footprint with another.
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That was handy when you needed to turn a circular mechanical room into a rectangular one.
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An additional functionality can be used to force all levels and all elements to use a single footprint.
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In this case, the new building you created is using a single rectangular footprint.
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Select any part of that building and enable Replace all References.
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Next, click the Replace button and choose another footprint in the scene, such as this one over here.
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Not only is the building using the new footprint but it is actually relocated to match the new footprint's location.
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In the next movie, you learn how to bake the buildings into self-contained editable polys and export them to create building libraries.
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In the meanwhile, you can go ahead and practice the creation of more buildings using the techniques you've learned.
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For example, use these multiple footprints to create an imposing high rise.
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This one is influenced by Square Victoria building, the tallest building in Montreal.
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Start up simple, by using the methods you have already learned about.
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Make use of the Copy button to set up base element properties, and then adjust them as needed to add more levels and elements.
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Try experimenting with all the tools Building Maker has to offer, such as copying levels and relocating them to their rightful place in the hierarchy.
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Remember to disable Affect Upper Floors where needed, such as with the corner pillars.
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Save your file and move to the next movie to learn about Baked Buildings and Building Libraries.