Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 24 - Exploring Building Maker's Functionality

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

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.

Notes

Transcript

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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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Remove cappings,

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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.

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