Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 4 - Road Intersections

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Last modification: 5 Apr, 2019
Industry
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Animation
  • Modeling
  • Scripting
  • 2014
  • Environment
  • Workflow
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
13 min

Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 4 - Road Intersections

In this tutorial, you work on road intersections. You start with the cross intersection at the center of the city block, and then you use that intersection as a template to create others.

 

 

 

Notes

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

Transcript

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Continue working on your scene from the last movie or open the file CityBlocks_Roads-Intersections.max if you need to catch up.

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The spline workflow used in the last movie resulted in bad topology when converted to a mesh.

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Delete the Edit Poly modifier to go back to a spline level. The existing spline provides some good key points to use as snap points.

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As mentioned in the last movie, one of the better workflows, or at least one with the greater flexibility starts by building road intersections.

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Road intersections are more than just a square mapped with an asphalt texture.

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To do it properly, you have to account for various textures including line markings for pedestrian crossings, lane dividers and stop lines.

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You'll start with the center intersection and work your way out.

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Before you do though, consider what kind of textures you need and how much variation you want to bring to your project.

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Road textures with markings can certainly be bought commercially, but they are also fairly easy to create in a paint program.

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All you need is a base asphalt texture,

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and then you can build multiple layers with various markings.

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You can play with different blending modes and Opacity levels to create markings that work for you.

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For this tutorial, you get a dozen or so road textures to choose from, although you won't be using all of them.

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You can also use them as a base, to edit and enlarge the library.

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Take a look at the center intersection and consider what it should look like.

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It is clear that the main intersection is shaped like a square and that square will have just an asphalt texture and no markings.

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However, building lots and sidewalks are usually curved or chamfered, so you may want to expand that asphalt-only texture a little bit like so.

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After that, you would want to consider the pedestrian crossings which, in our project are represented by two parallel lines.

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Finally, and also part of the intersection, you want to include the stop-line markings.

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This in effect, becomes your intersection.

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You can then use this template to create other intersections in your scene, including those with different markings.

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So let's take a look at creating the template:

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At this point, you can select and hide the main reference plane; it's enough to work with the reference spline you created earlier.

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If you need to change its wirecolor to see it better, feel free to do so.

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Zoom in closer to see the intersection better.

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With Snap mode enabled, create a plane where the roads intersect. It should read 14mx14m.

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Also make sure the divisions are set to 1.

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As explained earlier, you need to expand this to favor the curved or chamfered lots and sidewalks.

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Copy the intersection lower and change the Length to 3m. In this case, 3m represent the chamfer value you will use for the sidewalks later.

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Using endpoint snaps, relocate that strip of asphalt right below the intersection.

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Make a copy of that strip of road below the current one. This one represents the pedestrian crossing and will be mapped differently.

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Finally, copy the main square intersection below the pedestrian crossing.

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This one will be used for the stop lines at the end of a road stretch. It too, will be mapped differently.

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Next you take a look at mapping these elements before creating the three remaining extensions.

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Open the Slate Material Editor. Right-click next to View 1 and create a new view. Name it: Roads.

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Drag in an Arch & Design material; this typically works best with the mental ray renderer.

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Double-click the material and set the template to Matte Finish. Asphalt doesn't need to be shiny or reflective.

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From this point on, you can collapse the channel list; you only need to deal with the Diffuse channel.

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Holding Shift down, create two more copies of this material by dragging it in the viewer.

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With a right-click, add a Standard Bitmap node and browse and select the file named RD_Inter.jpg.

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You can also drag and drop it in the material viewer using Windows Explorer.

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Connect this bitmap to the Diffuse Color Map channel of the first material.

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Now select the main material node and enable Show Standard Material in Viewport.

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This makes it possible to see the texture in the viewport.

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Repeat the procedure to apply the bitmap RD_Crossing.jpg to the second material,

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and the bitmap RD_2w-dble-stp.jpg to the third material.

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Apply the first material (asphalt only) to the intersection and the first extension planes.

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Apply the second material, the one based on the pedestrian crossing to the second narrow strip of road.

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Finally, apply the third material to the remaining square plane, this one representing the stop markings at the end of a stretch of road.

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Instead of repeating the procedure in the other three directions, you will simply rotate and duplicate what you have created so far.

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Select the three parts you need to duplicate (all but the main intersection).

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Press A to enable Angle Snap. You may also want to temporarily disable Snap mode (S on the keyboard).

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Choose the Rotate tool from the main toolbar or from the Quad menu.

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By default, the selection rotates about a center point but you need to rotate it about the center of the world (at 0,0,0).

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Set the coordinate system to World and set it to Use Transform Coordinate Center mode.

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Now you can shift-rotate 90 degrees and choose to create 3 copies of the selection.

57
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You still need a few bits in the corners, or else you may get holes between the roads and the sidewalks.

58
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Copy and adjust an asphalt-only part into a 3mx3m element.

59
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Position it properly,

60
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and turn it into an Editable poly.

61
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Switch to Edge mode, and use the Cut tool to add a diagonal edge, in essence, turning the square into two triangles.

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This means that you can now select the unwanted triangle and delete it.

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You can now exit sub-object mode and use the rotate trick to add the remaining three triangular corners.

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This takes care of the intersection but at this time, it is still made out of different parts.

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Select the center square and turn it into an Editable Poly.

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Next use the Attach tool to attach the remaining road parts.

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When you try to attach a road part that has a different texture, you get a warning.

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Use the Default "Match Material IDs to Material" and click OK.

69
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What this option does is that it rearranges materials IDs on the various faces and combines the various materials into a Multi/Sub-Object material.

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In the Material Editor, delete all nodes in the viewer,

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and then use the Material Picker button and click the intersection in the scene.

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A new Multi/Sub-Object material is created in the Slate Editor that is based on the three materials you designed earlier.

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What's more, if you check your object at a polygon level, the Material IDs have been set to take advantage of the Multi/Sub material.

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Polygons on ID #1 are assigned to sub-material #1, ID # 2 to sub-material #2 and so on.

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This becomes very useful later when you need to switch between various textures for various road markings.

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You're almost ready to move on to the next movie, but a couple of things remain.

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First, go into vertex mode and note that vertices are not welded yet, even though they are in the right place, considering how you created the objects.

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Select all vertices and note that there are 64 selected, where there should quite a smaller number.

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Click the Weld button to fix that problem and end up with 28 vertices instead of 64,

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and exit Vertex mode when done.

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Give the intersection a name, although this is less crucial as you ultimately will attach all road parts into one infrastructure.

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Zoom on the intersection; you will notice one more problem to resolve: The pixel ratio for the asphalt is off between one area and another.

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To resolve that, you need to tweak the object using unwrap.

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With the intersection selected, apply an Unwrap UVW modifier.

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Go to polygon mode and select the center square. Remember the F2 key that toggles shaded selection on & off.

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The center square and the adjacent polygons have a plain asphalt texture with no markings, so it makes sense that they should be mapped together.

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Click the Grow tool to select the adjacent faces.

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You may want to temporarily disable shaded mode (F2) in order to see how mapping is going to affect this area.

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Also open the UV Editor, you'll need it to adjust the mapping.

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Click the Planar Map button and then click the Z button to map the selected faces from top.

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The selected faces are mapped to the bitmap texture and now the pixels on the selected area are uniform.

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Exit Planar Map mode.

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Select one of the pedestrian crossings. Currently it is mapped to a square bitmap, distorting the pixel aspect ratio.

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Zoom back in the UV Editor window and make sure Freeform is selected.

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Hold Shift+Alt to constrain the scale horizontally, and scale the cluster so that it is about three times as wide as it is high.

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This should make the asphalt pixel ratio work better in the scene.

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To adjust the other pedestrian crossings, start by copying the current cluster's mapping coordinates.

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Then select another crossing and simply paste the coordinates onto it.

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Repeat until all four crossings are corrected and exit the UV Editor window.

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Finally, convert the object to an editable poly again to bake the mapping coordinates.

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Save your file. In the next movie, you use this template to create other intersections.

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  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Modeling
  • Scripting
  • 2014
  • Environment
  • Workflow
1 Comment
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| 3 years ago
Wow!
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