Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 9 - Road Variations
In this tutorial, you create variations for the inner roads. In order to tile the city blocks, you need the perimeter and the center cross roads to remain constant, but you can have variations with the smaller inner roads.
- Recorded in: 3ds Max 2014
- This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2014 or higher.
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Continue working on your file from the last movie or open the file CityBlocks_Roads-variations.max if you need to catch up.
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Before you create sidewalks and building lots surfaces, let's take a look at how you can create inner road variations.
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While the perimeter and the center cross-roads need to remain constant for tiling purposes, you can have some fun with the inner roads.
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Start by duplicating the existing infrastructure using Shift+Move. Name it: CityBlock-A.
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Hide it from the scene for the time being, you'll come back to it later.
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Unhide the Plane001 reference object which is mapped with the current roads layout.
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Go to the Material Editor and select the view where you defined the reference image.
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Double-click the bitmap node and replace the image with one showing a different road layout.
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Close the Material Editor when done.
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Select your road works and understandably, the inner roads are in the wrong places now.
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You have the choice of editing the existing inner roads and relocating them to the right place but this method will surely give you mapping problems.
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If you selected a set of vertices and moved them around, you would be distorting the textures around that area.
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You might be tempted to use Preserve UVs but this method may not give you the expected results either.
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Often, it may work in one area but not another.
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My advice is to work safely, by removing the existing inner roads and reworking them from scratch.
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It may seem daunting but you may discover that it is often easier to start from scratch, rather than try to fix geometry and mapping coordinates.
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So, start by deleting the polygons that you don't need, essentially all inner roads.
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Switch to Edge mode and select all the edges you needed to add, to accommodate the inner roads.
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To remove a set of edges, you can do so with the Backspace key.
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However, be advised that using Backspace on selected edges removes the edges but leaves vertices behind.
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To avoid that, make sure you use Ctrl+Backspace on selected edges to remove the edges and their associated vertices.
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Once you're back to the original infrastructure without the inner roads, repeat what you have learned to create a new roads layout.
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This starts with extracting the center intersection and making it smaller.
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What you will find useful this time around is that the sub-materials are already created.
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This means that it would be easy to simply change the polygons material IDs to apply the right road markings.
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Take a moment to extract all intersections and stop lines as you have learned before.
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Decide which stretches are two-way roads and which ones are one-way.
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In this scenario, the only one-way road will be this one here in the bottom-right quadrant.
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Once the intersections are in place, make the necessary cuts and slices using the Slice Plane, same as you have learned earlier.
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Once that is done, zoom in and use Target Weld where appropriate, to make sure the geometry is clean.
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You may find it easier to weld vertices if the reference is hidden in the viewport.
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Sometimes you may forget to add a slice or two. If that's the case, revert back to Poly mode and add slices where necessary.
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Finally, create a multi-segment spline for the two-way roads,
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and another separate spline for the one-way road.
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Apply a Sweep modifier in Bar mode, with a Length & Width of 7m.
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Make sure the pivot is set to the top center and that it is set to generate Real-World Mapping Coordinates.
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In effect, everything you are doing now is a duplication of what you did earlier.
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Convert the swept objects to editable polys and remove the unwanted sections below ground.
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Select the main roads and attach the new objects.
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In Poly mode, set the proper material IDs,
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in this case 11 for the one-way road and 12 for the two-way roads.
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Make the necessary additional cuts and welds, as needed in this area connecting the one-way street to the intersecting road.
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To finalize the geometry, select all vertices and weld them to clean up the object.
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You can double-check the geometry welding using the Border sub-object mode.
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If welding has worked properly, using Border mode should enable you to select building lots separately.
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This will be very useful to extract sidewalks and building lots next.
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Exit sub-object mode when done.
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You now have your second city block roads layout.
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Create a duplicate as before and name it CityBlock-B
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Using this workflow, you can easily create additional road layouts.
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A third design is provided but you can of course create your own. The more designs you have the more road variety you can introduce.
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In the next movie, you use the existing road infrastructures to extract sidewalks.