Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 10 - Sidewalks

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

Creating City Blocks in 3ds Max - Part 10 - Sidewalks

In this tutorial, you add sidewalks to the road works. To do so, you first extract spline paths using the existing infrastructure, and then you use the Sweep modifier to block out the sidewalks. Once finished, you will work at an editable poly level to fine-tune the geometry and textures.

Notes

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

Transcript

1
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Continue working on your file from the last movie. You can also open the file CityBlocks_Roads-sidewalks.max if you need to catch up.

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So now you have three city blocks with three different road layouts, but you still need to add sidewalks and building lots.

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At this point you can hide or even delete the original road infrastructure you worked on, and the reference plane for that matter.

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Start with CityBlock-A, select it and zoom in on it in the top view.

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In the Modify panel, go to Border sub-object mode.

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This lets you select contour edges between roads, in effect all edges around a "hole", so to speak.

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Go ahead and select all the internal borders.

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Make sure the outside perimeter is not selected as it is also viewed as a border.

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With the inner borders selected, click the Create Shape From Selection button.

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The default is set to extract a Smooth shape. The problem is that a Smooth shape doesn't follow the road edges properly.

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Press Ctrl+Z if you need to undo the last command.

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Click Create Shape From Selection again but this time, make sure the command is set to Linear mode and click OK.

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Exit Border mode when done. You now have a shape that follows the road edges and that you can use as a path for the Sweep modifier.

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Select the new shape, currently named Shape001 and apply a Sweep modifier to it.

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Set the Sweep to Bar mode, with a Length of 0.15m (for the sidewalks height) and with a Width of 3m.

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As discussed before, the sweep modifier operates by default through the center point of the cross-section.

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Here, you need to adjust the pivot alignment so that the sidewalks are above the road level without overlapping the road surfaces.

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This means you need to use one of the bottom alignment options, left or right corners, depending how the border splines were created.

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The bottom left pivot preset seems to work fine in this case.

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It is possible that some splines are reversed, in which case the sidewalks would be spilling over the roads.

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If this happens, you need to go down to the Editable Spline level and go into Spline sub-object mode.

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Select the offending spline and reverse it; this should take care of the problem.

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Back to the Sweep modifier level, enable Gen. Mapping Coords. in Real-World Map Size,

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and then go to the Material Editor.

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Create a new Arch & Design material and use the Matte template on it.

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Make sure it's set to show in the viewport.

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As a Diffuse map, use the bitmap named RD_sidewalks-01-DIF.jpg

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Set it to Use Real-World Scale with Width & Height sizes of 3m to match the sidewalks width.

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Apply it to the sidewalks. At this time, the bitmap is flowing in the wrong direction.

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Set the W-Angle to -90 degrees. This seems to work better.

31
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You may consider tweaking the width & Height values. 3.15mx3.15m seem to wrap around the sidewalk edges a little better.

32
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If you want, you can use the image file RD_sidewalks-01-BMP.jpg as a bump map.

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Just make sure you give it the same specs as the diffuse map.

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As you test render later, you'll be able to tweak the bump strength. Set it to about .5 or .6 for now.

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Dismiss the material editor or move it away when done.

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In some areas, the sidewalk textures seems to be behaving but not in others.

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In certain areas, it seems to be breaking away into a skewing effect.

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This has to do with the geometry sub-divisions.

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Note this area for example, how one corner is evenly divided with 4 cuts whereas this other corner has only three.

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The trick is to add vertices on the original spline.

41
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Go down to the Editable Spline level but make sure Show End Results is enabled to see the effect on the sidewalks geometry.

42
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Go into vertex mode and use Refine to add vertices where you need them.

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Note how this seems to fix the distortion on the sidewalks.

44
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Go around the scene and make sure all corners have four cuts.

45
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Non-chamfered corners such as this one can have only three.

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This takes care of the long stretches of sidewalks. Corners would take a bit more effort if you need to adjust them as well.

47
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Keep in mind that if the camera is not getting close to these areas, you may not need to spend too much time on them.

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If you need to get the camera close, then you need to work a little harder to tweak the geometry.

49
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We'll get to that in a moment.

50
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Exit sub-object mode and convert the object to an editable poly.

51
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The sidewalk's cross-section being a rectangle, there are four polygons that go around each sidewalk segment.

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However, you really don't need to see the bottom polygon, or the one facing inside as there will eventually be a building lot surface to hide them.

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To remove all the unnecessary polygons, here's what you do.

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Switch to Edge mode and select a top edge on the outside of a sidewalk element, near the street.

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Click the Loop option to select the perimeter edges on that unit.

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Hold Ctrl and select a similar edge on another sidewalk unit and press Loop again.

57
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Repeat until all sidewalks are processed.

58
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Once all these perimeters are selected, hold Ctrl and press the polygon button to convert the selection.

59
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This selects the polygons that are connected to the previously selected edges and that you want to retain.

60
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All other polygons are unnecessary and won't need to show in the final render. They can therefore be deleted.

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Press Ctrl+I to invert your selection and then delete the unwanted polygons.

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From this point forward, you can fine-tune corners by adding segments to adjust the mapping.

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For that, you can select the polygons that you need to edit, and add geometry where needed using the QuickSlice tool for example.

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Using this technique, you can adjust the corners further,

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by dipping some areas to accommodate the pedestrian crossings,

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Or make the corners rounded if you need to.

67
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Take a few moments and go around your scene and tweak the sidewalk corners until you are satisfied.

68
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When you're done, you can attach the sidewalks to the roads,

69
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and consolidate the materials using the methods you learned earlier.

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Remember that when you're done with the first city block, you need to repeat the whole procedure for the other blocks you created.

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Since this is redundant work, I will not go through it in this movie but I encourage you to work it on your own.

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Ultimately, you can simply use the finished file you downloaded for this tutorial, but for now, we concentrate on the first city block.

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The next step is to create the building lots. The surfaces where buildings and other structures will be located.

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This is what you do in the next movie.

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