Mesh Building and Unwrapping Help [Specific]

polycounter lvl 6
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PogoP polycounter lvl 6
Hey guys.

I'm planning to high poly model the building in the following concept from Jesse Van Dijk, and I'm wondering how I should go about unwrapping it. I know it's a long way off yet, but I want to model with the unwrap in mind.

spiritual_retreat.jpg

(This is purely me practising, it won't be used commerically!)

My intended pipeline is as follows:

-High poly with even quads in Max
-Sculpt in Mudbox
-Bring back into Max for making the low poly version
-Unwrap in Max
-Texture in either Photoshop or Mudbox
-Bring into Unreal

It looks as if there are 8 'sides' to the building, should I model just one of these and then copy+paste it around? Also, should this one modular piece share the same unwrap?

Should the roof have it's own seperate unwrap, or should I just use a big texture map like 1024 or 2048? I'm struggling to visualise the layout of the UV map.

Thanks guys, I'd really appreciate some help. Getting my head around high poly is confusing!

Replies

  • Mr. Bean
    I think a lot of the answers to your questions are simply a matter of preference. Game modeling has some strict rules, but with high poly modeling to the best of my understanding you have a bit more freedom.
    PogoP wrote: »
    ...should I model just one of these and then copy+paste it around? Also, should this one modular piece share the same unwrap?

    That depends on how you want it to look. Are you okay with having identical columns? Are there any asymmetrical details? You could always clone each column and use that as a base, then make little changes to make it more realistic. Or you could use normal maps to make imperfections and make each column unique, or you could also simply make the little differences in the diffuse textures. It all depends on what you want it to look like. If you unwrap one and then clone it, then you could use the same unwrap and just have different diffuse textures.
    PogoP wrote: »
    Should the roof have it's own seperate unwrap, or should I just use a big texture map like 1024 or 2048? I'm struggling to visualise the layout of the UV map.

    I personally would use separate textures, because I always find very large textures like 2048 and beyond cumbersome and hard to work with in Photoshop (while in PS if you're not zoomed in close enough you won't be able to seem some of the detail of your texture).

    As I said I think with high poly models that won't be used in a video game or anything you have more flexibility with the unwrapping and texture maps.

    I haven't done a ton of high poly modeling, so I could be wrong about something, but that's just my opinion...

    Good luck :)
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks Mr Bean!

    I've made some good progress on this. One more question though, how do I go about making the curved walls? I was thinking of modelling one modular piece of it and having it conform to a spline or something... Is that possible in Max?

    Cheers!
  • Mr. Bean
    PogoP wrote: »
    Thanks Mr Bean!

    I've made some good progress on this. One more question though, how do I go about making the curved walls? I was thinking of modelling one modular piece of it and having it conform to a spline or something... Is that possible in Max?

    Cheers!

    Well, to make a curved wall I would A) create a plane with quite a few segments, then apply a bend modifier and play around with it till it's bent the right way, or B) create a cylinder with a good amount of sides, then delete the top and bottom, and then delete the sides that I don't want.

    Not sure if that's what you mean, I'd have to see exactly what part of the building you're talking about. If you're talking about create a modular piece and cloning it around in a circle, then I'd make one piece, go the Hierarchy tab (next to the modify panel) and select Affect Pivot, and move the pivot to the center of the rotation. Then shift+rotate the object and it will clone in a circle. I think the array tool does the same thing.

    Is that what you meant?
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    1 texture = 1 draw call = win

    I actually haven't tried it yet myself but I've been in situations where it would of been a life saver: smart objects.
    rather than try to explain it just try messing around with smart objects in photoshop to see what they do: layer > smart objects > convert to smart object
  • Mr. Bean
    1 texture = 1 draw call = win

    Are you saying that PogoP should be using only one texture map for the entire building?
  • Mime
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    Mr. Bean wrote: »
    Are you saying that PogoP should be using only one texture map for the entire building?

    Yeah, it's a small structure, check out this piece by Stefan Morrell
  • Eric Chadwick
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks Mime! I'll be sure to check that tutorial out. I made a lot of progress with this, and tried baking the normals and it turned out not too bad... But I want to practice more.
  • Cyrael
    this is actually a semi related question - and I don't want the generic "as many as it takes to look good answer" I'd like a quantifiable answer if possible. What is the least number of sides for a circular object that you can use to make it look nice and round but still remain as low poly as possible?

    The reason I'm asking is because I'm working on a low poly circular building right now - similar to the one pictured (which is what got me to ask the question in the first place).

    Basically how many vertical edgeloops are allowable before it becomes too high poly(I'm sitting at 16 right now and it doesn't look quite right, but at the same time I don't want to go too high).

    *sidenote sorry for hijacking your thread PogoP...
  • Eric Chadwick
  • Cyrael
    sweet. Thanks Eric I checked out the Environment modeling link you sent but I didn't see anything on circular buildings but that will do!!
  • Mr. Bean
    Yeah, it's a small structure, check out this piece by Stefan Morrell

    I agree that it's a small building that could easily have a single 1024X1024 texture map and get good detail, but that's if this is a game model...PogoP's putting it into Unreal, but I don't know if that's only for viewing purposes or to be in an actual level; that has a huge impact on how to handle the texturing...

    A little off-subject question, but Justin do you have any idea where to get reference photos of buildings like the one that Stefan Morrell did? I've always been interested in eventually trying some city architectural models, but finding good reference for that is a lot harder than it seems...PogoP, I hope you don't mind me asking that question in your thread, if you want I can make a separate thread for it...
  • Eric Chadwick
    Cyrael, circular biuldings can be made of modular pieces the same way as rectangular buildings. Like you said, it's an 8-sided repeating pattern. You can then dress it up with decals, vines, etc. to disguise the pattern. Kevin Johnstone had a post about how he made rounded modular bldg pieces, more in this section.

    Mr.Bean, if you're taking the trouble of showing something in Unreal, then you're showing you can do game models. That said, a portfolio piece doesn't need to be a single 1024. But I would raise my eyebrows if the bldg needed three 1024 sets (normal,spec,diffuse), that says to me the artist isn't thinking realistically about game budgets.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    Mr. Bean wrote: »
    I agree that it's a small building that could easily have a single 1024X1024 texture map and get good detail, but that's if this is a game model...PogoP's putting it into Unreal, but I don't know if that's only for viewing purposes or to be in an actual level; that has a huge impact on how to handle the texturing...

    A little off-subject question, but Justin do you have any idea where to get reference photos of buildings like the one that Stefan Morrell did? I've always been interested in eventually trying some city architectural models, but finding good reference for that is a lot harder than it seems...PogoP, I hope you don't mind me asking that question in your thread, if you want I can make a separate thread for it...

    nah, I don't have any magic bullet reference sites. Just gotta search.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 6
    I don't mind you guys posting; it's all relevant to this model so it's cool.
  • Mr. Bean
    Mr.Bean, if you're taking the trouble of showing something in Unreal, then you're showing you can do game models. That said, a portfolio piece doesn't need to be a single 1024. But I would raise my eyebrows if the bldg needed three 1024 sets (normal,spec,diffuse), that says to me the artist isn't thinking realistically about game budgets.

    Ah, I see. I don't have hardly any experience with Unreal (although I do have experience with game modeling), so while I knew that it was a game engine I wasn't sure if it was also used for presentation...now I understand.

    @Justin: Yeah didn't think so, but I thought it didn't hurt to ask...
  • Cyrael
    More great links eric, thanks!
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