House modeling

Blender vs. Maya

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Modelling: Problem

Although our tutorials were on Blender and I was able to learn the basics, Blender didn’t work out for this project. I knew that I wanted a realistic looking style for the game, but I didn’t have the time or skill to make intricate models and detailed UV textures.

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To get this realist look I decided to use Mudbox. I sort of had a basic understanding of it and I would be able to Stamp, Stencil and add small detail textures to my meshes. The problem was I that Mudbox is very ‘picky’ about the meshes it will work with.

Modelling: Solution

 This meant that I had to switch to Maya from Blender because Maya had better tools to prepare the mesh for Mudbox. To prepare the meshes each seam had to be double lined and there could be no errors or holes in the mesh – everything including the UVs had to be completely clean. This did double modelling time but in turn halved the texturing time – which is what I really wanted to focus on.

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Texturing: Problem

Through this process at the start I made a big mistake. I added too much detail to the first mesh I was working on, and that costed me hours of work time – and in the end I had to scrap the mesh and start again.

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Texturing: Solution

I then had to re-create the houses but with a way more simple mesh so that I could subdivide in Mudbox and paint/sculpt the meshes for personalised details. This worked as the best technique for me as the houses back in the 1690s were square and plain in shape but very weathered and old.

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Process:

  1. Model in Maya with double edges
  2. UV unwrap the models
  3. Stencil, Stamp and Paint on the textures in Mudbox
  4. Sculpt for the Normal Maps in Mudbox
  5. Put them together in Unity 3D material

Pros

  • High detail texture maps
  • Normal maps for lighting
  • Half the texturing time
  • Familiarity with the software

Cons

  • Twice the modelling time
  • Mudbox needs extremely clean meshes and UVs
  • UV unwrapping in Maya
  • Very low detail models
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