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Renzatic
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Thanks for the thanks everyone.

 

I come here now with...(cue dramatic thunder) ulterior motives. Besides the normalmaps from photographs tutorial (which I'm getting around to here shortly), I want to do at least one more tutorial. Something involving modelling this go-round. But what exactly do I want to do? Hmm. I'm not too sure. There's so many things I could cover in the wild woolie world of 3D. So how about this...

 

I'll take some requests. If anyone wants to know how to do something, and it's within my realm of skills, I'll write up a tutorial covering it. The only suggestion I'm not open to is an intro to 3D type tutorial. I'd rather do something technique related. Not necessarily anything super high end, rather something that assumes you at least know the basics, such as what cube primitives and loop slices are, and works from there

 

If there's anything any of you want to know, ask away. I'm itching to contribute here. :P.

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The part about modelling I haven't covered yet is texturing, and actually getting the model in game with the textures and looking good. I made a loot, lol, I mean a lute in Lightwave, and I painted a front-surface texture in Paintshop that I can slap on in LW and it looks good (but I don't know about, e.g., the wood for the back surface; do I just grab a random wood texture and add it to my front texture; can I use a native TDM wood texture; are textures applied individually or as a single combined thing). But beyond that I don't know what to do with it to make it game ready and what to do with the texture so it shows up on the model in game. There might be a tutorial already on it even. I haven't spent time on it really.

 

But if you want to do a modeling tutorial, it'd probably be best if you could just do a simple model, like a chair, from the start to in-game. Those kinds of simplified but A-to-Z tutorials end up being the most useful.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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That sounds like a good idea. I could cover modelling the highpoly & lowpoly chair, UV unwrapping the low poly, doing the bakes, making the texture in PS, and getting it all ingame. That'd be about as A-Z as you could get.

 

I think I'll go ahead and do it using these chairs...

 

Chairs.jpg

 

They're complicated enough to be interesting, but simple enough to not be too confusing for the stark stank noobs among us.

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Sounds like a brilliant idea, absolutely needed by guys like me! One small reservation, however: I remember you mentioning you were thinking about working with Blender for the tutorial, and though it isnt as encompassing as yours aims to be, Katsbits has a getting started blender tutorial with the same principle (making a (very simple in that case) chair in blender, up to texturing and optimising). The model is very simple and Im sure this one would be awesome to learn the techniques not mentioned there (working with high polys, modelling complex stuff, getting it all game ready), as well as having a community tutorial, just saying that there might be other things to work on too - I would also suggest something that I didnt really find much about (though Katsbits does mention it briefly in some tutorials): how to model map architecture in a modeler and then making it playable inside the engine, like a small house for example, or a tunnel, or an exterior piece (like arcturus moving grass test map), those could also be pretty interesting!

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Yeah, after whipping up a highish poly model of the chair, I'm starting to think it'd be better to start off with another subject. It's not terribly difficult to do, but jumping right into it and having to explain every step of the process from a newbie perspective would take pages and pages and pages to do. It'd be better to work up to it than jump straight in.

 

I'm thinking the first thing to start off with would be something I've always been good at: hallways. It'd cover whipping up the basic geometry, making a 2048x texture sheet with your entire theme onboard, and UVing it. Then, I'd go with detailing work, more texturing for said detailing work, and keep moving up until it gets into more complicated territories. It'd segue from the previous PS tutorials right into modelling, so it'd be more like a continuation of what I've already done.

 

There are some concerns that need addressing before I jump into this though. One big one being that I've changed the hotkey map around entirely in Blender to fit what I'm used to. Anyone who learns Blender through me will be completely lost if they're ever forced to use the default keymap. This is one of the reasons why I'd rather cover general technique than focus on one editor. They all basically do the exact same thing when it comes right down to it, so it can be done. I've watched 3DSMax tutorials, and repeated what I learned in Modo, for instance.

 

The only problem with that is it really does help to be able to follow along in these tutorials. You won't be able to do so if all I'm doing is covering technique.

 

I'm gonna have to do some thinking if I want to make this as easy to follow as possible. I'll have to start PMing people to ask for some suggestions before I start this in earnest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry about the long delay folks. On top of being extra busy these last couple of weeks, I've also been trying to narrow down exactly how I should approach this tutorial (I also spent a goodly bit of time practicing Blender a little more). My original goal was a single massive tutorial that covered everything you'd need to know to make this huge complicated room. Once I got about 4 pages in, I started realizing it felt a little too rushed, didn't focus enough attention on any one thing, and decided to nix it for a series of smaller, baby-step tutorials. It'll help acclimate the neophyte types to the concepts a little better, and will be a helluva lot easier on me.

 

Before I really start digging in, I want to throw a few questions out to those a little more familiar with Blender than I am. Yeah, I know. I'm writing the tutorials here, why the hell should I be the one asking questions. Doesn't instill much faith in my tutorial writing skills, does it? Yeah...well....shut up :mad:. Anyways, the questions...

 

-For the love of God and all things holy, please tell me there's a plugin that adds manipulator handles to the UV editor. I can get around their absence, but having them around makes things a whole bunch of easier for me.

 

-Assigning materials to surfaces. In Modo, I can whip up a bunch of materials, UV what needs UVing, and assign said materials to whatever surface I want to. It doesn't seem to quite work this way in Blender. I'll make the materials, UV my surfaces, but when I select my face and hit the assign button, it doesn't do anything. I have to select the surface, assign the material, THEN go to image/open in the UV editor and load up the image there as well. Why does it make me do that?

 

-In Modo, if I add a loop slice in after I've UVed my surface, I can move the guide around and place it without distorting the texture underneath because it doesn't actually cut until you commit the tool. I can't do that in Blender, it seems. It's like the preview cut isn't a preview at all, and is actively distorting the UV as I move it. Like I'm actually grabbing an edge and moving it. Is there a way I can add loop slices in where I want it without having to make a bunch of extra cuts before it to guide it into place? I could use the knife tool, but that can be a pain in the ass to use if all you want to do is whip up a square in your geometry.

 

I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but these are the biggest stand out issues to me. If you've got any advice, boot it my way.

 

Oh, and for reference, I'm using the Blender 2.63 trunk beta.

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Sorry I cant help with your questions, but oh man this is gonne be awesome! You might just force me to learn Blender after all, because I think creating pieces of architecture for the game is a fascinating topic and would be a nice intro to expanding spatial possibilities for future mission makers!

 

This video might give you an idea or two, its from an interesting Doom3 project called Thievious:

 

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Snip

 

That's actually kind of what I'm planning on doing. The first will cover the very very basics of UVing. I figured it'd be best to start out out with a perfectly square room. No doors, windows, or any other extravagant detailing. It'll cover how to apply a separate ceiling, wall, and floor texture to their corresponding surfaces, much like you would in DR or Dromed. The next one will be a larger room, basically twice the size of the first on X and Y. It'll cover making texture sheets, and how to mix it all together in Blender. It'd be a good intro to modular modelling, too. Lastly, I'll cover a somewhat more complicated room...this one will have a door and a window...ooh. It'll cover giving each surface it's own unique texture space, so you can add variety to the mix, and bake AO into the whole thing. It'll segue into PS towards the end.

 

From there, I'll keep expanding and expanding and expanding.

 

But first, I need to get those Blender questions answered to help me out. Also, the update to 2.63 seems to have mixed up some of my hotkeys, so I've got to go through the annoying as hell process of fixing the conflicts.

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To tell you the truth, far as I know, only Baddcog and Nosslak are likely to be able to answer those questions here, not sure if they are following this topic, if you want I can post this on the editors forum instead?

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Sure. Or I'll do it myself when I get back home later tonight. I'll also post the questions over at Blenderartist to hit a wider net.

 

On another note, since I'm planning on writing this up on my BRAND NEW IPAD (I'm so awesome) while I work with Blender on the computer, I've been practicing Pages to see how it all works out. So coming soon, an entire PDF file of The Rough Stone Wall tutorial all done up stylishly, ready for anyone to peruse at their leisure without an internet connection.

 

Here's a preview shot to show it off. Yeah, I could've taken a snapshot in iOS, but it looks cooler this way...

 

Tut_Preview.jpg

 

...this thing is so neat.

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-For the love of God and all things holy, please tell me there's a plugin that adds manipulator handles to the UV editor. I can get around their absence, but having them around makes things a whole bunch of easier for me.

I've never seen such a plug-in and honestly don't see the point of it. I mean I can see how the manipulator is useful in the 3D view as it clearly shows the axises or makes it easier to move things along the normals. In the UV-editor the axises are always aligned the same and I don't really know when you'd need specialized movement either for that.

 

-Assigning materials to surfaces. In Modo, I can whip up a bunch of materials, UV what needs UVing, and assign said materials to whatever surface I want to. It doesn't seem to quite work this way in Blender. I'll make the materials, UV my surfaces, but when I select my face and hit the assign button, it doesn't do anything. I have to select the surface, assign the material, THEN go to image/open in the UV editor and load up the image there as well. Why does it make me do that?

Change the shading display mode (N->Display->Shading) from multi-texture to GLSL and go to texture mode to see it (ALT+Z) or just render and you'll see it. Multi-texture is just a crappy shading mode that they keep for compatibility AFAIK.

 

-In Modo, if I add a loop slice in after I've UVed my surface, I can move the guide around and place it without distorting the texture underneath because it doesn't actually cut until you commit the tool. I can't do that in Blender, it seems. It's like the preview cut isn't a preview at all, and is actively distorting the UV as I move it. Like I'm actually grabbing an edge and moving it. Is there a way I can add loop slices in where I want it without having to make a bunch of extra cuts before it to guide it into place? I could use the knife tool, but that can be a pain in the ass to use if all you want to do is whip up a square in your geometry.

That's just the way it is AFAIK, it's not good, but it is what it is. I guess you could use the knife tool and it won't distort the UVs but that's not a particularly good compromise.

 

Oh, and for reference, I'm using the Blender 2.63 trunk beta.

On some projects the final Blender 2.63 will crash if you press the C- and V-keys simultaneously in the UV-editor so watch out for that. It's only crashed on 1 of 4 projects that I've tested on so far so it might not be a problem (I've already reported the bug and there's talk about a 2.63a release so it might be fixed in the not too distant future).

 

Good luck.

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I've never seen such a plug-in and honestly don't see the point of it. I mean I can see how the manipulator is useful in the 3D view as it clearly shows the axises or makes it easier to move things along the normals. In the UV-editor the axises are always aligned the same and I don't really know when you'd need specialized movement either for that.

 

I'm thinking I don't like it simply because it's not what I'm used to. In Modo, I can hit the W key, and there's my manipulator all waiting to be manipulated on X, Y, or XY-woozit. In Blender, if I want to move on a specific axis, I have to hit W to activate transform, then the X or Y key to bind movement to my intended axis before I start moving my mouse about. It's basically the same thing, but having to hit that key feels like an extra step, and I'm not quite as snappy as I'm used to.

 

Yeah, I'm really bitching to bitch here. Not a big deal overall.

 

 

Change the shading display mode (N->Display->Shading) from multi-texture to GLSL and go to texture mode to see it (ALT+Z) or just render and you'll see it. Multi-texture is just a crappy shading mode that they keep for compatibility AFAIK.

 

Already set. I figured out I can turn on the image just by hitting "browse image to be linked" button in the UV header. As long as it's tied to a material elsewhere, I'll find it waiting for me there. Once again, an extra little step I'm not used to, but once again, also not a big deal.

 

 

That's just the way it is AFAIK, it's not good, but it is what it is. I guess you could use the knife tool and it won't distort the UVs but that's not a particularly good compromise.

 

Eh, not the end of the world. I can always select the geometry I want looped, and use it as a planar slicer if it comes right down to it. Only question is, can I lock the knife tool to cut a straight edge? Right out the gate it's a little too freeform. Can I force it to do a flat axis cut? Shift, alt, and all those other keys I usually associate with locking a cut don't seem to work here.

 

On some projects the final Blender 2.63 will crash if you press the C- and V-keys simultaneously in the UV-editor so watch out for that. It's only crashed on 1 of 4 projects that I've tested on so far so it might not be a problem (I've already reported the bug and there's talk about a 2.63a release so it might be fixed in the not too distant future).

 

I don't have C & V bound to anything in the UV editor anyway, so I'm good.

 

I'll probably have a couple more questions once they occur to me, but I think I've got enough down to start the tutorial without being totally wrong about something, and/or perform some specific action in some totally goofy, roundabout way when I have an easier option.

 

Though if it's alright with you, I might pass the tutorial your way for some advice before I commit it to the wiki.

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Eh, not the end of the world. I can always select the geometry I want looped, and use it as a planar slicer if it comes right down to it. Only question is, can I lock the knife tool to cut a straight edge? Right out the gate it's a little too freeform. Can I force it to do a flat axis cut? Shift, alt, and all those other keys I usually associate with locking a cut don't seem to work here.

You can toggle angle snapping with C but that is just 45 degree snapping in the screenspace (not aligned with the global axises).

 

Though if it's alright with you, I might pass the tutorial your way for some advice before I commit it to the wiki.

It'll be no problem at all, I'd gladly look it over.

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Cool. C did work! Thanks. :D

 

So the tutorials begin. Instead of jumping in straight to modelling, I thought it'd be nicer to cover some of the basic tools you'll find yourself using over and over again. Kinda go indepth with things such as loop slices, the knife tool, insets, bevels, extrudes, bridges, etc. Like I said, the basics.

 

But while I was typing away and taking various screenshots that'll comprise this new tutorial, I stopped and thought that to really make it official, I need to design a header. Something snazzy and eyecatching. So I made this...

 

Blender_Basics_Header.jpg

 

...and while I was designing it, I realized I'm a huge smartass who probably a deserve a good asskicking or two. But whatever. There it is. And it is AWESOME!

 

edit: Made it look real 80's.

 

Blender_Basics_Header_2.jpg

 

Okay. I need to stop messing with this and get to work.

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So it begins indeed. I've finished up one very small part of a much larger tutorial, and figured I'd add it to the wiki for some quick feedback. See if I'm moving too quickly, or not giving enough detail in my explanations.

 

I haven't played with the formatting or organization yet, it's way too late, and I'm too damn tired to do it at the moment. Still, it should be easy enough to glance through right fast. Check it out and see what you think.

 

And keep in mind that it assumes basic knowledge of Blender's UI. I only mention hotkeys in one place, which is used as an example since it's based on my totally-different-from-the-default setup.

 

Click Here For Learnin

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ipads are the future \o/

 

I'm presently leanin' Blender on my old fashioned portable computation device, so I'll be lookin' over these later tomorrow. If you don't mind I might have some suggestions about how to make them better structured and writ for tutoring too, because I'm like that. But awesome - thanks and a huge hug to Renz!

 

So far I've learned that CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+C is your second best friend. But I can't remember off the top of my head why.

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i know you're using 2.63, but you might want to notate that somewhere in the tutorial.

question: why do polys seem to always need to be aligned by vert? why cant a vert on one poly just get stuck onto the edge of another poly? as part of the same mesh, i mean.

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So far I've learned that CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+C is your second best friend. But I can't remember off the top of my head why.

 

JAY! Holy crap! What's going on, man?

 

Yeah, I'm sure that does something nice, but since I've gone and switched everything around, I have no idea what. :P

 

Nosslak: I added that in. Thinking about going through and giving the hotkey lists for both the Blender default, and the Maya hotkey setup. Might even throw mine in for good measure, since I'll be providing it at some point in the near future.

 

i know you're using 2.63' date=' but you might want to notate that somewhere in the tutorial.[/quote']

 

Good point. Most everything I'm gonna cover will likely require a Bmesh build of Blender, specially when I start getting into some of the more funky stuff. I'll add that in as a disclaimer at the top of the page.

 

question: why do polys seem to always need to be aligned by vert? why cant a vert on one poly just get stuck onto the edge of another poly? as part of the same mesh, i mean.

 

Hmm. Not sure I'm following you exactly here. Are you wondering why you can't do something like this...

 

Woonky_Vert.jpg

 

If I'm am, in fact, following you correctly, you're talking about why can't you make ngons, why only quads right? Well....there's a number of reasons for that. For editing a model destined to go ingame, you usually want to stick to quads most of the time while building. They smooth nicer, are much easier to edit, and convert to tris cleanly. An ngon as far as game editing is concerned is really only useful as a middle stage between making more quads in different configurations. They're a means to an end rather than an end themselves.

 

For high poly modelling, there will be times where you'll purposely leave an ngon, though you'll only do it in specific, controlled situations. Subdividing them makes a mess of your topology, which makes your model that much more difficult to edit later, and they go pinchy and lumpy when you subsurf them.

 

Yeah, I know. I couldn't be more vague if I tried. I'll try go a little more indepth about it once I have a bit more time. Probably cover the whys and why nots of ngons and tris in a later tutorial.

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Really liked the small room example, it seemed easy enough to follow, but the little knowledge I had with Blender seems to have vanished and Im back to aimlessly hitting keys and missing common features Im used to in other programs and are probably all hidden inside Blender's crazy layout... Gonna have to go through all the basics again before I can come back with my completed exercise. ;)

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