Modeling Assets in 3ds Max for Unreal Engine 4

What is this post all about ?

First of all, this is going to be a rather long post split into six parts. The reason for the lengthy size is that we will take a look at the whole workflow. This workflow means starting in 3ds Max and ending with our model inside Unreal Engine 4. Alright then lets start !

Modeling the Custom Chair

The first thing that we need to create is going to be the HP ( high poly ) model. This is a given if we want to have a good quality model when we later bring it into UE4. For this case i decided to go with a custom chair. If you read the FB group you will know that i kinda messed up with a NDA issue. This meant that i had to rerecord everything from scratch. So to make it safe i decided to go with something that doesn’t exist. The modeling of the said chair will show you how to use couple of different techniques. These techniques are like box modeling, modifier stacking, cloth simulation and a few others. Anyways you can see all of this in the video below so go check it out.

Creating the Low Poly

The second video will cover the creation of the LP ( Low Poly ) model. In the past i have created a few videos that were about retopology. Well this time around it was more of a simplification rather then retopology. This is because when you have a HP model that was created with proper box modeling it’s faster and easier. In the video below you can check out the whole creation of the LP model.

UVW Unwrapping

This is where it starts getting interesting. A lot of people for some reason find this complicated and hard. For this phase i wanted to show you two ways for UVW Unwrapping. In the first video i decided to go ahead and do the UVW Unwrapping inside 3ds Max. You can see how i did it in the video below.

Now if you watched the video above you heard me saying that i hate doing unwrapping in 3ds max. It’s not that it’s hard, it’s simply tedious if you ask me. This is why i decided to throw in a bonus video about Unfold3D. This is a piece of software that is used only for one thing, and that is UVW unwrapping. So if you want to see how that worked out, check out the video below.

Texturing the chair with Substance Painter

For the texturing phase i decided to go with Substance Painter. If you have never seen or used Substance Painter you are missing out. It’s an amazing software that makes texturing assets an easy task. Since i haven’t made any prior videos with the software i will stick to the basics. This means we will use already existing materials that come with the Substance Painter. So if you want to see how i did it, check out the video below.

Exporting the model to Unreal Engine 4

In the last part of the mini series we will see how to get the model to Unreal Engine 4. We will also see how we can prepare the model so we have no issues with the transformations. How to prepare the model for use of multiple materials in UE4. How to compile the materials so we can use the textures from Substance Painter. In short all the things that you have to do to your model to get it working inside Unreal. Again, if you want to see that check the video below.

 Is that all ?

Well with this we covered the whole process of preparing an asset to go from Max to UE4. If you followed the videos you will have an idea of the steps you need to do. So i do hope you guys found this entertaining and educational. You guys learned the workflow, and i learned the importance of an NDA 🙂

In any case, if you liked the post like and comment on the videos and help spread the word around.

Creating the Brookhaven Wooden Chair in 3ds Max

Why this model?

Today’s post comes as a direct request from a reader.The request was to model an interesting looking wooden chair. Initially when i saw the model i thought it was a simple 50$ chair. But as you will see it ended up being a whooping 9500$ piece. When i saw that i simply knew i had to make the model so this is how it all started. Just so i covered everything i decided to split this into two videos. In the first phase i go over modeling the chair, and in the second the UVW unwrapping.

The modeling Phase

The modeling phase of this project was a fun one. The model seemed very simple at first glance, but once you start doing the work it had it’s challenges. In the first part of the modeling video i went over the logical composition of the model. After the part division you will see me start with modeling the parts individually. When modeling i always choose to take things as simple as possible, as it makes controlling the model easier. But instead of explaining everything it’s a much more effective means if you can watch it happen. So if you want to see the creation process, then check out the video below.

The Unwrapping Phase

In the second part of the video i will focus on the UVW Unwrapping part. Up until now i really haven’t done any UVW unwrapping videos for the models that i’ve made tutorials about. And honestly i’ve received a few requests to do some tutorials about this topic. So i decided to make a video about unwrapping this model. Depending on the feedback i get from you guys i may continue doing these kinds of videos in the future. For this video i decided to stick to 3ds Max and not take it into an external program. In order to follow along you will need to download the Tex Tools free script. So if you want to see how i did the unwrapping then check out the video below.

Final Thoughts

Like i said in the beginning, this was a fun model to work on. The only thing that makes this model unique is that i decided to do the UVW unwrapping as well. Now if you guys liked seeing me do the unwrapping then leave a comment or a like. And i’ll see about continuing making unwrapping videos for the future videos as well. So for now that would be all, and as always you can ask anything you might want to know on the YouTube channel or the Facebook group, and also you can jump in on Discord for a direct way of communication.

3ds Max Quick Tips (Displacement and Texturing)

Here we go !

Well here we are with the first post for the year, and ironically almost at the end of January. Initially i was going to make this post split into two different posts. Due to having very little free time though we ended up with a quick tips type of post. Actually this ended up working better then expected. From now on i can gather different types of videos that are for different things and bundle them together. So as far as i’m concerned it actually works out in the end. The first video was posted last week. If you are not subscribed to the YouTube channel, you can see it here now.

Using Displacement in 3ds Max and V-Ray

In this video i go over a very simple issue that can come up when using displacement in Vray. In the video i go over the main difference between bump and displacement. After this we will take a look at how to use displacement to make a brick wall. The main problem with displacement at corners is that black holes appear in the mesh. So we will see how to fix those black holes with the use of Vray Displacement modifier. After that issue, we will take a look at another common issue when using displacement for floors. Namely we will see how to stop the displacement going through our models in the scene.  So if this is something you are interested check out the video below.

 

Texturing a Floor with 3ds Max and Floor Generator

Here we will see how we can add a custom texture to geometry created with the Floor Generator script. In one of my earliest posts i actually covered Floor Generator so feel free and check it out. At first glance this looks like a very simple thing, but it does come with some issues. Here we will see how to deal with these issues, and how to quickly map and texture the floor. Anything more about explaining here is really not needed as you can see it all done in the video below.

Final Thoughts

 

I actually had fun making these videos. The fact that they are both different topics bundled together makes it easier for me. In the future i can make mixed videos for things that are too small for their own topic. So for this post that would be all. If you liked what you saw here, then help spread the word and share it around.

BONUS FOR THE ONES STILL READING

This week i decided to make a Discord server. If you have never used Discord it’s really easy. Just click the link below and it will take you to the site. There you can choose to use it in the browser to download the application. Once in the server come on in and say hi or whatever is on your mind. The main idea here is to have a place where you can come in and ask anything. And also a place where you can directly ask for a tutorial topic (make it easy on me).

DISCORD SERVER LINK 

So click on the link here and come in for a chat.

3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s topic on 3ds max modeling, with the help of smoothing groups. First of all i want to note that this was initially a 2 part video. Upon finishing the original recording i actually saw that i was breaking an NDA that i had signed. NDA’s are a pain, so i rerecorded the video to what you see here. But like all things everything has to have a start, so lets start from the beginning.

3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups ?

You can do 3ds Max modeling with two different approaches. First is with chamfered edges approach to get the round look on edges. The second one is with the help of supporting geometry and turbosmooth modifier. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. So it would be great if we can combine the positives from the two workflows into one. This is where the modeling with smoothing groups comes into play.

How do we combine them ?

Combining these two workflows is really not that hard as you will be able to see in the video below. The short explanation would be that we will use two different turbosmooth modifiers in one stack. The difference  is that the curvature of the faces will be controlled by the smoothing group.

smoothIf you have never worked with smoothing groups, you can change them by finding the menu. As you can see in the image here the smoothing groups look like a bunch of numbers in a calendar. The polygons that have the same smoothing group (SG) will try to make a smooth  surface. So if you have two or more polygons with the SG1 they will try to make a smooth surface. And if those polygons meet with other polygons with a different SG you will get a sharp edge. This right here is the base of the whole workflow of using smoothing groups for modeling.

How does this help us ?

Understanding the SG concept is the base of working with this approach. The idea is that like i already said we will use two turbosmooth modifiers. The first one will control where the edges and curves will show up based on the SG. At same time the second one will control the sharpness of the edges. Now this is actually not that hard to grasp, and when explaining it it sounds a bit more complex. So instead of me trying to further explain how this works,  check out the video below and see for yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you watched the video and are back here reading this then kudos to you. As you might have seen it’s a fairly powerful approach to modeling. The place where this shines is rapid prototyping modeling. So basically when you need to make your models very fast while they are still subject to changes. That means that this kind of modeling is more forgiving towards small issues and is very easy to modify. The down side is that it will give you a rather dense mesh. But at the same time Max has no problems with dealing with dense meshes if they are modifier stacks. The main issue is if you want to UV unwrap these models, in that case they can be a pain. So all in all it’s a great way of modeling, and especially if you have to make high poly models.

So i hope you guys enjoyed this video, and you managed to learn something new today. That would be all for today, and as always if you enjoyed it help by sharing it around. Bye for now and i will see you next time.

Modeling a PVC Window in 3ds Max

Hey everyone and welcome back after a small posting break. The subscribers to the YouTube channel, or the FB page have seen my last post. If you are not subscribed (shame on you) then keep reading. In today’s post we are going to cover how to model a PVC window in 3ds Max. So let us jump right in.

Why Model This ?

Now this is not a stupid question but rather a good one. The reason for modeling this is so that you can get an extra level of detail in your scenes. I’ve actually seen many people when it comes down to making windows and doors, they simply put in a box. The issue with using a simple box, is that you are pretty much confined. That means that you can’t open the door or window as it will look fake. On top of that since it’s a box there is no extra details on the edges from the AO map. So as you might have figured it out it can be very beneficial to have proper model for this.

Preparing for the modeling of the actual window

modeling-a-pvc-window

 

 

First of all, when approaching any model that you want to make, you need to have proper reference image. When modeling a PVC window what you need to know is that the frame has a profile. What this means is that we can google search for PVC profiles and get a better idea. Now once you find a window or door profile, you need to have the shape of the window. You can choose any profile you want, or you can choose the one that i used.

 

 

Modeling of the Window

If we have the profile, and the shape of the window we can start with the modeling phase. This might look a bit complicated, but it really is quite simple to model. In the video below you will see how to trace the profile. How to get it to the right size for your window, and reuse the wall frame for the window frame. After we have that we will see how and why we need to chamfer the edges. After all that we will have the PVC model of our window. As they say a picture is worth 1000 words, and a video 20 minutes. So if you want to see how i went ahead to model this then check out the video below.

 

Final Thoughts

After watching the video you probably have seen that this is quite easy to model. And even as such i hope you guys had fun, and learned something in the process. If you did then help spread the word, and like comment and share this on social media. That would be all for today, and i will see you all in the next post.

Modeling Different Types of Faucets in 3ds Max

One of the most common things that you will no doubt end up modeling is faucets. The reason for this is that you can basically find them in many different environments. You can find them in the kitchen, bathroom, garden so pretty much quite common item. Modeling faucets is not really that hard, but if you haven’t done it it can be challenging. For today’s post i actually chose to cover this topic with couple of videos.

Preparing The Blueprint For Real World Scale

Before we jump in directly in the modeling phase i wanted to take this chance and make an intro video. In this video i will show you how to take a blueprint, and set it up for Real World Scale. I wanted to start with this as i want to make sure everyone knows how to do it. It is a very basic thing to know, yet a lot of people struggle with it. So before we dive in on the matter of modeling Faucets check out this intro video. If you know how to do this, then keep reading as we are about to jump to the modeling part.

Modeling Of The Subi Faucet

In this video of modeling faucets we are going to tackle the Subi Faucet. In order to get the technical blueprint for this faucet i went over to the Phoenix site. As you can see in the video i took the line drawing, and basically made it into a blueprint. By watching this video you will see my approach to modeling something like this. You will notice that i like to logically separate the model before i commence with the actual modeling. By watching the video you will learn how to model this type of faucets. Another thing is how to control the edges, as well as how to deal the loss of volume. It was a fun video to make, so i hope it will be fun for you guys to watch.

Modeling A Bibb Faucet

In the last video for this post we look at a standard Bibb Faucet. This is a faucet that probably everyone has seen in their life. These faucets can be found pretty much anywhere, interiors and exteriors. So in the video below you will see how i approach modeling a model like this. But instead of explaining what i did, i would rather show you in the video.

Summary

So from this post you should come out with information on how to setup a blueprint. Another thing that you will learn is how to model two faucets, and based on those models create your own. As i said in the video, i had fun making these videos so i hope you have fun watching them. And like always i hope you managed to learn something new here today. So if this was the case then like, comment and share this post so it can reach more people.

Take care for now and i will see you all in the next post.

Modeling Books and Populating Books Shelves in 3ds Max

One of the most common things that you will get to make in the visualization business is modeling books. Modeling books can be quite useful when you want to give your scene some detailing and general depth.

In most cases the modeling of books is helpful when you need one or a few books to place around. You can also use those same 3D books to populate a big book shelf or a full on library. For something like this you generally need to have a 3D model ready. It can be something that you made in the past or maybe even bought or downloaded from a 3D store. Even if you don’t have a model like this it’s not a big problem as you can model one for yourself. Well in today’s post we will cover just that. In the two videos below you can see the whole process.

Detailed Explanation

In the first video we will start from scratch and create our book. We will create the base in low poly which will allow us to make quick tweaks to the shape and size of our book. As an added bonus the unwrapping of the texture will be much simpler and easier to do. After the book modeling portion is done, we will find a suitable texture for the front page and see how we can quickly switch it with another texture. That will help us make different types of books. After all that is done we will go over how to create the custom texture for the pages in Photoshop. And in the end we will put it all together to form up our finished book model. So go and check the video below.

In the second video we will continue from where we left off in the end of the first video. We will take the 3D book model and will copy it around a few times. After making the copies we will download the Book Scatter script from Moure Lask’s website. Now that you have the script you will be able to follow along with the video. We will see how to make our models populate a custom size shelf, and how to randomize it. In this second video we will go over all the details of how the script works, and will focus on each of the options individually. So go and check out the video for yourself.

After watching these videos you should now have a better understanding on how to create books, as well as book shelves. I really hope you guys had some fun going through the videos, and more importantly you learned something new.  If that was the case then leave a comment, like and share so more people can see this post. That’s all for today so i’ll see you all in the next post.

Basics of Retopology

Ok so here we are back again after almost a month of no updates. Today we will go over a topic that is generally overlooked by people that don’t specifically have to do it, and that is Retopology. The first question that we would answer would be what is Retopology. Well Retopology is the process in which you have a pre existing high density detailed mesh, and on top of that mesh you build a new mesh with clean geometry. This is widely used in gaming models where you want to have all the details from your sculpt into the game engine, or another place would be in Photogrametry or even when you go ahead and download a free 3D model that you like but it has crappy geometry that really doesn’t work with your scene.

So having said that in this post i will go over the bare basics of retopolgy in a few different software packages. This will be divided into three different videos covering the Retopology workflow in ZBrush, 3ds Max and 3D Coat.

In the first video we will start in ZBrush. Here we will go over the basics of the automated ZRemesher feature, then explain a bit how we can control the ZRemesher with the help of guides and then we will jump over to the manual way of Retopology in ZBrush with the help of ZSpheres. All in all it’s a decent way to do retopo in Zbrush and if this is something that would interest you then check out the video below.

In the second video we will take the same base and start the retopology process inside 3DS Max. Here we will go over the tools in the modeling ribbon, we will see how we can create, modify and move the new mesh around, and also see how we can mix up the retopology workflow with general modeling workflow. So go ahead and check out the video below.

In the third video i decided to make the first video in 3D Coat. In this video i stuck to only the retopology section in 3D Coat as this was the focus on the video, but in all honesty i will probably make more videos about 3D Coat as it truly is an amazing piece of software. In this video we will see how we can create the base mesh, and we will dive in a bit in the options of the different tools and brushes. But enough explanations go ahead and check out the video below.

So with these three videos we basically saw the basics of retopology in different software packages, but if you have access to different softwares then you can do it there as well. Maya, Blender and Topogun are three other softwares that do amazing work when it comes to retopo but i really didn’t want to go ahead and do it for those packages mainly because i’m not too comfortable with using them, which doesn’t mean that they are not awesome.

So that would be it for today, i hope you guys have fun watching these videos and more importantly learn something new. If that is the case don’t forget to comment, like and share it around.

Detailed Intro to Working with Forest Pack Pro

Today’s post is a bit of a hybrid post, and what i mean by this is that when i was actually thinking about making a post about Forest Pack Pro i thought it would cover the basic options in a 20-30 min video and be done with it, instead we ended up with what you see here today. In the videos below you will be able to learn what is Forest Pack Pro and how it works. Now i am one of those people who thinks that when you are learning something it’s always good to have a certain model, or a project that you are trying to achieve and learn that way. Well today we will cover most of the options that Forest Pack Pro has in it’s arsenal, and at the same time we will do a couple of different end results. One of the things that specially makes me happy about these videos is the fact that i will cover a topic that has been asked from me multiple times, and that is the topic of creating grass and grass fields. So lets get down and start breaking down the four videos that you will be able to see here.

The first video in the string is more or less a very easy to follow basics of Forest Pack Pro. You will learn how to add a new Forest Pack node, then you will see how to change the display properties followed by how to add custom geometry. After this you will see how to control the density and spread of geometry on your surface. All in all this is the bare basics you need to understand before you start working with Forest Pack Pro. So go ahead and check out the first video.

In the second video we will see how we can use Forest pack Pro to create a modernistic Nail Art picture. To get this right we will kick it up a notch and go in a bit deeper into controlling the transforms of the geometry with the help of a bitmap. This is also where you will learn how to constrain the effect to certain plains and axies. All in all it should be an interesting video and even though it is a second part to the video series it won’t feel like it as it is a stand alone video. So again go and check it out.

When we get to the third part this is basically where we go in deeper with explaining even more features and at the same time we tackle the grass topic. Now for this video when i started it didn’t go as planned as i started modeling grass manually which was a huge time hog, so i scrapped the initial idea and went with a much faster and procedural way of making grass by using a free script called Debris Maker 2 so feel free to click the link and get it for yourselves. So if you have this plugin then you should have no problems with following along with the video, and creating a grass field of your own with ease. So go check it out and come back for the last video.

And in the last video for this post we will cover a topic very similar to the grass creating tutorial but with a twist, we will be using built in presets. Forest Pack Pro comes with a number of different presets that should be helpful to pretty much anyone working in the Visualization business. Other then that you will also learn how to constrain the effects of the scattering through the use of splines, and then at the same time use those same lines as base for scattering new geometry which will leave you with a very flexible end result. But enough with the explanation go ahead and check it out for yourself.

So with that done we come to a conclusion of our post for today. These were one of the more intense videos to record for me as i did get a number of crashes and the rendering times were a drag, but in the end i am actually happy with what it ended up looking like. So the only thing that i can hope for now is that you guys enjoy watching these videos you have some fun while watching them and most importantly of all you learn something new that can help you in your projects. So like always if you enjoyed the videos then hit the like button and subscribe if you haven’t already and i will see you all in the next post.

First Glance at 3ds Max 2017 and Auto Peel UVW unwrap

When i make a new post i kinda tend to make it so that the videos are educational and are pretty much in the form of a tutorial. Well today’s video is more of a informational character then educational. Namely a few days ago Autodesk decided to release their newest version of the 3ds Max software the 2017 version of it, so i decided to make a quick video about the very first thing you can see when you try it out. I made it so that it is divided into two short videos in which you will see what you can expect with the new version of Max, as well as few issues and bugs. (This is an understatement)

So in the first video i go and show you how the UI has been changed, and i kinda compare it to Maya and as you will see for yourself it appears as Autodesk are trying to make Max look like Maya for some reason. Also you will see that in the rendering department we have some novelty in the form of a new render engine ART. But check it out for yourself in the video below.

In the second video that i decided to make it separate i go over something that i am personally stoked for, and that is the UVW Unwrap Auto peel mode. It’s been ages since Autodesk have done diddly squat when it comes to unwrapping in Max, and it has been a total drag having it do it in it. Well in this last version they finally decided to give the unwrapping portion some love and get it so it starts being useful. In the 2017 with the addition of the Auto Peel mode, and the addition of the tension map it is really starting to get back on track, so now the only thing that needs to be fixed is for Max to stop crashing every 5 min. In any case check it out for yourself in this short intro to Auto Peel Unwrapping in Max 2017.

After having some time to play around with Max 2017 i can only say that it’s probably going to be a good version of Max, but as of now i would stay away from using it, especially if you want to use it for your work projects as it is really buggy and unstable and it appears that crashing is it’s favorite past time.
And that would be it for this post, i hope it was informative and if you liked what you saw then click the like button, share and comment below.

  • 2015 © Copyright DKCGI | All rights reserved.