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3ds Max level tutorial ?

Discussion in 'Community Learning & Teaching' started by shader, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. shader

    shader

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    Can anyone please recommend a link to a tutorial on game level design using 3ds Max specifically. I was thinking for a room or the interior of a building

    I can create rooms etc as graphics, but I wanted specific advice and tips on game-level suitable rooms/buildings etc.

    Thanks
     
  2. shader

    shader

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    Can I re-phrase the question, does anyone use 3ds Max for level design ?
     
  3. Dan Mills

    Dan Mills

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    I have experience of Max to Unity workflow. Modelling is simply (in my case) a case of creating a plane or box, converting to editable poly, and then using a combination of edge, poly, and vertex low poly techniques using transforms (move, rotate, scale etc.) and modifiers like connect, bevel, weld etc which are available in each sub-selection (poly, edge, vertex etc.)

    The real work begins when you want to unwrap to UV texture/s; bare in mind that any small details, like say a bit of brick that repeats along a building etc or windows are best UV mapped when created then copied to their other locations as it will copy the UV information too.

    The modelling can take say 30-60 minutes, but doing the UV mapping and final Unwrap is usually twice as long, often more.

    For scaling I use system units 1unit = 1cm as that gives me a decent granularity for the smallest details (which 1U=1m would not) and display units in mm or m usually (mm for Architectural stuff as that's normal on UK drawings)

    I sometimes paint textures in PS, but for quick and rough I set up multi sub-object textures and bake out a diffuse and/or lightmap for use in Unity.

    I'll see if I can do a quick tutorial on basic MAX workflow for Unity but bit busy at the mo' so i'll see
     
  4. shader

    shader

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    Hi Dan

    Thanks for taking the time. If I run into any problems I'll post or pm you if that's okay ?

    A tutorial would be a great help for me (and others I suspect) :)

    Cheers
     
  5. janoonk

    janoonk

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    A good tutorial on Max to Unity workflow would be great.
     
  6. Dan Mills

    Dan Mills

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    I'm hoping to have some time today and tommorrow to go through some sinmple quick start topics in 3DStudio, by way of some short video tutorials. The topics I am thinking of covering are as follows but feel free to add anything if you want (within reason;-)

    --System Units versus Display Units, Scene Granularity

    --Home Grid setup, Snaps, Tape tool

    --Making a 1m cube and exporting to Unity

    --Turning Cube into a die, UV Mapping, UV Unwrap

    --Texturing using multi-sub object

    --Baking out a diffuse and bump texture

    --Final import into unity
     
  7. outtoplay

    outtoplay

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    When you save .max into your assets folder, it creates a materials folder, but does not transfer the texture maps, correct? Not a big deal, just wondering if I"m missing something.

    B.
     
  8. Seer

    Seer

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    I prefer importing FBX into Unity over using .max files, mostly because I am used to saving at least 10 or more versions of the file at specific intervals (eg. File_01.max, File_02.max... etc.) to prevent any data loss without relying on auto backup feature.

    So yeah, using all those files just for 1 model isn't possible in Unity (unless that I am aware of), which kinda sucks. Then again, I prefer FBX import anyway..

    Another thing I hate is how multi/sub material doesn't work in Unity so you just have to bake textures or use standard while testing the model. Blah! :p (< lazy)

    @Dan
    That looks like a good list of topics to cover, esp. the unit setup (which I am still confused about). Umm, also, do you have UnityScript tutorials for newbies to scripting? I'd rather have a LOT of scripting tutorials for non programmers (from "Hello World" to "DESTROY WORLD" course). :|
     
  9. shader

    shader

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    Hi Dan

    That list looks great, maybe you could add importing a simple animation. I think people would find that useful too.

    I also think Niksha's suggestion of covering .fbx export would be very useful as well.

    Thanks :)
     
  10. janoonk

    janoonk

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    @Dan: looks great! Looking forward to it.

    @NikSha: there are already lots of good tutorials on scripting. I especially like:
    - scripting essentials http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Manual/Tutorials.html
    - tutorials with lots of scripting snippets http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/
    - Will Goldstone videos and his new book http://www.packtpub.com/unity-2-5-game-development-guide/book
    - some free and paid tutorials at
    http://unitytutorials.com
    and
    http://unity-tutorials.com
    - http://www.unityjumpstart.com/ProofOfConcept_1/
    - http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=Tutorials

    Also the reference, user manual and scripting reference contains lots of small script snippets
    http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/
     
  11. Dan Mills

    Dan Mills

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    Just a note to say these Tutorials are forthcoming; I have recorded the first four ( covering system units versus display units, grid setup, basic snaps, different views, basic poly modelling, sub object selection, triangle optimisation...)

    So I hope to get these out there onto my server in the next couple of days ... Watch this...'n' all
     
  12. shader

    shader

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    Nice one Dan :)
     
  13. Seer

    Seer

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    @janoonk

    Thanks for the links (most of them sound so similar no wonder I haven't seen some sites yet).


    @Dan
    Watching this thread. Even though I just need unit guide and all at the moment, I am sure you (as a pro) will provide some extra info. :D
     
  14. Dan Mills

    Dan Mills

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    OK tutorials are up... Haven't the time at the moment to put a web page together with hyperlinks (I'll do that tomorrow) so here are the raw links for now...

    Constructive critisism is welcomed; they were recorded kinda on the fly so a few eh's and uumm's to boot :wink:

    London, UK server if anyone wants to mirror in US feel free to PM me 8)

    Session 1 - System versus Display Unit setup / Home Grid setup: -
    www.archifrag.com/tutorials/max_unity_tutorials/session1_units_grid.mp4

    Session 2 - Snaps, Viewport and Object Property Views
    www.archifrag.com/tutorials/max_unity_tutorials/session2_snaps_views.mp4

    Session 3 - Polygonal Modelling 1
    www.archifrag.com/tutorials/max_unity_tutorials/session3_polymodelling1.mp4

    Session 4 - Polygonal Modelling 2
    www.archifrag.com/tutorials/max_unity_tutorials/session4_polymodelling2.mp4

    Session 5 - Unity import via MAX scene
    www.archifrag.com/tutorials/max_unity_tutorials/session5_unity_import.mp4
     
  15. Seer

    Seer

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    :D

    *downloads*
     
  16. Dan Mills

    Dan Mills

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  17. shader

    shader

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    Hi Dan

    Just quickly looked at the videos, all I can say is thanks a million ! They are really excellent.

    I look forward to the others, especially the UV Mapping.

    My only request please, is a simple workflow for animation from Max to Unity.

    Thanks :)
     
  18. Seer

    Seer

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    Ah now I remember what I REALLY wanted to see in the videos. Either way, these videos are awesome, thanks for all the effort. :)


    Can you please work on a video that shows importing animations from max and maybe some simple scripting to setup first person and third person animations? (like characters moving and interacting.. but then that will be too much work for a tutorial)


    Thanks.
     
  19. Dan Mills

    Dan Mills

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    I'm afraid my background is in Architectural Design, so I've had little experience in character modelling, rigging, animating etc in MAX beyond some basics I've taught myself; I'm sure there are better experienced games dev's who could do a tutor on that. Certainly Will Goldstone's ebook has a brief explanation of setting up and programatic control of animations, but character control and setup I couldn't do justice to I'm afraid so someone else will have to pick up the glove on that topic.

    Most of my interest in Unity is as an environment artist and being as scale correct as possible with real world architecture.

    Thanks for the comments though I hope the videos will be useful to anyone wanting to start out using 3DSMAX to do low poly levels; though the majority are probably students etc as the software cost / learning curve is over what I beleive Indie developers would be looking at. I started out using MAX (actually it was 3DS R4) when I was a student many years ago.

    SketchUp is taking on a lot of popularity, even amoungst architectural users because of it's simplicity, it's modelling abilities are not a patch on 3DS but it's cheap, works at real world scale and with inference etc very well. It's geometry can be costly compared to raw low poly modelling in 3DS, especially with curves, and there's of course no UV editing, but you could get a third party UV edit app, even re-triangulation / optimisation app and still come in all in at 25-33% of a commercial seat for 3DSMAX.

    So beyound a simple workflow introduction tutor, I'm not sure many indie scaled developers would be shelling out on a team of seats for 3DSMAX, and most who would are probably more experienced at it, for games dev', than I.
     
  20. shader

    shader

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    Hi Dan

    Will Goldstone's videos do cover animation but I still think another one (using Max) would be useful. The animation could be something really simple such as a cube rotating at three different speeds. These simply represent three states for a model eg walking, jogging and spriting ....

    Whilst Will's videos are excellent, sometimes I prefer discrete standalone videos that are not part of a wider project. It means I can dip into them when I want to.

    Please continue with the videos, they really are very good indeed. I watched them again last night and I am keen to start UV mapping the rooms !

    Cheers :)
     
  21. zhwei

    zhwei

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    Thank you a lot , so useful for me
     
  22. pandigital

    pandigital

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    Thanks for these tutorials - they are very useful and you have obviously spent time and care over them - great stuff :)
     
  23. oliver_l1

    oliver_l1

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    Great Tutorials especially for beginners.At the end of session 5 you've mentioned some upcoming tuts so i hope that you'll do these if possible.

    Thanks.
     
  24. islanddreamer

    islanddreamer

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    Dan, I missed these tutorials when you first created them, but I hope you haven't given up on creating more. Excellent work!
     
  25. mgarnett

    mgarnett

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    Thanks for the tutorials

    Cheers

    Mark
     
  26. masumbdk

    masumbdk

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    Since the days of Quake, game developers have used Worldcraft to make levels for their games. Worldcraft has its advantages. It's free, for a start. And ... erm. It's free.

    Let's face it, Worldcraft sucks. While Quake-based games now use Radiant for their level editing and games such as the Rainbow Six series ship with plugins which allow mappers to generate level geometry in 3D Studio MAX, SWAT3 players are still stuck with Worldcraft. Whilst Worldcraft is fine for people without MAX, anyone who has got 3D Studio will almost certainly find it highly annoying to work with.
    Salvation is at hand

    It is possible to use 3D Studio MAX to make maps. However, it isn't straightforward. Indeed, only hardcore MAX fans are likely to find the extra effort required over Worldcraft worthwhile. On the plus side, being able to use a real 3D application to create geometry is a big advantage.

    This guide is split into four parts:

    1. What you need
    2. Creating world geometry
    3. Creating entities
    4. Exporting the map

    When you've read through it you should be ready to take a crack at creating your first map in 3D Studio. But please do read through it carefully from start to finish before you try anything. And remember, I can only show you the techniques. It's up to you to harness your creativity and create a useful map.


    snuggie
     
  27. sathya

    sathya

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    Adding to shaders Question:
    Have anyone tried 3D Max-Flatiron-Unity_3D Pipeline !. If we are using Flatiron in our pipeline we ll end up creating entire level in 3D Max and export the level as one scene mesh. Now the question is which is more optimized method ! Creating the entire game level in 3D Max or exporting each mesh to unity and create the level there ?.