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Old 02-12-2010, 10:52 PM   #1
Z-trooper
Retired PR Developer
Exclamation Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

Quote:
NO RENDERS, they are fine when you want to show off your models friends, but if you want feedback and want them to go into PR then we need to see stuff that we can give feedback on. Simply take a screenshot of the viewport.

You may use point light sources to help you show the model.
If you want feedback on your models as you work you will need to post the following:



Model
We need the following type of shots below in able for us and other users to give you as much feedback on your model as possible. Keep in mind the more good shots you can give us of your model the more feedback someone can give you but dont go about taking lots of crappy shots as too many rubbish shots will more likley put someone off from giving you feedback rather than help them giving you feedback, so take what shots you need to and make sure they all show vital parts of the model that you need feedback on and are clear and use as much space on the shot as possible.


Wireframe Screenshot (shortcut: F3) - So we can see if the model has errors in the mesh.
Tip: These are best taken from the Top, Side and Front views thou sometimes a perspective view is good too.
Examples:



Edged Faces Screenshot (shortcut: F4) - So we can see if the model has errors in the mesh.
Examples:



Screenshot without wireframe or edged faces - So we can see if there are smoothing errors and to get an idea of how its going to look ingame.
Examples:



Tips: When taking wireframe and edged faces screenshots, its clearest to see where the lines are when they are a solid black or solid white colour rather than a light green. To get your lines a solid black like the example shots of the harrier above, all you need to do is select all the models in your scene, and then assign them a black colour which you can either do in the objects properties, next to the name, or in the modifier tab at the top, next to the name.


If you don't have any materials applied to your object it will now turn a solid black like so:


To get rid of this, apply a material to your object(s), if you have a texture you can apply to it good, if not a simple black standard material will do just fine.



References
Be honest, does your object really look like what you are trying to make or does it just resemble it? Does it have the necessary details to mirror its real world equivalent? Does it have the correct proportions?
You need to be certain that your model (and textures) match the real thing, because we will have enough to do to look at your models quality and integrity alone. We don?t want to spend all of our time finding references and comparing it.




FAQ:


What Verstion of 3DsMax should I be working with and what file formats?:

Everyone in PR works with Autodesk 3D Studio Max v9 aka 3DsMax9 (version 9, not 2009, not 2010. Version 9)

Working in later versions of 3DsMax like 2009 or 2010 etc is not an option since you can not export objects from 3DsMax to BF2 in anything later than 3DsMax9 and you can not easily back port models from a later version back to Max9 without serous loss of quality and many errors appearing in the model!!!

All scenes should be saved in a .max file format with 3DsMax9 with all necessary files for the next task in hand, including references and other things like that of your object etc with your max scene is always handy.


Modeling, Poly & Triangle Counts:
First of all around here we only deal in triangle counts (tris) since all polys etc are converted to tris on export into BF2 so dealing in polys when a poly could be 2, 3, or even 20 tris is not an accurate measure to go by when tris is. Always provide a triangle count for your models so we can get a good idea on how optimized the model is, with of course the screenshots with it.


Triangle (Poly) Limits:
Limits are hard to set, so we won?t. This is due to many reasons, the most obvious one being: it depends on what you are making!
A grenade and a jet fighter have vastly different levels of details.
In short you are your own master of the tri count if you work by the following guidelines:
  • A vertex is good as long as it either adds shape or smoothness to a model, if it does not then it should be removed.
  • Proximity to the player. If something is right up in the face of the users face then it needs more detail than something that is further away or at a place where the player only views in rare circumstances.
  • Silhouette. As long as the silhouette of your object not jagged or look too low poly it is good.
  • Keep in mind that the model (if weapon) will be animated and check that parts of the model does not suddenly become invisible when you pull back the charging handle or remove the magazine.
  • Turn back face culling on to check that your object is not invisible in places.
  • If you are making a vehicle make sure that all details on the hull, turret or whatever are a part of the main mesh, and not a separate element as this will cause Z-fighting.

The tri count of an object really depends on what the object is. For example one tank design may have smooth, flat surfaces all over it and hardly anything else, where anouther tank design may have something like reactive armour blocks all over it and lots of jagged edges. The tank with smooth flat surfaces would be most likley stupid to spend 8k tris on something that didn't need it where its tris would be probably spent on a really ultra smooth barrel since the body of the tank didn't need squat, and then the tank with reactive armour blocks and jagged edges all over it would maybe struggle to get all the detail with only 8k tris to work with so like said above, the tri count of an object really depends on what the object is and its design. You can always ask what sort of tri count you should be working towards but don't expect any good answers since no one can really give you an exact amount unless they are working on it.


UV-mapping/Unwrapping:

You need to have your objects UV mapped before we will consider using it.
Guidelines for UV mapping:
  • Use an appropriate aspect. For instance, if you are making a RPG tube it might not be wise using a 1:1 aspect map, but more suitable to use a 1:2 aspect ( 1024x2048 instead of 2048x2048 ) since the tube is very long and very thin and as such, will take up more width than height when UVing it but you also need to account for all the points on the model, if its a rifle a 1:1 aspect ratio may be required to fit on all the other bits like the magazine etc.
  • Maximize the space used on the sheets. In principle, every pixel you do not use on the UV map is wasted memory and also wasted detail. Maximize the UVs so that you can put more detail into the textures. Beware of grouping the UV groups too close together so that it causes pixel bleeding.
  • Proximity to the player. Be mindful of which parts of the object are close to the player. A scope is closer to the player than a barrel. Or a cockpit texture where you need detail on the instruments and screens is more important than having nice frames around them. Scale your UV groups accordingly to their function and proximity.
  • When UVing an object, use as few texture sheets as possible as the more texture sheets are used, the bigger impact the textures have on performance. For example, 4x 1024x1024 sheets (adding upto 2048x2048 pixels) has a much larger overhead on the engine than one single 2048x2048 texture sheet.
    The only time when you will want to consider using other texture sheets is if its such a large object that you can not fit all of the detail onto a single 2048x2048 sheet without it impacting on the look drastically (such as the Chinook) or when a common object is made for the object like a weapon scope like the ACOG which is used on (and can be used on in the future) many other objects that are not using the main textures of the weapon or w/e your UVing, so having the ACOG on its own texture sheet helps when the ACOG is placed onto anouther rifle other than a M16 or M4 and instead say an L85A2, so that when playing on the British Faction with a L85A2 with an ACOG, the player dose not need to load all the M16 and M4 textures that wouldn't be used anywhere in order to have that ACOG on his rifle. Another example would be the M203 UGL which is also used on many other weapons and as such, is best on its own texture sheet.
    But don't start putting every scope or small object onto its own sheet. For example if its a unique scope only for that Sniper rifle, put the UVs for that scope onto the main sniper rifle texture sheet.
    If you are unsure if your object is a common object that should go onto its own texture sheet or not, ask a developer in the forums or over PM.


Texturing:

When working with your texture you should be working in a high quality format that dose not distort your texture on save such as .psd
When you texture is final and is ready to be used ingame only then do you save it to a format for game use but keep in mind that you should always keep your .psd handy and upto date not only as a backup but for any changes needed to be done to the texture in future, its far better to work strait off the .psd so there is no loss of quality from resaving which .dds, like .jpg, has.

You will need to be crating the following textures for your model, unless its a static object, if its a static please read this thread here:
  • The following maps are needed when working with BF2:
  • Normal/Diffuse/Colour map
  • Specular map
  • Normal/?Bump? map


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Last edited by [R-DEV]Rhino; 11-27-2010 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
boilerrat

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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

Very nice, how much?
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:41 AM   #3
Hauteclocque
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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

A very useful tutorial for sure, thank you very much Z
(meh, I will have to translate it for my French fellows...)

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Old 02-13-2010, 05:18 AM   #4
Salmonella
Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

hey, I'm currently workin on this model
http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f407...51mm-gpmg.html

and I have real important question, how further can I go with the mirroring and tiling?

see this example, this handle was made from a 18 sided cilinder, in most usual UV it will have 36 tris, and will use a large texture area to display all the bumps.
so I splited it in 4 segments and mirrored it, which gives me 144 tris(4 times more) but 8 times less texture usage.


what the best thing to do?
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Last edited by Salmonella; 02-13-2010 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:55 AM   #5
motherdear
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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

i would say that the texture space that is saved is worth the hassle. although you should be vary when you make the lods for it since it may very well stretch the texture (shouldn't be a big problem).
for a segment like this i would most likely have it split into 2 segments because the tiling may become very apparent with too many sections.

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:25 PM   #6
munky91

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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

Quote:
Originally Posted by [R-DEV]Z-trooper View Post
Working in later versions of 3DsMax like 2009 or 2010 etc is not an option since you can not export objects from 3DsMax to BF2 in anything later than 3DsMax9 and you can not easily back port models from a later version back to Max9 without serous loss of quality and many errors appearing in the model!!!
How accurate is this really? I modeled the Grizzly APC for the PSC faction in 3ds max 10, (not all of us have access to 9 after all) and exported as a .3ds file for an exporter to put in game, and the team was happy to take it in that format. Obviously 3ds max 9 would be preferable, but I don't think the fact that you should say that having a different modeling program completely excludes you from being able to contribute a model.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:10 PM   #7
Wilkinson

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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

Quote:
Originally Posted by munky91 View Post
How accurate is this really? I modeled the Grizzly APC for the PSC faction in 3ds max 10, (not all of us have access to 9 after all) and exported as a .3ds file for an exporter to put in game, and the team was happy to take it in that format. Obviously 3ds max 9 would be preferable, but I don't think the fact that you should say that having a different modeling program completely excludes you from being able to contribute a model.
I have to concur. I saw no loss of visual perfectness. The UVMaps were 100% still accurate, (though the textures needed work ) and it was still ok.


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Old 02-13-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
[R-DEV]Rhino
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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

Quote:
Originally Posted by munky91 View Post
How accurate is this really? I modeled the Grizzly APC for the PSC faction in 3ds max 10, (not all of us have access to 9 after all) and exported as a .3ds file for an exporter to put in game, and the team was happy to take it in that format. Obviously 3ds max 9 would be preferable, but I don't think the fact that you should say that having a different modeling program completely excludes you from being able to contribute a model.
Very accurate...

Who are "The Team" excatly? Are the the PSC guys? Since the people who really matter when it comes to quality, is us (the devs) and I'm sure I will be able to spot all the smoothing group errors etc crated from the back port in a matter of seconds.

For example, here is a quick box I've made in max 2010, which I then messed up by applying some noise to it and then I turbosmoothed it, and applied a smoothing group to the entire box.






Now if I export it as a .3ds, here is how it turns out.



You can even see the smoothing group errors very clearly in the viewport, let alone render...


Now for this object since the entire object was only using one smoothing group it aint that hard to fix, but for a huge vehicle, its not so simple and parts of it are bound to get missed unless someone is really on the ball with fixing it, as well as the other problems as well as smothing groups there are on more complicated models when you back port them...

So sir, you should go back over your Grizzly APC and start fixing its smoothing group errors if I where you, and get Max9 to work on in the future...

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Old 02-14-2010, 04:11 AM   #9
munky91

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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

By the team, I was referring to those in the PSC yes. I am aware of the smoothing group problem, but as you mentioned, it is fixable, and if one does not have the thousands of dollars for 3ds max 9, they have to work with what they have. Also, I am sorry if I came off sounding unpleasant in any way, I was just trying to point out the fact that not having 3ds max 9 is a problem that can be worked around, and I have trouble finding the best way to phrase my posts.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:30 AM   #10
[R-DEV]Rhino
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Default Re: Modeling, UVing and Texturing Guidelines for Community made Assets

Its better to not work around it rather than to work around it and if you have a later version of max it shouldn't really be a problem to get an earlier version of max.

And are your telling me that you know it has all its smoothing groups fixed, even thou you didn't fix them yourself since you do not have max9 and someone else who doesn't know your model went over it and fixed it for you? Please...

And its not just smoothing groups, on more complicated models you can get missing faces, corrupt faces, new faces that shouldn't be there and all kinds of crap.

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Last edited by [R-DEV]Rhino; 02-14-2010 at 04:41 AM..
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