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volume 1, issue 4

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

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Thinking Outside the Box:
Dangerous Curves Ahead

 

 

By Paul "Villam" Steed


Anything I say comes from me and represents my personal opinions, views and subtle plans for influencing society. Read, ruminate over and remember at your own risk. If I teach you something and it helps, teach someone else.

  dedicate this installment of an instructional bent to the Duke of Radioactivity. The King. The heir to all strange. Thusly the subject matter for today's excursion into the realm of 3D modeling and animation features the greatest of God's creatures: woman.

First, though you need to be able to navigate through 3dsMax R2 and Photoshop 4. Why? Because those are what I used to create this tutorial, Einstein. I use 3dsMax because it gives me just enough modeling, texturing and animation horsepower to do my job. Photoshop is my 2D texturing, image manipulation tool of choice because I've been using it for nearly six years.

I'm not covering how I built the model (if I get enough requests, maybe I'll do the next tutorial on how I built the babe), only how I textured her. Please note that this model...she... is an experiment only. This player character will only appear in Quake 3: Arena if my bosses say so. Now if it were up to me...

Any ways, let's cut to the chase. This...

.

...is Shauna. My first post Quake 2 (Q2) chick in the dimensions I personally find appealing. Please accept my apologies if by gazing upon any of the following visuals you are offended in any way. Frankly, though, if you don't find her appealing I probably wouldn't hang around with you anyway so go ahead and change channels now. Really. Go ahead...

Okay. Glad you're still here. We have our model. Look at the separate pieces I've broken her into. The main difference between this sort of model and the Quake/Q2 models is the segmented geometry. She has a distinct upper and lower body and a separate head. This is important if you plan on making models for Q3: Arena (Q3: A) and that's all I have to say about that.

Also note that all models in future id games will only require one leg. Just kidding. The reason for one leg in the model is crucial to my modeling/texturing ideology for our current project: utility. We've increased the face count slightly (around 700 faces per character). This isn't really that many more than Q2 because we texture differently now. This texturing difference is also reason for geometry segmentation. Shauna only has one leg because after I assign UV's and a texture to her leg I will mirror that leg to the other side. Normally I'd mirror the arm as well (even though the hand geometry is different) but in Shauna's case I went for an asymmetrical look to be different (and to experiment with multiple texture usage). Be very texture conscious when creating characters for Q3:A. Carmack has given me a 256 x 256 allotment of texture space per character that I take seriously (but occasionally and slightly surpass).

Speaking of which, let's look at textures and their sources that I will be using for this model. For her face I realize going in that my ration of texture size is 128 x 64 pixels. However, I make most of my textures double the rez I'm allowed because you never know when the envelope for such things will be spontaneously expanded. It's easy as a mouse click to down size a texture. The inverse is not true.

Here is the source for Shauna's face:

...and here's the 256 x 128 composite:

Don't ask how. Just check out Photoshop's layering, clone tool, offset filter, hue/saturation, numeric scaling transform, and cut and paste capabilities.

Here's some renders I made of the front and back:

...and the finished texture:

Note the addition of the jade dragon (my sign in the Chines zodiac BTW). For presentation I offset this texture by 32 pixels when I actually mapped it. Regardless, remember that all these textures are made to tile horizontally due to being projected onto their corresponding geometry via a cylindrical projection map.

...

(Continued on next page)

 

Credits: Thinking Outside the Box logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 1998 Paul Steed. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't even try it. We've got really big guns, and we're ripped, baby.