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  • CW8

    Creating A Simple House


    Sample house I created in G-MAX imported into Simcity 4.

    Here's a way to create a simple house model in G-MAX:


    1) Create a box in the "Front" View, and move it in the middle of the viewport as shown:


    2) Go to the "Modify" Tab, besides "Create" and set

    length: 30 width: 30 height: 30 length segs: 1 width segs: 3 height segs: 1 After which your basic box should look like the wireframe in the front viewport.


    3) Still in the "Modify" Tab, select "Edit Mesh" from the pulldown menu, it's under Mesh Editing.

    Select "Polygon" as shown as we are trying to create an upper story of the house. After that, under any viewport, select the top three facing up polygons as shown in red. The selected polygons are in red. Make sure that you only select the top three and not the middle parts or bottoms ones as shown below:


    4) With the polygons still selected, scroll down the options in "Edit Mesh" and under "Extrude", enter a number, this time enter 20 and hit enter. The box should now look like this and it isn't a box anymore, let's call it a mesh:


    5) Click the front viewport, press 'W' to maximise the viewport, press 'W' again to return to normal, you can also use the "Min/Max" Toggle at the right bottomost corner of the screen. This is for you to have a clearer view when you need it. Under "Edit Mesh" select "Vertex" and drag select the top 2 sets of vertices in the Front viewport as shown then use the Move tool to move the selected vertices up as shown:


    This actually makes for part of the roof, using the vertices moving method shown, adjust the vertices until you're happy with how high the roof should be or how big the base should be or whatever, so long as you're happy. Use the left/right top/bottom viewports to adjust how wide the house should be too. I adjusted as I felt I should and ended with this:


    6) Now, we proceed to make a side room. Close the current "Edit Mesh" modifier and add another one. This is safe and advisable practise, say for example you use the current and only edit mesh modifier throughout and encounter some problem while making some parts of the house, and for some reason "Undo" doesn't allow undo, you'll then have to live by the problem or redo everything. However if you add several "Edit Meshes", you'll simply have to delete the modifier and the changes will be undone. Simply right click the "Edit Mesh" modifier and choose delelte. The light bulbs beside the modifiers indicate whether it's activated or not, and it's very useful for looking at results or finding out what went wrong. Try clicking on the light bulb on the current edit mesh modifier to turn it off, and it turns back to the good old box from the start, you get the idea what that does.

    In the new top "Edit Mesh" modifier, choose polygon as before and choose the polygon in the lower left part of the house as shown in Perspective viewport:


    Then extrude as mentioned in the above steps, extrude 25 units and it should look something like this:


    Ensure to save everynow and then

    7) Exit the edit mesh modifier. Then go back to the create tab, click the "Shape" button and click lines. And use the Front viewport and make a crosssectional shape of the roof following the shape in the Front viewport as shown:


    8) Now that you have the line, select it and go to the "Modify" tab and add an "Extrude" modifier found under Mesh Editing. Under "Extrude", enter a value of 50 and hit the enter key. Then adjust the roof in the viewports to fit the house as shown below:


    So basically that's your roof one way or the other.

    9) Now to add a door and several windows, there are many ways to do that, but we go for the easiest way. Create several boxes of different sizes to represent the doors and windows, use the scale tool to make things big or small. There is the uniform scale where the object is scaled uniformly big or small in all axes, then there's the non-uniform scale that scales an object in an axis, or two. Non-uniform scale is very useful for things like making a thick book, thin or a short stick, long. Uniform scale just scales the whole thing big or small. Click-hold to select between the two. The tool is circled on the picture below.

    Now adjust the windows and doors around the house until you get something like the picture:


    Part 2: Texturing

    By: CW8


    Sample house I created in G-MAX imported into Simcity 4.


    Now comes the fun part, texturing. Before you do this I suggest you get some bitmaps of bricks, windows, doors or whatever part of the house. You can use photos, you can download them from the net etc.

    For downloading I suggest going to 3D Graphics sites, sites that have good textures to use are:

    3dCafe - We'll use the textures from this site, it consists of whole textures of doors, windows, and bricks that come in handy. Go to "Free Stuff" and textures and browse through the collections.

    The 3D Studio - Great collection of quality textures

    3D Total - All the masters of 3D lie around this site. And it contains the best tutorials on 3D and some textures too.

    These are some sites, you can search for other 3D sites, or photographs sites. They'll do fine. It's all about what you want. You got a digital cam, start snapping. 4.gif 1) Open up the material editor, select "New" and select "Multi-Material" as shown:


    We will texture the house first, and cover it with bricks using this texture downloaded from 3D Cafe Brickwall texture Select the first sub material in this window, and name it "Bricks" or some other bricky name you like. Then click the button next to it. This brings out the parameters for the bricks material. Now, besides Diffuse is a colour swatch, next to it is a button, click it, this assigns maps to the material other than the colour. Two choices appear, bitmap and checker, select "Bitmap". Then choose the brick texture wherever you placed it. Make sure the "Show Map In Viewport" button is selected. Hit the "Go To Parent" button to go back to your original material.



    2) Now without closing the Material Editor drag the texture to the house. The house should change colour. What I mean by house is the mesh that doesn't include the window or door boxes or the roof.


    Close the Material Editor, select the house mesh, go to the Modify tab and add in the "Mesh Select" modifier under Selection Modifiers. Select Polygon and click drag the whole house mesh and select all the polygons in the house as shown:


    Without doing anything, directly add a "Material" modifier under Surface Modifiers and assign the Material ID value of 1 which is the material ID of the brick material. Then directly add a "UVW Mapping" modifier under UV Coordinate Modifier. The house mesh now seems to be textured but not correctly. Select "BOX" under Mapping, then scroll all the way down and play with the alignment settings but keep it as Y and press Fit button. This fits the bitmap for the size of the mesh which is still what we want. Scroll back up until you see the Length, Width, Height options, put in the values 30, 35, 23. Actually you might want to play around with the settings in UVW Mapping to see what's the best. I ended with this from the above settings:


    3) Open the material editor again, then select the second material for the door, name it some door name and I used this material from 3D Cafe: Wooden Door. Use the same steps as above, adding the bitmap, drag texture down to the door, then use mesh select to select the whole door, add material modifier with ID 2 symbolising the door material and then play around with UVW Map. For UVW Map, just use Box as usual, scroll all the way down select Z alightment and press Fit.

    4) For the windows you'll need more textures, so go to the material editor and set the number to whatever number of materials you need:


    For the windows, I used this material also from 3D Cafe: Windows. Same thing as before, material modifier with ID 3 this time and play with the UVW Map.

    5) Now the roof, I used this material also also from 3D Cafe: Roof. Same thing as before, material modifier with ID 4, and UVW Map with Box, X alignment and play with the length, width, height settings.

    6) After texturing, this is the final mesh from my part:


    Finally select the whole thing, click drag selecting everything, and then go "Group" -> Group in the menus, to group it as a whole, name it a name or something.

    What's Next

    1) You have the mesh, you have the textures. It's time to export. You might need to size down or size up the hosue model depending on how big or small you made it in the first place. I got mine trial and error. And I had no idea how to get the model from G-MAX to Simcity 4 until I ran into this tutorial: SimTropolis Article On B.A.T.

    - Please note that there are many ways to model and texture. The above method is just a way. You might want to follow other more efficient and creative modelling or texturing methods. E.g. the windows might do without the texture, you could use white boxes to make the frames, and use a transparent mapped box for the glass. You might even model blinds. Do the tutorials in G-MAX itself and set your creativity running and do different models, play around with everything, different textures and you'll find how powerful G-MAX is for doing gaming material.

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