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Generic 3D Game Dude 1 - Modelling the Body/Legs

Psionic3d.co.uk Tutorials Oct 21, 2005

This tutorial is going to go through the process of creating a generic character for use in Game Engines Such as Blitz 3D, Halflife etc, Once complete the model will be available for FREE download. The modelling will done in Cinema 4D, UV's in Unwrap 3D and skin in Photoshop but feel free to use your preferred software. This part will go through the UV unwrapping of a basic character using the latest version of Unwrap3D ;-) I hope you find it useful, Read on...

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OK first off after modelling your character he/she must be divided into useful groups! As you can see in Cinema 4D I've split it into arms, legs, hand, foot, body and head. NOTE: The body and head ARE full, the legs/arms etc will be mirrored in the TEXTURE but I want to unwrap the head and body fully so we can add a scar onto one side of his face if needed or writing on his coat etc..OK export to 3ds and open in Unwrap 3D

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Upon opening the UV's are a mess, to sort it out 1. Select the "Arm" as shown 2. In FACE MODE you can see the arm is selected, then 3. Apply ONE SIDED PLANAR MAPPING 3. to the front and 4. Apply, now as you can see the arm has been mapped from the front, move it away from the mess in FACE MODE still and select the next part/group...

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Select each group and map from front or side and move them apart until you get something like above, now all nice groups and its obvious which is which (although I forget the foot at this point ;-)))

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Now onto mapping em properly, this is by far my favourite tool and makes things easy. 1. Select the Arm and Choose INTERACTIVE MAPPING and CYLINDRICAL, the Gizmo will appear in the 3D window 2. Choose ROTATE and rotate the cylinder roughly to match the position of the arm as shown. 3. Spin it about and watch the 2D UV view as well, you want to get something that looks like the above, fairly even with a definate seam!

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In 1, POINT MODE we can 2. Select the seams on each end as shown and 3. You can see the seem runs down the back edge of the arm, This is basically where the two sides meet and is a little too obvious, we wanna hide that seam on the inside of the arm really...see next step...

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1. By selecting a vertical row of points and experimenting we can find out that this column is fine and 2. Runs down the inside of the arm, Much better....

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Having identified "where" we want the seam its time to make that happen...1. In FACE MODE select the faces on the left side that meet that seam as shown, 2. Drag here to move it HORIZONTALLY to the 3. The OTHER SIDE, as you can see the edge/seam more or less matches up and the ends now meet down that Inner seam of the arm..Sweet!!

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To tidy up the new points 1. Select POINT MODE, 2. Select that vertical column of points as shown, 3. Click WELD, 4. Type 0.01 in the box, 5. Apply, 6. This magically welds all points that are within that range, effectively sealing any holes etc!!

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Just to tidy up 1. select the bottom faces which are the cuff ends and 2. Planar Map it from the TOP as shown and move it away so it doesn't interfere with the next parts!!

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To tidy things up some more 1. Select the bottom row of points as shown 2. Click STRAIGHTEN HORIZONTALLY and 3. the whole row will be straightened....nice!

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And again for the sides 1. and 2. Select and 3. STRAIGHTEN VERTICALLY

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Ok time to apply a checker texture!! 1. RIGHT-CLICK material and choose ADD, 3. Choose the maps tab and 4. Choose "CHECKER" for the diffuse map, 5. OK, 6. Select all FACES (I just have the arm selected at this point) and 7. Choose ASSIGN!! A checker texture is applied ideal for spotting stretching/warping etc

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As you can see the checker is Applied to all FACES now!! Anyway onto the leg, select the leg and Choose INTERACTIVE MAPPING again and CYLINDRICAL and line it up over the leg, reset if need be! Now slowly tweak and rotate until again you get something like above.

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1. Again we can find the inner seam by testing and selecting points vertically and seeing how they line up on the model...2. in FACE MODE select the left half upto the inner seam as shown....

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1. drag HORIZONTALLY here until 2. That half is over the other side as shown! As you can see the edges dont quite match up, see next step...

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1. Select all those vertical points and 2. Click WELD and 3. WELD at 0.01 to close em up nicely!

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More tidying up again 1. POINT MODE use 2. STRAIGHTEN VERTICALLY and HORIZONTALLY to straighten 3, 4 and 5 as shown.

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Now onto the body, 1. FACE MODE and PLANAR MAP it 3. From the side as shown, this is to allow us to select certain parts easily...

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First thing the collar, 1. Select it in FACE MODE making sure its the only thing selected and using the 3D selection as well if need be, 2. PLANAR MAP it from the TOP 3. and we get the collar mapped from above and seperate, now move it away into space...

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This leaves us with just the body. 1. Select all the faces facing FRONT, 2. PLANAR MAP EM from the FRONT, 4. Select the BACK faces, 5. PLANAR MAP em from the 6. BACK as shown here.

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1. As you can see here the sides are stretching. 2. Select the points at the back using the 3D selection if needed and 3. EDIT 4. SCALE and 5. CORNER FREE....see next step...

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1. Pull out this side first 2. Then pull out this side untangling those faces and 3. giving them some UV space to stop the stretching. This is a common way to do anything thats reasonably flat, MAP it straight on and pull out the sides.

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1. Same thing here with the shoulders 2. Stretching.....arrrgh!! 3. Drag these points upwards and 4. The warping is much less severe now!

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Tidy up time again, 1. Select these points and STRAIGHTEN em, then do 3 and 4 and as you can see 5. We have seamless from front to back (might need tweaking later ;-))

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onto the Head, 1. FACE MODE as usual, 2. Choose CYLINDRICAL MAPPING as shown 3. Choose Y Axis, 4. In this case the seam needed rotating by 180 degrees and 5. Apply......simple as that...well almost...

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the top of the head is a bit messed up and theres various ways to map heads, this is just one ;-) 1+2. Select all the FACES on top of the head. 3+4. and PLANAR MAP em from the TOP as shown...

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Just to tidy up the seam along the front of the hairline and top of head 1. drag these points one by one to roughly over the lower points 2. This is the edge were tidying at this point 3. I used the WELD to fuse all those points together as shown, the other seams on the head will be covered by experimenting with the texture....erm hopefully!

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I've also mapped the hand and foot as you can see but I'm sure you can figure those out now!! Right now all this stuff has to go into the box marked "1" the method is basically to decide what needs lots of texture space ie. head, body and what needs less like hands/feet/collar etc and scale things roughly to the sizes you think will work...then experiment with various layouts, this part is like a jigsaw puzzle and with experience you'll improve and also speed up ;-)

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After settling on a layout 1. File 2. Export and 3. UV MAP to export a template that will be used to paint your skin over...

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Heres the UV template at 512x512 and ready to get some paint thrown on it, which will be in the next Part of this Tutorial series, coming soon!!! I Hope you found this tutorial useful and as usual feel to drop by the forums and ask any questions etc!!

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