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3D Model Creation

After being approved in the concepting phase, environments and props move on to become actual 3D models.

Following the concepts as a reference in building, the objects are modeled in Maya or a similar 3D modeling package.

As soon as the polygons are created in the form of the object, the UVs are laid out. These are basically coordinates that every surface uses to determine where on the texture that face will be mapped. UVs are points that directly correlate to each vert (or point) that make up a 3D model. Think of "UV" as pretty much X and Y on a 2D plane; horizontal and vertical.

The texture(s) used for any given object or scene contain all the surfaces that will "skin" the model, making it look lifelike with all the varied patterns and colors that comprise it. In the farmhouse image, several of the polygons that make up the overhang are selected, and the corresponding UVs shapes highlight in the texture.

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The Null Chamber scene shows many of the Maya tools and dialog boxes used when working with 3D models. These include windows that display all the nodes (individual objects) in a 3D scene, UV and texture displays, and the attribute editor which is used for a variety of tasks like giving information on the file path and options for textures like shown.

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All the textures in the game are actually hand painted to give that cartoony look. Most videogames today use actual photographs to create their textures.

As you could guess, modeling, UV layout and hand painting textures for every single object in the game whether it's a pebble or expansive jungle ruins takes an immense amount of work. It's much more than we could handle internally at Gaia, so we get help through modeling outsourcing companies. We've worked with two both out of China: Vykarian and Pearl Digital.

After receiving the completed 3D models from these outsourcers, there's usually an amount of cleanup, optimization or just general tweaking that's involved internally to make the models look more like the concepts, or just better in general.

Even though we have outside help, some areas and props in the game were actually created totally in house, while many others were created internally through manipulation and repurposing of existing models.

Next up will be some asset organization, then moving on to the process of rendering out these 3D models--

Previous topics:
Overview of Environment Art Pipeline

Concept to Flash Implementation

Prop Concepting
gataka's avatar

Familiar Lunatic

I was expecting this! : D
Boardwalk?
:O
EDIT: less haste, less waste >.<
Wrath of the Gods's avatar

Shameless Loiterer

This is so awesome. I never know 3D can be so...complicated. xD
:O

What is the benefit of creating everything in 3D first? Since everything ends up being 2D anyways, why not just draw them that way?
ashitagaaru's avatar

Wheezing Millionaire

I bet this is going to lag on my computer a lot , but I'll play it anyway. xd
Valheita's avatar

Vicious Nerd

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*makes notes*

Go on.
Meromictic's avatar

Winged Senshi

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Wow. XD

The null chamber looks like a really intense project.
Very cool!
curl your s'taches
Kaitan Guo's avatar

Witty Shapeshifter

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Ohmagaaawd, I wish we could get an uber fullsize version of the null chamber to oggle at. It looks amazing from a different angle than the one we're all so accustomed to. *A*
Dalia Royce's avatar

Buggy Glitch

Very nice.
tangocat777's avatar

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Cool. I'm actually learning how to use UVs now myself.
I'm using Blender for my modeling.

Very interesting, the 3d view of the ranch is really paradigm-shifting.
Valheita's avatar

Vicious Nerd

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Kaitan Guo
Ohmagaaawd, I wish we could get an uber fullsize version of the null chamber to oggle at. It looks amazing from a different angle than the one we're all so accustomed to. *A*
Agreed o.o;;
OMG...its soo hwat..-drools-

xD Haha it looks awesome, i would just love to learn how to do it ><
YumeHatake
i would just love to learn how to do it ><
obby o///o
Awesomness, yes, that's the word I'm looking for, I love how you work.

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