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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Blender
Cgi

Creating a Low Poly Medieval House in Blender: Part 2

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Marking the Seams and Unwrapping the Model

Step 1

The seams are the lines from where the mesh gets unstitched to unwrap it onto the UV Editor, for further texturing and painting. 

If you are in Object mode, select the house with right-click and press Tab to enter edit mode. Select Vertex or Edge mode from the toolbar or press Ctrl-Tab to select.

Select edge select mode
Enter edit mode

Step 2

Select any edge or point of the main building, by right-clicking on it and pressing Ctrl-L to select all connected edges—only that mesh. Press Shift-H to hide rest of the mesh.

Select the house and hide the rest
Select the house and hide the rest

Step 3

Press A on the keyboard to deselect all. Hold Shift and then right-click on the edges where the roof starts, one by one, to select them all.

Select edges under the roof
Select edges under the roof

Hold Shift and right-click on the center edges as shown in the image from both front and back.

Select edges
Select edges

Step 4

Press Ctrl-E to bring out the Edges menu and click on Mark Seams. The selected edges turns red.

Mark selected edges as seams
Mark selected edges as seams

I have marked the seams such way that the roof gets completely separated. To test this, switch to Face select mode. Move the mouse over the roof and press L

All the faces separated by the seam are now selected. If the whole mesh got selected, then you might have missed some edge to mark seam.

Test the seams
Test the seams

Step 5

Switch back to Edge-select mode. Hold Shift and then right-click on the side edges of the house as shown in the image. Press Ctrl-E and click on mark seams.

Mark Seams on sides
Mark Seams on sides

Step 6

Drag the 3D view from the corner to split it into two.

Split the viewport
Split the viewport

Click on the Editor Type button and select UV/Image editor.

Open UV Editor
Open UV Editor

Step 7

Now select all faces by pressing A key, as you need to unwrap the whole, visible, mesh. 

Press U to bring out the UV Mapping menu and click on Unwrap. The selected faces are unwrapped in the UV Editor.

Unwrap the mesh
Unwrap the mesh

Step 8

In the UV Editor, adjust the points to give the packs or UV islands a neat and tidy shape. The commands in the UV Editor are same -

  • Hover over any group and press L to select the group
  • Select any vertex or vertices of the group and press Ctrl-L to select the whole group with connecting vertices
  • Hold Shift for multiple select
  • A to deselect / Select all
  • W to bring out the weld/Align menu

Here are other commands for the UV editor, though they are same as the editing commands in 3D view.

  • G to move
  • R to Rotate
  • S to scale
  • Mouse wheel to Zoom in/out
  • Shift-Middle mouse button and drag to Pan

To maximize the UV Editor, move the mouse over the UV Editor and press Ctrl-Up Arrow.  Press Ctrl-Up arrow to toggle back.

Edit the vertices in UV Editor
Edit the vertices in UV Editor

Step 9

In the UV editor, press A to select all vertices. Press G and move them away from the grid plane. 

I did this because the UV mesh of all mesh will land here and would overlap each other. So to avoid this move them from the default position.

Move the mesh away form the grid
Move the mesh away form the grid

Step 10

  • In the 3D view, press Alt-H to reveal all hidden vertices and mesh
  • Press A to deselect everything. Select the side part of the building as it is a separate mesh
  • Ensure you're in the Edge-select mode. Move the mouse over to any edge and press L to select all connected edges
  •  Press Shift-H to hide all the unselected mesh
Select the side part and hide the rest
Select the side part and hide the rest

Step 11

Similar to the main building, mark seams at the edge of the roof and this time, two at the bottom. Right click to select edge and Ctrl-E to mark seams. 

Select all of the mesh with A key and then press U and select unwrap. Check the seams and try different edges for seams to unwrap well. 

If you didn't delete the back face, ensure you do it before unwrapping

Mark seams and unwrap the mesh

Step 12

In the UV editor, press A to select all. Press G and move to another area so that they don't overlap with previous or next unwrapped data.

Move the selected mesh away from the center
Move the selected mesh away from the center

Step 13

Press Alt-H to reveal the hidden mesh. Press A to deselect all. Select only the planks created all around the main building. If you are in Edge-select mode, hover the mouse over the edge of any of the plank and press L to select it. Repeat this to select all.

Select all planks
Select all planks

Step 14

With all the planks selected, press U and click on unwrap. Since I've deleted the faces at the back of the planks, I don't need to mark the seam. 

If you didn't delete the face then you have to create seams so that they get unwrapped nicely.

Unwrap the selected mesh
Unwrap the selected mesh

Step 15

In the UV Editor press A key to select all vertices. Press G and move them away from the main grid.

Move the selection away
Move the selection away

Step 16

Press A to deselect everything. Right-click on the edge of the balcony and press Ctrl-L to select all vertices connected. Press Shift-H to hide unselected mesh.

Select the balcony and hide the rest
Select the balcony and hide the rest

Step 17

Hold Shift and then right-click on the edges as shown in the image to select them. Press Ctrl-E and mark them as seams.

Mark Seams
Mark Seams

Step 18

Press A to select all vertices/edges. Press U to bring out the UV Mapping menu and click on Unwrap.

Unwrap the balcony
Unwrap the balcony

Step 19

Select and adjust the vertices in the UV Editor. The commands are written in step 8. Press W in the UV Editor to bring out the align menu. Choose according to your needs. 

Select all vertices with A key and move it away from the main grid with G key.

Tweak the vertices in UV Editor
Tweak the vertices in UV Editor

Step 20

Press Alt-H to reveal the hidden mesh. Select only the window and press Shift-H to hide rest.

Select the window mesh and hide the rest
Select the window and hide the rest

Step 21

Mark seams as shown in the image. You have to practice a lot on where to mark seams. Experiment with different edges and unwrap them to see different results. Ensure all the faces which are not needed are deleted.

Select edges and mark seams
Select edges and mark seams

Step 22

Select all edges of the window with A key. Press U to bring the UV Mapping menu and click on Unwrap.

Unwrap the selected mesh
Unwrap the selected mesh

Step 23

Select all vertices in the UV Editor with A key and move it away from the main grid. Use S key to scale them down. 

Do the same for the second window of the ground floor.

Move the selected vertices away
Move the selected vertices away

Step 24

Similarly mark seams in the front sign board.

Mark seams on the sign board
Mark seams on the sign board

Step 25

Select all of the vertices with A key and press U and select Unwrap.

Unwrap the selection
Unwrap the selection

Select all vertices in the UV Editor and move it away from the main grid. Scale them down with S key. 

In the 3D view press Alt-H to reveal all parts.

Move the unwrapped vertices away from the center grid
Move the unwrapped vertices away from the center grid

Step 26

Press A to deselect everything. Select all the beams and columns by moving the mouse over the edge and pressing L key. 

Press Shift-H to hide all the unselected part.

Select the beams and supports
Select the beams and supports

Step 27

Mark seams as shown in the image. Right-click to select any edge and then Ctrl-E to bring out the edge menu to Mark Seam.

Mark seams
Mark seams

Select the side edge of the support as shown below and mark it as seam.

Mark seams
Mark seams

Make sure the faces which are not needed are deleted.

Delete the back faces
Delete the back faces

Step 28

In the 3D view press A to select all. Press U to bring the UV Mapping menu and click on Unwrap to unwrap them.

Unwrap the selected mesh
Unwrap the selected mesh

Step 29

With those vertices selected, move them away from the main grid with G key.

Move selected vertices
Move selected vertices

Step 30

In the 3D view press Alt-H to reveal the hidden parts. Select the door frame and hide the rest of the mesh.

Select the door frame and hide the rest
Select the door frame and hide the rest

Step 31

I will unwrap it differently. Pres Ctrl-1 to get into back view. With the door frame selected, press U and select Project from view.

Unwrap the mesh
Unwrap the mesh

Step 32

Select the outer vertices by moving the mouse over the edge and press Alt-right-click. Press S and scale it out a bit. 

Similarly select the bottom most edge loop and scale it out so that it doesn't overlap on any other edge loop. Adjust the vertices to give a neat look.

Tweak the vertices
Tweak the vertices

Step 33

Press Alt-H to reveal the hidden mesh. Press A to deselect everything. Move the mouse over the edge of the stairway and press L key to select connected edges. 

Press U and select Unwrap.

Unwrap the stairs
Unwrap the stairs

Step 34

Press A to deselect all. Select the front stairway and press Shift-H to hide rest.

Select the front stairs and hide the rest
Select the front stairs and hide the rest

Step 35

Select the edges as shown—hold Shift and then right click on the edges for multiple selection—and then press Ctrl-E and select Mark Seam.

Mark seams
Mark seams

Step 36

Press A to select all edges and then press U and click on Unwrap.

Unwrap the selected mesh
Unwrap the selected mesh

Step 37

With the UVs selected, press G and move it away from the main grid area.

Move the selected vertices away from the grid
Move the selected vertices away from the grid

Step 38

Press Alt-H to reveal the hidden area. Press A to deselect all. Now select only the front part and press Shift-H.

Select the front part
Select the front part

Step 39

Select the edges and mark them as seams.

Mark seams
Mark seams

Step 40

Press A to select all and press U and click on Unwrap.

Unwrap the selected mesh
Unwrap the selected mesh

Step 41

Similarly mark seams on the upper part and unwrap it.

Mark seams and unwrap the small roof
Mark seams and unwrap the small roof

Step 42

For the chimney too, mark the side edge loop as seam and then Unwrap it. Straighten up and align the vertices properly in the UV Editor.

Unwrap the chimney
Unwrap the chimney

Step 43

Press Alt-H to reveal all parts of the mesh. Press A to select all to see all the unwrapped data in the UV Editor.

Unwrapped model
Unwrapped model

Step 44

Arrange all the island groups such that it fits neatly inside the grid. Here are the commands.

The commands in the UV Editor are same:

  • Hover over any group and press L to select the group
  • Select any vertex or vertices of the group and press Ctrl-L to select the whole group with connecting vertices
  • Hold Shift for multiple select
  • A to deselect/Select-all
  • W to bring out the weld/Align menu

Here are other commands for the UV editor, though they are same as the editing commands in 3D view.

  • G to move
  • R to Rotate
  • S to scale
  • Mouse wheel to Zoom in/out
  • Shift-Middle mouse button and drag to Pan

To maximize the UV Editor, move the mouse over the UV Editor and press Ctrl-up Arrow. Press Ctrl-up arrow to toggle back.

Arrange the UV groups
Arrange the UV groups

Texturing and Painting

Step 1

In the UV Editor click on New Image.

Add a new image
Add a new image

I'll use the default dimensions of 1024x1024.

New image settings
New image settings
New image preview
New image preview

Step 2

In the 3D view, press Tab again to exit edit mode, and add a plane below the model. This plane will prevent light to come from down, and help achieve nicer shades while baking the AO data (in the next step). 

You can skip baking the Ambient Occlusion if you want to use the dynamic lighting of the game engine, for which you are creating the model.

Add a plane
Add a plane

Step 3

I will bake the Ambient Occlusion data onto the image. This will add shadow information to the image, giving a nice effect. Click on the World button on the Properties panel. 

 Tick the Ambient Occlusion check box in the panel, and input the value of Samples to 10 or more.

Ambient occlusion settings
Ambient occlusion settings

Open up the Render panel in the property window. Scroll Down to Bake Panel. Select Bake mode to Ambient Occlusion

Increase the Margin to 10px, and finally hit the Bake button. In few seconds, and the image will be updated.

Bake settings
Bake settings

In the 3D View, Press Alt-Z to view the model with textured applied. Use Alt-Z again to toggle back to shaded view.

Texture image preview
Texture image preview

Step 4

Save the image, preferably in .png format.

Save image
Save image
Image settings
Image settings

Step 5

With the model selected, Press TAB to enter into edit mode. Select all vertices with A key. In the UV Editor, click on the UVs menu and select Export UV Layout.

Export UV layout
Image settings

Select the .png format and decrease the Fill Opacity to 0.00.

Export settings
Export settings

Step 6

Open the image with Baked AO data, in your favorite image editor.

Open image in image editor
Open image in image editor

In a new layer on top, put the UV Layout you exported.

Add UV layer
Add UV layer

Step 7

Create a new layer in between the Wire and AO layer. This will be the layer on which you can paint the texture. You can create more layers for painting but keep them between the Wire and AO Layers.

Add a new layer to paint
Add a new layer to paint

Step 8

Paint the texture with the Wire frame as guidelines. Set the paint layer to Multiply or hard light or overlay. You can experiment with the transparency levels. You will see that the AO layer automatically gives nice shades to the texture overall.

Paste some seamless textures for stone wall and roof top in different layers and set them to multiply or overlay.  You can adjust the brightness and contrast of the AO layer. Save the image in .psd format. Turn off the layer visibility for the Wire layer and export it to .png format.

Texture painting in layers
Texture painting

Step 9

Get back to Blender. In the edit mode, with all the vertices selected, open your exported .png image, in the UV Editor.

Open image
Open image

If you don't see the texture on the model in the 3D view, Press Alt-Z to enable Texture View Mode.

Texture preview
Texture preview

Step 10

In the Materials panel, reduce the specular intensity to zero. Scroll down to Options, and check Face Textures. You can also make the material shadeless by checking the shadeless tick box under the Shading panel. Save the file.

Material settings
Material settings

Step 11

Press Tab if you are still in the edit mode. The model is now ready for export or use within Blender.

Model is now ready
Model is now ready




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