Over the course of this extensive 7 day series. Shray Khanna will guide you through the entire process of creating a next-gen, low poly vehicle using Maya and Photoshop. Throughout the series, Shray covers the complete next-gen pipeline in detail. In day 4 we'll prepare our model for subdivision and complete the high poly model.
Also available in this series:
- "Next-Gen Armored Car" Day 1
- "Next-Gen Armored Car" Day 2
- "Next-Gen Armored Car" Day 3
- "Next-Gen Armored Car" Day 4
- "Next-Gen Armored Car" Day 5
- "Next-Gen Armored Car" Day 6
- "Next-Gen Armored Car" Day 7
Now we have to create the High-Polygon mesh for the armored car, this will be used to generate Normal and Occlusion Maps. So for convenience, Duplicate the complete Low Poly mesh and add it into a new layer. Rename it "High" and then select the duplicated mesh, "Right click on the layer and click "Add Selected Objects".
Now to create the High poly mesh with Meshsmooth, we have to add supporting edges to the mesh on the corners mostly. So lets start with the front wheel-arch, just using "Insert Edge Loop Tool" start adding edges around the corners. (See images below).
Now add all these supporting edges to all the corners, you'll see we have a few extra edges, so remove the extra edges wherever they're not required. In the 3rd image below you can see that the mesh is smooth, to do this you just need to select the mesh that you wanted to preview as smoothed, and press 3 on your keyboard. NOTE: This is just a smooth 'preview' of the mesh and not actual Meshsmooth.
Now for the under side of the arch, using the "Split Polygon Tool", add edges to the inside. (the 'Insert Edge Loop Tool' won't work here, as it has a few open edges.)
Now complete the edge loops by merging vertices together, then add edges to the under part of the arch . And move the vertices towards the inner edge, and connect the edge loops further.
Just repeating the same procedure here, adding edge loops and getting rid of the extra loops that are not needed.
Now add a few extra edge loops to the center of the arch to have good tessellation after meshsmooth. is applied. Then "Mirror" the geometry, and keep the "Merge Threshold" at 0.01, to avoid merging of the center edges.
Now go to the lower Hook and start adding edge loops using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool", extrude faces wherever required. Then select the upper edge of the hook and Go to Edit Mesh>Bevel and open the Options box. In the option box, set the "Segments" to 2, then go to the Inputs Bevel and match the settings shown below.
Now here are a few small parts in which I just added support edges to make them smooth correctly with meshsmooth. Add edge loops to these parts following the images below.
Now we'll move onto the front gun and start adding supporting edges around the corners.
Using Extrude, add inner supporting edges and view it with the smooth preview (by pressing 3) to check if the shape is coming out as desired.
Now we move to the Main Body of the car. Start with it's front, by adding supporting edges and deleting unnecessary edge loops. Finally using the "Split polygon Tool" connect the discontinued loops.
Start Adding edges using the "Split Polygon Tool" and match the corner point as shown below, then make the upper edge a continued loop.
Now continue the edge loops that are left using the "Split Polygon Tool". Then improve the topology of the mesh on several parts as shown below, as this will help when meshsmooth. is applied (always check with the smooth preview to see how it will look when meshsmooth., to keep a tab on your progress.
Just the same approach here. Multiple edges added to give support.
Now move to the rear portion, and start adding supporting edges around these edges.
Now adding supporting edges on the rear portion and also improving the topology of the front part, as these loops reach to the front.
Now complete adding support edges to all the hard edged corners, and then add one loop in the center to have good tessellation Preview the mesh with 'smooth preview'. If everything looks correct, "Mirror" it and set the "Merge Threshold" to 0.01.
Now we move to front hatches of the car and add support edges, add another edge to the center for good tessellation And finally check it with smooth preview.
Now move to the upper hatch and for this mesh. First we have to improve the topology a bit so that we can add edge loops easily without much hassle. So just add a few edges to continue the loops and deleted a few edges that were breaking the continuity, then start adding edge loops using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool", as shown below.
Just the same procedure here of adding supporting edges and continuing loops to follow the mesh.
Just the follow up of the same mesh, using the same tools and techniques.
Follow up of the same mesh.
Same follow up of the upper hatch.
Add just one more supporting edge around the middle edge, as it will not need to be that sharp we can add just one edge. And preview the mesh with smooth preview to check.
Now we move to the round hatch, using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool" for supporting edges and "Extrude" for adding a few extra details that we'll bake into the Normal map only.
Now add supporting edges according to the sharpness required, and then check it with smooth preview.
Now go to these small parts over the circular hatch, and add supporting edges, remember to check it with smooth preview.
Now combine these small parts together with the circular hatch, then duplicate it and replace the other 2 hatches with the new ones.
Now pick the small holder for the side pipe and start adding supporting edges to it. Then for the small details, extrude the center and the side faces together, as shown.
Now select the "Move Tool" only, and go to Display>UI Elements>ToolSettings. Then in the Move Tool settings click on "Set to Edge", you'll notice that your Move Tool is not visible now, just click on the edge shown in image 3, and you'll notice that the axis of your move tool is converted into the axis of the selected edge. Now this will help you in moving the edge in that particular axis very easily.
Now using the same technique, move this edge near the corner edge, then add a few edge loops around the center edges using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool". Then select the center edge of one planar side and move them a little bit to the inside. Repeat the same procedure with the other side's center edges. Then add supporting edges to all these center edges like shown.
Now to remove the extra edges that are not required. First merge all the vertices to the corner (for both corners), and then select all the edges that are left and delete them. Then just duplicate the mesh and replace it with the one below.
Now we move to the fuel tanks placed on both sides of the car. Start by adding supporting edges around the corner edges using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool", and then check the smooth preview of the mesh.
Now pick the base of the tank, and as it's a very plain surface. Add some detail that will we can use for the Normal Map. Now "Extrude" the center face twice, and create a shape like this (3).
Now add a few supporting edges around the outer corner edges, but this loop will also accompany the central shape. So in Vertices mode, select the vertices around the central shape and move them further away from the edges (2)(3).
Now select the corner vertices of the central shape and scale in the Y and Z axis one at a time (1). (Do not scale in the X-axis, as this will squeeze the vertices). Make the contour of the central shape rounded. Then add supporting edges so it will smooth correctly with meshsmooth. (2). Then select the faces of outer ring (3).
Just add supporting edges and get rid of the extra edges, finally add some edges to support the curved shape on the corners only.
Now to the small hooks around the tank, add supporting edges as shown.
Now the connector between the Tank and the Car, I just did the same approach of adding supporting edges at the corners and a few in between to support the roundness.
Now for the few small parts, I've followed the same procedure using the same tools and techniques. I showing you the final result only, as all these surfaces are pretty simple and just require using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool".
All these small parts were done using the same procedure.
Same procedure is used for exhaust pipes and the utility box.
Tail light was done the exact same way.
Now we move onto the top portion and pick the Turret Gun Nozzle first, I just added Supporting edges as shown. Here is the final result.
Now to the Sub nozzle of the gun, following the same procedure again.
Now start adding supporting edges to the nozzle base and delete the left half, so you don't have to do the same task twice.
Now as this shape is a bit complicated, we have to use the "Split Polygon Tool" for a few of the surfaces to get the desired edge loops.
Now check if the surface is coming out proper with meshsmooth., then start adding supporting edges to the parts that are left.
Just following the same procedure here too. And also getting rid of any extra "not required" edge loops.
Just improving the mesh topology for the meshsmooth. here. Finally mirror it and change the threshold to 0.01.
Now the lower spherical part of the gun is fine for meshsmooth., so we pick the small part near the gun, and start putting supporting edges around the corner edges.
Just following the same procedure here of adding supporting edges. Once we have the edges added, mirror it with a merge threshold of 0.01.
Now pick the main turret, and add the supporting edges. As this one is a very complex object, we cannot only use the "Insert Edge Loop Tool", we also have to use the "Split Polygon Tool" too on most of the geometry.
Just the follow up on the same mesh, using the "Split Polygon Tool", "Collapse" on the edges and the "Insert Edge Loop Tool" again.
Follow up on the same procedure as shown below.
Now we also have to make sure to get rid of any additional edges in the geometry, and also improve the topology. Finally check with the smooth preview, you'll notice the very sharp corner edges (which we don't want). So for these, we'll follow certain steps.
Now to make the corners smooth, we need to lower the side edge loop and keep the upper edge a certain distance away using the Move and Scale Tools. Check with the smooth preview, and once we have the desired smoothness, we can get rid of the additional edges we don't need.
Now move on to adding supporting edges to the details, as shown below.
Check the smooth preview, and you'll notice a few dents just below both lower corners. So to remove the dents, select both of the lower vertices (2) and move them up a little bit. Then add supporting edge to the remaining details, as shown in the images below.
Now for the inner supporting edges, we have to use the "Split Polygon Tool" and then use "Collapse" to merge the edges. And also add supporting edges to the extruded shape.
Now remove the additional edges and improve the topology of the corner edges.
Now following the same procedure of adding supporting edges. All these small parts are ready for meshsmooth.
Using the same procedures, add support to the mounted gun too.
Now we move to the rim of the Wheel, in this portion of the rim, we have to add details for our Normal map, so first add edges using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool", then "Extrude" the ring of faces. Finally add supporting edges where necessary.
Now extrude the center faces to add support edges for both sides, and check with the smooth preview again.
Now for the rear rim, just follow the same procedures as before, to add supporting edges where needed..
Now for the tire tread, this is one of the best technique I know of. First create a simple Polygon Cube, then delete the bottom and side faces. Then select the 2 corner edges and "Bevel" them. Then delete the small faces created from beveling, then add one more edge to both sides and scale them to give a bit of roundness to the side walls. Using the "Insert Edge Loop Tool" add few edges according to the tread shape required.
Now select these front 5 faces on left side and the rear 5 faces on right side (1). Extrude them as shown, then select the 2 edge loops and delete them.
Now join the two open vertices diagonally using the "Split Polygon Tool" and then insert edge loops in the center of both the indented shapes, so that all the vertices are at an equivalent distance. Then in Vertex mode, select the vertices on one side and by using "Discrete Scale" in the Scale settings. Scale them on the X-Axis to make them planar. Repeat the same process on the opposite side's vertices too. Finally do remember to turn off the "Discrete Scale" option.
Now duplicate the mesh and place it next to original one, here you'll be able to see a few gaps in the vertices. So on the second mesh, tweak the vertices a bit and snap them to the first one's.
Delete the First mesh now as the second has all the vertices snapped properly, so we'll use it. Now duplicate the mesh around 30 times and combine it, then Go to Create Deformers>Nonlinear>Bend.
Deformers are modifiers that we can use to deform our meshes Non-linearly. "Bend" does as it says and bends the surface on one particular axis and that is the Z-Axis in our case. So when using "Bend" always make sure that the Z-Axis is perpendicular to the surface, as the curvature will only happen in the Z-Axis.
Now Under INPUTS>bend1 try increasing the "Curvature" value to some random figure just to check the curvature.
Now as you can see, the Curvature is inverted. So put a value of -3.15 for the "Curvature" and you'll get your tire tread. Now create a "Group" consisting of the mesh and the Bend deformer by selecting them both and pressing Ctrl+g. Then select the group only and place it just over the Side view's front wheel.
Now only select the Bend Deformer and move it down a little bit, you'll notice the diameter of the tire is increasing because we're shifting the pivot of the curvature by moving the deformer.So using this match the size of the tire to the image, as shown.
Now we've completed the Tire tread using only a few simple techniques and without much hassle. And remember one thing that the value of the "Curvature" may vary while doing the same thing again, so just adjust the values accordingly.
Now select all the vertices of the tread and merge them with a "Threshold" of 0.001, as we have just combined the mesh, but haven't merged the vertices yet.
Now increase the size of the outer rim a bit so that Tread mesh will fit under it, and scale the inner loop of the Tread so that it won't intersect the rim.
Now create the same outer rim for the rear wheel.
And again scale the outer edge loop of the tread to contain it inside the rim.
Apply the smooth preview to the rim, but not to the Tread. And your high poly wheel is ready to go.
Now to add some more details. Create a Polygon Sphere and scale it down on the Y-axis, then delete the lower half, and create two Polygon Cubes, and place as shown (intersecting with the sphere).
Now select the Sphere and then select one of the Cubes, and Go to Mesh>Booleans>Difference. What Boolean does is add, subtract or intersect a mesh.
As you'll see, the outcome is the subtraction of the Cube from Sphere. So again select the Sphere and then the other Cube and press G (which is "Repeat Last Command"). And here is the final result of our nut bolt.
Now with Boolean sometimes the mesh will be distorted, or parts will get deleted. So for this use the "Append Polygon Tool"to fill any visible holes.
Now place that bolt over the rim and change it's pivot to the center of the wheel.
Now Duplicate the Bolt and using the "Discrete Rotation" option in the Rotation settings. Rotate 7 copies of the bolt an even distance apart, as shown.
Now just using the Move and Rotate Tools, place some bolts on the front of the car body, as shown below.
Here I have placed a few more copies of the bolt.
Also place a few more bolts on the tanker base as well.
And the last bolts are placed on the rear part.
Now we have to apply the actual Meshsmooth. to all of the meshes. As the smooth preview is only a preview and not actually Meshsmooth. So select the main base and Go to Mesh>Smooth's "Option" box.
Now change the "Division levels" to 3, as 3 levels are more than sufficient for this.
After applying the Smooth you will notice the mesh's face count has increased drastically, improving the smoothness of the completed mesh.
Now select the Turret and press G to repeat the last command.
Now select all the meshes except for the tire treads and apply the Meshsmooth. to them.
And here is our complete High Poly Armored Car model.
Conclusion of Day 4
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