Building village. Log #10 (Blender)
01.05.2017

          As I mentioned at the beginning, there certainly will be some changes and I just made one when building village. Because Altos is also inspired by Runescape, I studied their 3D models. Those models are low-poly, but the game looks still good. That's because they are using smooth shading. So 3D models are low poly but with texture you cant see sharp edges. Difference is shown on following picture.

 

shading

 

          On the left is flat shading and on the right is smooth shading. If I put texture with normal map on smooth shaded model, there wouldn't be visible any sharp edges. I would say this shading is used in many games, also along with many other shaders. I wnated to have same graphic as Runescape has, but after consulting with third party I decided to have flat shading with low poly models, thus add a bit artistic value to the game. Along with simple colour texturing it actually looks quite nice. Moreover I spend much less time by texturing and modeling. And I can change my mind anytime and just replace models and game will still work.

          According to story, which I dont want to reveal too much, you will start in a village as regular ordinary villager longing for adventure. So I need to create a village, or more like settlement. Just small farm with necessities needed to survive in contenporary age. So animal farm, smither, henhouse, well, lumberman (cabin) etc... There should be a mill, but since this settlement is located near by river, I'll build mill and filed there later. So I created terrain enough large for this area, but because of LOD (Level Of Details) it can't be too large. This terrain is just proporcionally edited plane.

 

terrain

 

          To create a texture I switch to edit mode [Tab], select all verticies [A] and unwrap UV [U, U]. I split view into two windows, in my case, I have two LCDs so I drag new created window [Shift+LMB] to second screen. Second view I'll change into UV editor. In UV editor I create new image for UV mapping. Switch to Paint mode, select color I want and just paint some texture. When it's done I'll click on Image>Save As Image and save the texture. To show the texture in 3D view you need to check Texture Solid in Option panel. I have created demonstration how to do it in one window.

 

 

          Then I'll continue with making buildings, starting with simple house with teracce, inspired from Skyrim. Just by editing primitives and folding them together I get someting like this.

 

hosue

 

          Texturing process is very similar to previous one. But here I need to have some order in colouring. There are two options, either I'll mark my mesh by seams, just by switching to Edit mode [Tab], then switch to Edges editing [Ctrl+Tab, E], then I'll select edges I want to be marked and mark them as seams [Ctrl+E, A] and finally unwrap model [U,U] (make sure you have selected all edges before unwraping [A,A]). It's the same as folding cube from paper, but in reverse. You need to select edges you want to split when unfolding object into 2D plane. But this method is quite slow for complex models, moreover in my case is much comfortable other method. Easier and quicker. I'll just select all verticies (or edges), then show UV menu [U] and select Smart UV project [S]. This method disassemble whole model in to faces. It's also good to set Island Margin to at least 0,5, so the polygons have spaces between each other in UV editor. This method is advantageous because I can have more colour variations in texture.

 

texture

 

Finished house looks like this.

 

textured house

 

          Rest of the settlement I'll do the same way.  Just deploy models on terrain as I want and of course I'll make roofs. These are separated models purposely, because they will be set transparent when player comes into the house. Whole settlement looks like this.

 

settlement

 

          The scene is quite simple, without details, but that will do for my purposes. In next log I'll import whole settlement into Unity and "make it works".