AuthorTopic: First low poly attempt, some help would be good. -Warning: may burn your eyes-  (Read 11707 times)

Offline MegaLeon

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Hi guys
I was modeling for a while, but i never attempted a a proper texture.
So today i pixk a box, gave it two arms and two legs, and see what i could make out of it.
I did a rapid work, trying to get the basis.



Ok, it's a box.
But now let's give a look at the UV:



GOD! It's all messed up! I basically took parts of its body and did flatten-unfold-box mapping. Legs and arms were so crooked that i directly over-boxed them.
Unfortunatly i saved this template over the painted one (-.-') so it's one-time work.

Better!
You can help me making a good UV!
How do i do a proper UV? I keep seeing tidied UVs, where every piece is where it's supposed to be. Often i see one piece on the UV that is repeated along the model (In my case, it would be legs or arms). How can i do that? And what aboutl squared-UV, like madpixl's ones? You basically scale and rotate every face until it's a square?
Give me your best tips guys, i'm looking foward to it

Offline Rox

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UVs, eh? Fun stuff. First of all, what are those faces on the UV that have little notches leading in to squres? Is the entire model one piece and you cut the sides up to extrude the arms and legs out of them? Don't do that. Since the body is really just a cube and there's no reason for a smooth transition between body and limbs, there's nothing wrong with having the arms and legs be their own meshes. Like, just have a cube for the body, then create a new cube, reshape it into an arm and put it there by the side. That way you'll save a lot of polygons, and the UV will be a bit neater, too.

As for the UV itself, you don't want square UVs. Yours fit the shape of the object, and that's the most important thing. If the shapes don't match, the pixels will end up stretched and wonky when applying the texture to the object. One thing you could (and should) do, however, is overlapping UVs. Just have both arms share the same UV space, and both the legs as well. I doubt you're going to have a completely asymmetrical texture, so just make the UVs overlap. That way you can use the same texture space in multiple places on the character. You could also have both the sides of the body, and maybe even the bottom and top and back, all use the same one square in the texture space. That depends on how much light information you're going to paint into the texture, of course, and how you go about doing that.

Other than that, I can't say much right now. Just one tip for the eyes: The highlight on the iris should be on the bottom, not the top. While the eye itself is round, and extrudes outward, the iris actually goes inward, so the lighter bit should be at the bottom. It usually looks good to have the iris be shaded that way, then put a strong white highlight near the top, as well, to suggest the shape of the actual eyeball.

Offline MegaLeon

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That's some interesting piece of information you've got there.
One thing you could (and should) do, however, is overlapping UVs. Just have both arms share the same UV space, and both the legs as well. I doubt you're going to have a completely asymmetrical texture, so just make the UVs overlap. That way you can use the same texture space in multiple places on the character. You could also have both the sides of the body, and maybe even the bottom and top and back, all use the same one square in the texture space. That depends on how much light information you're going to paint into the texture, of course, and how you go about doing that.



I got it. In order to make some practice, i'm doing a treasure box, where a lot of elements are supposed to repeat.
Is there some easy and effective way to overlap UVs without mistakes?
For example, the top of the box is supposed to repeat, now: do i have to take and manually move the selected piece above the upper one, and so one until i have all four pieces one upper another? It's difficult to have pixel-precision with free hand.

Oh, and another thing: for example, iif a have to draw an entire wall with a flat pattern, it is possibile to have, let's say, only 10 pixel of pattern on the UV and then make it repeat (Tile it) on the plane, instead of having just one all distorted?

Offline Rox

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I got it. In order to make some practice, i'm doing a treasure box, where a lot of elements are supposed to repeat.
Is there some easy and effective way to overlap UVs without mistakes?
For example, the top of the box is supposed to repeat, now: do i have to take and manually move the selected piece above the upper one, and so one until i have all four pieces one upper another? It's difficult to have pixel-precision with free hand.

Oh, and another thing: for example, iif a have to draw an entire wall with a flat pattern, it is possibile to have, let's say, only 10 pixel of pattern on the UV and then make it repeat (Tile it) on the plane, instead of having just one all distorted?
Well, I don't know what software you're using, but both Maya and XSI, that I used, have snap functions for UVs as well as align options. Like, drag all the squares to roughly the same area, then select left side, align to left, select right side, align to right, and repeat for up and down. Or, if that option exists, select all left corners and snap to grid, or something, then snap another corner to another point in the grid. Whatever works. It's just a matter of learning the tools you're using, and I'm afraid I don't know yours.

As for repeating UVs... Yes, and no. If you want an entire object, say a building, to use only one texture file, then you need as many subdivisions in the surface that you want to tile, as times you want the textures to tile, so you can overlap all those UVs. But that's very inefficient and I wouldn't recommend it. The only way to have it tile like that is to have one surface or object use a stand-alone, tiling texture file. Like if you have a 64x64 that is only one wall texture that repeats in all four directions. If you do that, you can scale the UV up to be larger than the size of the texture, and that'll make it repeat. Like, if the UV is twice as big as the texture in the UV window, then the texture will repeat itself twice for that space on the model. But again, that only works if the texture itself tiles seamlessly and can't be done if you want a unique texture for each object.

Often, for low-poly, low-res stuff, what you can do is sacrifice some polygons for the sake of preserving texture space. Like, if you have a house there... I think that's what it's supposed to be... You could add one more edgeloop along the longest side. That way those awkward, elongated walls will turn into two nice squares that you can overlap, and at least have the texture repeat once. Usually, texture memory is much, much more important than polycount if you want to stay true to old system restrictions, or things like the DS and iPhone. But now we're really touching on the finer sides of low-res modelling and texturing, here. The whole concept of balancing between a clean mesh and a compact UV is an art in itself. There's a lot more information and inspiration for this stuff on a site like Polycount, as much as I hate to plug another forum on here! But I've noticed we do share a lot of members. Maybe I can consider it a sister site-in-law of Pixelation or something.

Offline MegaLeon

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Rox, i'm amazed, such a lenghty reply!
I'll try to take something out of your precious advice.
I'm using 3DS Max, i found the command to snap vertex in a grid.
I completed that box using overlapped UVs:


However, i did some mistakes, like the front and the sides hadn't the same widht so it was difficult to align those "stripes".
Here's the UV:

OK, There's a lot of space left... but, hey, one step after another.

Often, for low-poly, low-res stuff, what you can do is sacrifice some polygons for the sake of preserving texture space. Like, if you have a house there... I think that's what it's supposed to be... You could add one more edgeloop along the longest side. That way those awkward, elongated walls will turn into two nice squares that you can overlap, and at least have the texture repeat once.
I got that after i started to texture it, so wehn i add another adge it messes up everything. You have a point, anyway, i could just mirror that square in the UV. Smart.

Offline MegaLeon

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All right, i'm starting to get the hang of it.
I made this little guy:


This is starting to look like a real UV  :D
Also, does anyone know how to get the tris count on 3DS max?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 11:02:11 am by MegaLeon »

Offline sculptedpixel

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If you're using a standard UI in 3dsmax, pressing 7 should bring up the show statistics menu (alternatively, assign it to a kb shortcut, you'll find it in Main UI / All commands, under show statistics toggle).  Pretty sure this counts in tri's - at least when in edit mesh mode.
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline Lizzrd

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Hey I come in here expecting an eyeburn and you dissapoint/amaze me with this average stuff?
Photocopier: the fact that arne can also code so well
Photocopier: is horrificly unfair

Offline MegaLeon

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Wow, I remember this. Was it 8 months ago already? Such nostalgia.
Well, I guess I'll thank Rox again for his precious words.
Oh, here is something I've made up in the past months.



Offline Paiku

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Hey I come in here expecting an eyeburn and you dissapoint/amaze me with this average stuff?

Haha, I thought the exact same thing.

I love these low poly models, good job.

3d modeling would be fun to learn someday.