Johnny’s Workshop

May 27, 2008

Streetbattlefield Fighter 2

Filed under: 3ds Max 9,Battlefield 2 — april15th @ 1:13 pm
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I don’t know what useful and/or exciting things you, my fickle readers, did during the first two weeks of May but a good portion of my precious time was devoted to 3ds Max. The focus of my efforts? Learning how to import, reconstruct and texture some of the more complex models from Battlefield 2 (and its various mods).

After a week of rendering those models and experimenting with different types of lighting, I decided it’d be fun to make a little composition. Originally, the plan was to create an animated scene that I could upload to YouTube but within a few days I changed my mind and decided to do a single frame instead:

Streetfighter 2 and Battlefield 2

An animated version of the scene remains a possibility; it’s just that I’m still hopeless at rigging and preparing the soldiers for this scene would have required a lot more time and effort than I was willing to commit. An experienced animator probably could have done it in no time but I’m an amateur and burdened with other priorities. I still haven’t told my neighbour that I found her cat and that’s something I should have done weeks ago. I’ve also got half a dozen DVD rentals that are seriously overdue.

The idea to recreate Guile’s level from Street Fighter II appeared out of the blue. I knew the Allied Intent Xtended mod included a well put-together F16—modelled and textured by clivewil—and it was probably the availability of that model, more than anything else, that compelled me to try. Growing up, I was a big fan of Street Fighter II, so the prospect of recreating a familiar image and spending a few days reminiscing about my Godlike SFII skills held great appeal.

More importantly, creating the scene allowed me to get better at using textures, Bipeds and the Physique modifier, and required the careful posing of half a dozen 3D models of humans. I’d never tried that before and it seemed a fun way to learn the basics.

Except for the clouds (created in 3ds Max) and the HUD (added via Photoshop), everything in the scene was sourced from Battlefield 2. Well, everything except clivewil’s F16 which, as I’ve already mentioned, was from Allied Intent Xtended, one of the very best BF2 mods going around. Some of the models were tweaked ever-so-slightly because I wanted them to better resemble the objects featured in Guile’s scene. For the most part, though, they were left alone. Battlefield 2 offered the equivalent of virtually everything seen in the original SFII level, so it was just a matter of finding the right objects, importing them into 3ds Max, applying textures, then moving them into position.

3ds Max Scene

The only object that could have been more faithful to the original was the Supply Crate. In Street Fighter II, the corresponding object is a destructible wooden crate (a rarity in video games) and BF2 definitely had one that was suitable but I think the Supply Crate, for this version, has more novelty value.

The scene’s main source of light is a Skylight with its Multiplier set to 1.3, however there are also three Omni Lights; two within the hangars to prevent them from being pitch-black and one in the foreground to increase the overall brightness of the fighters and onlookers. Without the Omni lights, the lighting had a more consistent, realistic feel but video games from that era didn’t really strive for photorealism, so I had no qualms about brightening things up.

As hoped, it was a fun project and though I’m sure it could have been done better, I’m happy with the end result. Happy enough to move on, anyway.

Let me know what you think.

(Click to enlarge)

August 29, 2007

3D Model: The Stable [003]

Filed under: 3ds Max 9 — april15th @ 3:18 am
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The opening sentence of my previous post (specifically: the heart-wrenching part about being all alone and bored) was nothing more than transparent reverse psychology designed to elicit a flood of offers from friends, family and assorted members of the local community to assist with the measuring process.

Ed was the only one to respond.

We entered the stable last Friday afternoon and after I gave him a quick tour and talked up the unlimited potential of the place, we set to work. Over the course of an hour, we made the same number of measurements it probably would have taken me three hours to record on my own, so the exploitation of Ed’s kindness is something I would recommend to all.

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Improvements since the last post include the obvious addition of the stairs and the not-so-obvious addition of the floor’s supporting wooden beams. I measured those while Ed created diagrams both practical and eye-catching.

Thanks again, Edward.

August 23, 2007

3D Model: The Stable [002]

Filed under: 3ds Max 9 — april15th @ 5:13 pm
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Had someone told me before I began this project that being all alone in a quiet stable, measuring beams of wood for hours on end would get very boring very quickly, I would have scoffed and probably kicked dirt into his/her stupid, presumptuous face. The opportunity never arose but I’m glad, in some small measure, because by now I would have privately conceded they were right.

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No substantial additions since the previous render; just the floor for the second level; some of the tall vertical beams that support the crossbeams for the roof, and so on. The boulder looks great, though. I might look into getting a real one for the actual stable.

August 21, 2007

3D Model: The Stable [001]

Filed under: 3ds Max 9 — april15th @ 4:28 am
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In between a multitude of other projects, I’m now creating my first architectural 3D model. Though I’m certain it’d be far more rewarding and fun to design something from scratch, on this occasion I’m simply recreating a real-world structure as a model within 3ds Max 9.

I can hear you thinking, “What structure is that, JP?”

Well, dumbass, the title of this post should have given you a fairly significant clue. I’m creating a 3D model of the stable tucked away in the corner of this property. We call it the stable because that’s what it used to be … a stable. Exactly how long ago it ceased to be used as one, I have no idea, but I do know that Phar Lap was kept there for a very brief period. Harry Telford said it was one of the nicest stables he and Phar Lap had ever slept in.

Whenever I make some kind of progress with this model, I’m going to render it and post an update on this blog. This is the first – 001. You’ll notice I’ve used a naming convention that allows for up to 999 updates. Let’s hope that proves unnecessary.

Click to enlarge:

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I should mention: there’s no concrete block or Raiders of the Lost Ark-type boulder in the stable. I just put them in there because everything looks so nifty when rendered using HDR Image-Based Lighting. The diagonal wooden beam on the right is the banister for the stairs that lead to the second level and the rest is the balustrade.

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