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Necora

The best program for building models

Hello!

I have been brewing on some ideas for a while now that I would like to see in the game, essentially a mod where all of the buildings fit seamlessly together in a 'new world' style, in this case based on the Maritimes. It is a very similar idea to @The Pilgrim with his colonial architecture pack. So I decided to have a go at building some models. I went through Discrepancy's Blender tutorial at WOB and while I could build a structure pretty well, the UV mapping part lost me. I managed to make it work for the frame structure, but couldn't get it to work for the roof or plane objects so got no further than building a basic shed with no texture etc.

I also found Blender really awkward to use, due totally to my noobishness of the whole process. In the past I picked up Illustrator relatively quickly and while I am no way an expert at it I can use it to make what I want, so was hoping the same could happen for Blender but apart form basic cube making, I was lost. That made me wonder, what is the best program people use for creating models? Do you all use Blender or do you have your favorites?

In case you were interested, here is my first crack at a building. I wanted to make a shore hut similar to the old fishing huts dotted around Prince Edward Island. The first level would be a small hut on a 2x3 plot, that could be placed on the shore or in conjunction with a dock set. There would be a few F variants for diversity (changes in windows, doors etc.). It would employ 1 worker, and you would choose the food it produces between clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and seaweed. Small and cheep to build, you can line them up side by side for a nice row of shore huts. I was then going to make a few larger buildings, as the second level, that are 3x4 or 4x4 and employ 2 workers and would fish for lobster, snow crab, shrimp, or fish, then a larger advanced dock where you have more workers and fish for whale meat, seal meat and associated things (basic shore fishers, medium inshore fishers, and advanced offshore fishers) with each building being more expensive to build. I wanted to create the same level structure for a few other buildings, the blacksmith, tailor, clothier etc - simple, medium, advanced - with possibly rural and town versions, based on buildings around NS, PEI, and NB.

Here is the initial idea for the basic huts, followed by the models I came up with in Blender...

Maritimes_Modular Basic Fishers Wood.jpg

PEI Fish Model Attempt 1.01.jpg

PEI Fish Model Attempt 1.02.jpg

PEI Fish Model Attempt 1.jpg

 

Edited by Necora
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Thats a very solid first attempt :)

I use 3d studio max. @SavageBeatings uses blender.

The principal of uvw unwrap is largely the same regardless of the program chosen.

Head on over to blendswap.com for some great tips on using blender and to view the work others have done.

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Thanks for the advice. I am slowly learning to make more 'advanced' shapes, managed an archway for a door.

A follow up question - are there any models/resources available to add to the buildings? For example, an anvil or tools to add to a blacksmith, tables, animals, general decorations and things of the like. I remember in SC4 you could make a house then on the lot you would add other models to decorate, is such a thing available for Banished or do you make every deco from scratch when you model?

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4 hours ago, Necora said:

is such a thing available for Banished

Sadly no. When you build up a library of props and learn how to manage multi material objects you can start adding things together to make life easier :)

 

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Hmm no worries, I will try to make some models to use. The anvil will be hard though.

In the mean time, I managed to get texturing to work (yay!). It doesn't look pretty though, the main mistake I made, I think, is that I scaled the UV maps too small and so when I tried to put the textures into place in Illustrator the scales are all messed up. Next step is to work on organizing the maps better to make it easier to get the textures to look good.

Anyway, here is the model I've been playing with. Keeping with the theme of early maritimes buildings, I went for an early blacksmith. This one is based on buildings in Port-Royal Nova Scotia, which is a recreated historical site, "The Habitation at Port Royal", but originally was a French settlement from 1605 and was the capital of Acadia. I wanted this to be a basic blacksmith, small, limited production. The blacksmith at Port-Royal is much larger, so I used a smaller building as a guide. The inside (furnace, chimney, bellows) are my attempt at the ones in Port-Royal. Originally my plan for some basic buildings was little more than a lean to and a shed, but after coming across these I might make this style my basic buildings set instead. More historical.

 

BasicBlacksmith01.jpg

BasicBlacksmith02.jpg

BasicBlacksmith03.jpg

BasicBlacksmith04.jpg

BasicBlacksmith05.jpg

More info on Port-Royal Wikipedia... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port-Royal_National_Historic_Site

Edited by Necora
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a solid building well done :)

If your after 3d props, take a look at this simple blacksmith set:

http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/68081

Learn from it think about how it was made etc :) 

The anvils I have made are just simple boxes with some lines through them that I extrude/move to get the shape I wanted.

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Very nice. You are doing well. It is all trial and error.

I have probably over 100 unused/unfinished items/buildings that I give up on because I'd made too many mistakes, and didn't know how to fix them... Now I can go back to them every-now and then to fix them as I have learned more from using blender.

I generally don't read or look at many tutorials or videos at all, I just keep playing around with blender, and try all the different options. If I don't see an effect, 'Crtl-Z', and go back a a step. If I need to find out what something does, I do a quick search on the web for something I can understand. Save regularly, and also have a backup in case things go too wrong, and you inadvertently have pressed save. I think you can set it to auto save.

Textures are important, that is one thing I'm now really learning, and as such I'm spending more time in Photoshop adjusting and layering textures then I am in Blender making the models :( not as fun for me, but looks better in game.

You're model is really good already, and you will only get better :)

Depending on how much detail you want, an anvil can be pretty simple:

Untitled-1.jpg

In blender, if you aren't already, get used to some of the shortcut keys as they make modelling so much quicker: E=extrude,S=scale, R=rotate, also use the NumPad keys to utilize different views.

For the anvil above I started with the bottom stone plinth it sits on, that started as a simple cube, I selected the top, pressed S to scale down slightly then pressed E, to extrude, dragged it up slightly and then also scaled it down to create the slight curve at the top of the stone. Press E again, this time let it sit back on the top of the stone part, press S, scale it down to the size of the bottom of the anvil, then as before, press E to extrude lift up, scale down slightly. Then E, extrude up again, now we have the top of the anvil, now pick a side and press E, pull out and scale/adjust edges to put into the shape of the horn (pointy end), with other side we create the heel, but this time use the Knife tool (very handy) to cut a line horizontally 2/3rds down the face, then select the top face, and extrude that, also on the underside of the heel I used the Knife to cut a line, to create that slight curve. Perhaps I should have shown another picture.

The anvil is from the DSSV Blacksmith, the hammer on top is just a single plane, calling up a separate texture that allows transparency, it's not really important, but that is something I do to keep poly/face count down instead of modelling a hammer, I figure since the player is mostly so far out from the object it doesn't matter.

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