3ds Max: Crate + Unwrap

As our first proper attempt at Unwrapping and fully texturing a game asset, we were asked to create a crate in 3ds Max, unwrap it, then create a diffuse and specularity map in photoshop.

Crate Job.

The crate model itself is very simple – it’s a basic cube with inset and extruded faces on all sides to form the base of the model. Next up is the crossbar. Because of where it is locates, it wold be unnecessary to try and render the face facing the crate, or the ones in the corner. Because we will not be seeing them, we can just delete them and free up some texture space when we unwrap. To create the crossbar we can simply create a cuboid that fits at a 45 degree angle inside the insetted faces of the cube. We can then use the connect modifier to add some extra edges length-wise and apply an edit poly in order to make the cuboid better fit the 90 degree angle within the face inset of the main cube. Delete the faces we won’t see, and then we will copy-paste the crossbeam into every inset of the cube. This is what mine looked like: crate_grey

Now that we have our basic crate, it’s time to unwrap it. I applied an unwrap UVW modifier and began selecting faces and creating quick planar maps of them. I also marked seams manually in a few places where I felt that it needed them. I made sure that the outer frame was unwrapped as a net to keep everything together in a logical order, putting the bottom faces in the middle of the net, the sides to the side of the middle etc. I then unwrapped the insetted faces by manually placing seams in the corners, but keeping the sides connected to the centre face for ease of texturing and to keep things together. The crossbeams are okay as they are, no need for extra tinkering. Here is my final UV Layout.crate_uv


Once UV unwrapped, we can render the UVW template and pop it over to Photoshop for texturing.

Once in Photoshop, the first thing I did was change the colour of the background to a brownish colour. This should help make the layout easier on the eyes, and help to hide any possible mistakes. Next thing to do is add some textures. From textures.com I was able to get some nice wood textures that I could add. crate_diffuseBefore progressing, it would be wise to keep everything well organised. I made a few folders, named one “UVs” and placed the UV layout in it. Next thing I did was select all of the inside faces (Depicted in the diffuse map as the faces with a planked texture on) and use Ctrl J to create a new layer from that selection. With the new layer selected, I can select the transparency in the background and select inverse to select the bits I cut out. With one of the wood textures from textures.com in the scene and scaled correctly, with the non-transparent parts of the layer selected, I can click the ‘Add Vector Mask’ button to mask the texture to the selection. This allows me to hide certain parts of the image while preserving pixel information – if I were to simply delete it, it could lead to problems in the future. I now repeated this for ever face of the crate, but used a darker wood texture for the crossbeam and a lighter wood texture for the outside of the crate.

Next up, add some cool decals. I browsed the web and found some good .png decals, such a ‘This way up’ symbol, Handle With Care Sticker, and a few more sarcastic ones such as: Rockslide Warning, Don’t ride the dinosaur, ‘This sign is only a distraction’, and finally a pointless sign warning. I added them, and rotated them accordingly (should have done that via the UV unwrap)

Before continuing, because of the nature of the seams, I still had a small gap between seams on the UV layout. To fix this, I used the Spot healing brush tool, and highlighted the seams. it removed them.

Now that the diffuse map is done, we can move on to specular and glossiness maps. For the specular colour map, I desaturated the texture, but not completely. I also brightened it up a bit. For the glossiness map I took the decals and made them completely white – these are the most reflective. I then desaturated the rest of the image but made them slightly darker but not too dark. Here are all 3.

Adding them to 3ds, and enabling ‘Show realistic material in viewport’ will show the textures on the model itself. I also hooked up the glossiness map to the bump map node, and it looks decent with it on. The final render: crate

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