Modeling Modular Game Assets

Modeling Modular Game Assets

This course teaches how to build modular assets for lego-style building of a game level. It’s focused on both modeling and texturing of low-poly assets for exporting to Unity.

Introduction

Watch this brief video to see what the course is all about before diving in!

Modeling

With Blender, we will build our game assets with as few polygons as possible. We will also build them to snap together like pieces in a puzzle.

Texture Creation

Using Blender's texture paint mode and Photoshop, this chapter centers on the process of creating texture maps for use in Unity's PBR shading system.

Creating “Portalethium”

Portalethium is a sci-fi game that the CG Cookie crew developed for the purpose of A) playing and B) learning. It’s a tower defense game that was built from the ground up using Blender for 3D asset creation and Unity for game development.

If you haven’t played the game yet, please play it here!


Modular modeling madness

 

We decided that a modular environment was the best way to approach building the game level. Modularity works like Lego’s, where pre-built pieces are interchangeable and extensible. This allows for a flexible level-design process that’s perfect for iteration. It’s also much easier to build a collection of interchangeable pieces than it is to build and texture an entire, un-modular level.

What You’ll Learn

 

Everything about asset creation for games is accomplished with resource efficiency in mind. This means using fewer polygons for models, overlapping UVs where able, and getting the most bang-for-our-buck out of our textures.

  • Modeling for modularity: These assets are sci-fi in genre and hard-surface in shape. Therefore the modeling approach is polygon modeling.
  • Efficient UV layout: To keep our assets as resource efficient as possible, we’re going to combine all our models’ UVs into one texture space. Also we’ll overlap UVs where possible to accomplish texture symmetry, as well as overlap UV’s of duplicate pieces of geometry so they all share the same texture info.
  • Texture Painting: Our textures are generated using an “evolutionary” approach where portions of maps are painted or baked with Blender and then layered together in Photoshop to create final versions. We will also be painting textures to take advantage of Unity’s PBR shading system.
  • Exporting & Importing: Portalethium is going to be built with Unity, so I’ll show you how to export our assets from Blender and import into Unity. I’ll also cover the workflow of updating our assets between the programs as we progress through the creation process.

CC Attribution

Lesson Questions and Answers

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Submit your Question
  • Replies: 1

    Im soory for posting spam, I didn’t know that there is an enter to send system. I have a question about the shading quality of the bump maps. Ive been having trouble achieveing a very smooth bump effect. I noticed that changing the normals scale in the Texture-Influence-Geometry section. In your videos you haven’t touched that setting, which makes me wonder why has this been happening to me. Thanks in advance!

    3 weeks ago

    • Replies: 0

      Hi Bart – I don’t see a “normals scale” setting. Do you mean the “Normal” setting? That’s where you can control the intensity of the normal effect.

      But the reason I didn’t adjust the setting for this project was because I was controlling the intensity with the color value I was painting. So if my stroke was too intense, I would set the color value closer to 50% grey and the stroke would be less intense.

      3 weeks ago

  • Replies: 0

    Hello Kent!

    3 weeks ago

  • Replies: 2

    When I added the bump map, on unity, the color looks different at the ramp basement. I added the image on my gallery :

    1 month ago

  • Replies: 2

    Wonderful course Kent!

    Can you share what settings are important to make texture-painting less sluggish? When I texture paint on 3d model with my default settings, quite soon strokes start to lag, however when I use your final file for this course lag is completely gone!

    2 months ago

    • Replies: 0

      oups sorry, wrong placement for this question

      2 months ago

    • Replies: 0

      Hmm, to my knowledge I’m not using any special settings to get fast viewport response. Are you using appropriate texture resolutions and model-resolutions? (2K and below, 4K max in my experience)

      2 months ago

  • Replies: 1

    I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but is there no video about modeling the turrets? I’ve downloaded the project files and can’t find any .blends for the wall or the turrets. Did I miss something?

    3 months ago

    • Replies: 1

      No, we didn’t cover the turrets in this course *yet*. We plan to update the curriculum with a course that covers turrets and enemy asset creation. Sorry for the current lack of that.

      2 months ago

      • Awesome. I already made a turret based on what I learned here, so I’m very curious to see what you guys do differently.

        2 months ago

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