OK, first thing is first. Don't attempt to use any of these tutorials without first completing a car using the first tutorials. I can't make that clear enough. These lessons are for someone who has the understanding of what those tutorials offer.
What is offered here is theory on how to use Max to get the most out of what you can with low res polygons. Each of these Tips and Tricks tutorials should correspond to the release of it's predecessor. So you can read just that one, then come back to each of these, and see if what you are doing can be modified.
Skinning, more fun then you wanna have in a weekend. Let's discuss theory first:
The point of a map on a mesh is to give it color versus space. Max will allow you to put color on a mesh, with or without control. This, and the original skinning tutorial show you how to use square maps to show color detail on a low res mesh. The difference between this and the original is the steps used to get there. The original skinning tutorial had you make a 512 x 512 map, put color blocks on the map and then apply it to your mesh. This one will omit the original 512 x 512 map, and go straight into design. Also, using this same theory you can use smaller maps to get certain pieces to work. the basic sizes that you can use are these:
It is more a waste of time to use anything less then 128x128. From the old days of making stuff, you had everything except a map for the windows, that would come from the game, a map called dark_glass.tga. The original glass had two versions, one for normal, which had an alpha channel that was a 30% screen, and a damaged who's alpha channel was shaped like shards of glass. After a while of working with it, I figured that the maps that I used could incorporate the alpha channel into the design. I couldn't be more wrong. the imbalance alpha channel messed up view ability in the mesh in game time. For those of you guys who remember, there were various models that that happened to. The most common of which was SilverStar. Now days, I use at least 4 maps in my cars. A main body map, a glass map, a driver map and a wheel map. Since I am using the same driver for some cars, I never have to change the map. Unless I want to. I have gotten away with using the same wheel and wheel map on various cars as well. Hell there isn't much reason I couldn't create 5 or 10 wheels, and never have to create another. This goes for drivers as well.
MadCat was a memorable truck being that it had two body maps. It had so much junk that I had to make a second 256x256 map for portions of the truck. Remember though. If you decide to have more then one map on a vehicle, that needs to be a separate piece of the vehicle. So you cant have sections of the body which are one map, and attach them to another. That is one of the reasons I try not to have multiple maps per chassis.
The basic principle of mapping for Carmageddon, or any real game is that you use a set size map so the game can deal with it. It is always square though, or should be. That said, this is how you should map:
1. Getting Started
First thing's first, you have to have read the whole original tutorial to do this. Those who have will recognize this. It is where we begin here, and it is just the body in the lower right hand side of a square map. This particular map is 400x400 units. I should have plenty of space in the end to do this. I also Jotted down the position so that I can use it in placement of the other sides.
Below is what your Parameters rollout for Textporter looks like, Circled are the following, Width and Height. for the main body always use 512x512. Polygon fill, this should be off. Backface Cull, this should be off. Pick object, you wanna pick the object after you do the other settings.
Here is what I got. I saved it as a bitmap in my maps directory and gave it the simple name of 1.bmp.
Now we wanna go into the material editor and get the material to put on the car. Below is the Material Editor window... Circled are the following: Forced 2-sided, should be set to on. Specular Highlights/Specular level, set this to 50 or 80 it is shinyness. The apply button apply's the material to a mesh. The diffuse map button, we will get to that in a sec.
Pull up on the editor to reach the Maps rollout. Circled is the following: Reflection, it is checked here, check it. Your main Non-damaged map should be reflective, your damaged map should be unchecked. Therefore not receiving a reflection. This is for game purposes, and serves no real function without an attached map here.
OK, back to the Diffuse Map button. Click it and in the next screen choose Bitmap. You can double click it, or hit ok.
Next you get to the next screen where you can change lots of stuff. Circled: The bitmap button, click it go find your map, like I did. The Show Material in Viewport button... yeah long name, but that is what it does.
OK, with your material applied to the car Providing that you are in Smooth + Highlights in at least one window, you should see the new mesh. It should encompass everything. Now is where we apply parts of that mesh to other parts of the car.
2 Separating Parts
First thing to do is to get rid of the Original UVW mapping modifier that you had to apply at the beginning. If you are lost here, read the first tutorial. Click the Edit Stack button.
In the next window, click the Collapse All button, and hit OK.
Now, we go to the polygons sub-objects button. And here is where the real work begins. The theory is, whatever you currently have selected will be transferred onto the new UVW mapping Modifier. So, all you have to do, is have everything selected that you want to be painted in some space on the map. That is the trick though... Here are the finals, Click on em to see the whole steps to get it there.
OK, this is the bulk of the pieces for the chassis. Of course you can click on it to see the series regarding how to do all of that. This actually will be used later in Photoshop to do the skin. I will give you guys some of that too.
Below is the final mapped car. If you click on it you will see how the rest of it was handled, as well as some last minute meshes.
And Below is the final main body map.
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