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My First Project -- Stormwind Keep (WC1)

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Hey, everybody. So, with my hype levels for the Warcraft movie going through the roof, I decided to kick off my first project in Gmax. Thanks to Tauer and Kwaliti for being inspirations to me -- along with the many, many others on this board!

So, yeah -- as the title suggests, my first project is gonna be a replica of Stormwind Keep as seen in Warcraft 1. The idea here is that it's going to be a doodad -- possibly animated (only a death animation though, for those who want to re-create the ending of the First War) or static (probably the most likely unless someone can help me with animating).

For those who don't know what the First War version of Stormwind Keep looked like, here are the screens I'm using for reference:

WC1ScreenCapture2.jpg


WC1_Human_Victory.jpg


And, for fleshing out the rest of the model, the sprite:

WC1HumanStormwind.gif


Those with a keen eye will notice that, of course, there are a couple minor differences in design between the fully-rendered model from the Warcraft 1 cinematics and the sprite used in the final orc mission. I'm going to be using the sprite more as a resource due to how simple it is -- easier to make something low-poly with that -- but I'm also gonna bring some elements from the fully-rendered model into my interpretation as well.

I don't have much to show you guys yet as I just got started today. All I have right now is a single, simple box to start off with. I'll update more as I have something more concrete to show you all.

Thanks for your time, and watch this space!
 
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Cool!

It's always a pleasure to see more people getting into 3d modeling. Good idea for a first project as well!
I think it's a good idea to use the sprite as more of an inspiration than the render, also because you have a better view of how the whole model should look with the sprite, whereas the render is only the front. Remember to also let your creativity guide you though! There's nothing wrong with differing from the concept once in a while if you have a good idea.

Looking forward to seeing some WIP pictures and good luck!

Also, are you planning on using ingame textures or making your own?
 
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Level 7
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Cool!

It's always a pleasure to see more people getting into 3d modeling. Good idea for a first project as well!
I think it's a good idea to use the sprite as more of an inspiration than the render, also because you have a better view of how the whole model should look with the sprite, whereas the render is only the front. Remember to also let your creativity guide you though! There's nothing wrong with differing from the concept once in a while if you have a good idea.

Looking forward to seeing some WIP pictures and good luck!

Also, are you planning on using ingame textures or making your own?

I can't texture for crap, so I'll likely be using in-game textures. Alternatively, I have a buddy who's great at texturing who might possibly be able to assist with that. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it though.
 
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All right, here's a bit of an update -- sorry for the double post.

stormwind%20keep%20progress.jpg


What do you guys think? This is what I've got so far.

Looking solid so far.

I'm gonna give you some advice though ;)
You shouldn't make make every part of the model in primitives (this means boxes, spheres, cylinders etc), you should instead start out with a primitive and expand on that to make your model.
The following guide is based on how you do this in 3Ds Max. I see you use Gmax. I'd highly suggest you go to Autodesk's website and get the free educational version of 3Ds Max. It's vastly superior to Gmax despite being similar in many ways.
http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/3ds-max
If you're not interested in that, most of what I show you should be doable in Gmax as well, though I'm not sure if it works the exact same way. Anyway here goes:


First you create your primitive box. Convert it to editable poly (NeoDex requires it to be editable mesh, but you can convert it to editable mesh later. I find editable poly easier to work with). Go to edge mode and select the edges of your box all around as shown on the picture.
attachment.php


Next you click on connect. Change the number of segments to 2. This should create new polygons in the middle of the box like shown in the picture.
attachment.php


Finally, you click the new polygon in the front of the box and click on extrude. This will, well extrude from the selected polygon. Using this tool you can achieve the same result you got with the two boxes in your scene, but keep it to one simple and cleaner mesh.
attachment.php


I would probably weld the newly created vertices on the back to the vertices on the edge of the box, to save polygons. It will create some triangles, but since this is game art it will all be converted to triangles in the end anyway.


I know this might seem a bit overwhelming right now, but as you get better at modeling stuff like this will become like second nature to you.

Anyway, it's a matter of preference I guess. I just like to keep it to one mesh as much as possible. I think it also improves performance, but I admit I don't know enough about the technicalities of the WC3 engine here to be sure. I might be full of it, we'd probably need BlinkBoy or someone who knows more about it to answer this.
But this may also be because I usually create character models. When it's a building I guess there's nothing wrong with creating it that way. There are also parts of the building where using new primitives is definately the best way to go, the tower being an example. I was mostly referring to the base.
If you do want to make it from different primitives, you should delete the back polygon of the front box (blue one) as that polygon will not be visible from the game anyway. Same goes for the bottom polygons.

Another thing, you should probably lower the number of sides on the cylinders. There's no need for that many polygons when it's a Warcraft 3 model.

Good job so far, you are definately starting to get the shape right ;)
 

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Yeah, I'm not gonna keep the cylinders' current polygon count, that'd be suicide. XD They're mostly that way because I haven't gotten around to fixing them yet. Pretty solid advice though, Tauer, thank you!

Problem with going to Autodesk though is I'd have to lie through my teeth to them about a lot of things on that form -- I know because I've tried going there to get the free educational software, and it just really didn't feel right. I'm not in college -- I'm not even going to school; I graduated high school in 2008. I really can't afford college and I absolutely abhor debt so loans are out of the question.

Gmax seemed like the best option due to being quite similar to 3DSMax (being made by the same company and all), but completely free. No forms to lie about anything on. Also its stated purpose was creating game models.

Also, the only versions of 3DS Max available now are 2014, 2015, and 2016. None of the older versions are available at all anymore -- and I'd need the older versions not just for Warcraft but also for Fallout: New Vegas -- none of the plugins for that game work on the current versions.
 
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Yeah, I'm not gonna keep the cylinders' current polygon count, that'd be suicide. XD They're mostly that way because I haven't gotten around to fixing them yet. Pretty solid advice though, Tauer, thank you!

Problem with going to Autodesk though is I'd have to lie through my teeth to them about a lot of things on that form -- I know because I've tried going there to get the free educational software, and it just really didn't feel right. I'm not in college -- I'm not even going to school; I graduated high school in 2008. I really can't afford college and I absolutely abhor debt so loans are out of the question.

Gmax seemed like the best option due to being quite similar to 3DSMax (being made by the same company and all), but completely free. No forms to lie about anything on. Also its stated purpose was creating game models.

Also, the only versions of 3DS Max available now are 2014, 2015, and 2016. None of the older versions are available at all anymore -- and I'd need the older versions not just for Warcraft but also for Fallout: New Vegas -- none of the plugins for that game work on the current versions.

I understand where you're coming from and I respect your honesty. But between you and me - Autodesk really don't care if people are lying on those forms. If they did, they wouldn't offer this license. It's the easiest thing in the world to write fake information and tons of people do it. Autodesk knows this. They don't care about the individual amateurs doing this to get their hands on the software, because it doesn't really hurt them in any way. Their beef is with (semi) larger companies that pirate their software and then makes a ton of money on it. The little guy is simply not worth their time or money. Same goes for pirates.

Also, BlinkBoy says in the NeoDex thread that his plugin supports 2014.

But then again, if you feel comfortable in gmax then that's great! It's just that I personally can't stand it and feel extremely constrained when I use it - but I'm probably biased from having used 3Ds Max since I started modeling.
It's also pretty outdated. But so is Warcraft 3 I guess.

Anyway, it's of course up to yourself and you shouldn't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable ;)
Looking forward to seeing more progress!
 
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Well, again, it's not just my honesty beating me senseless -- it's the fact that the plugins I'd need to eventually make Fallout: New Vegas models are not available for anything after 3DS Max 2012. I know this is a Warcraft forum, but I thought I'd mention that since Warcraft isn't the only game I play or want to mod... XD

But, you know, screw it. :p Hold on while I get 2016...
 
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Well, again, it's not just my honesty beating me senseless -- it's the fact that the plugins I'd need to eventually make Fallout: New Vegas models are not available for anything after 3DS Max 2012. I know this is a Warcraft forum, but I thought I'd mention that since Warcraft isn't the only game I play or want to mod... XD

But, you know, screw it. :p Hold on while I get 2016...

Haha, well you should probably get the earliest version possible if you're hoping for compatibility.

It's so weird that 2012 is required for Fallout NV... Since it uses nif files just as Skyrim, and that game is quite new with a still very much alive modding community. I wonder why no one has made a plugin that's compatible with the newer versions yet.
 
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Haha, well you should probably get the earliest version possible if you're hoping for compatibility.

It's so weird that 2012 is required for Fallout NV... Since it uses nif files just as Skyrim, and that game is quite new with a still very much alive modding community. I wonder why no one has made a plugin that's compatible with the newer versions yet.

Yeah, that IS weird.

Also, yeah, 2016 was a typo. Going with 2014. XD I'm keeping Gmax though for Fallout.

WTF. 3DS Max 2014 doesn't want to install...

Well crap. Looks like I won't be upgrading anyway. lol
 
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Thanks, apparently 2016 is working.

....I really hope this doesn't mean I have to start my work all over again though. It probably does, but still... -.-
 
Thanks, apparently 2016 is working.

....I really hope this doesn't mean I have to start my work all over again though. It probably does, but still... -.-

You can use neodex to export your model in gmax, then use it again to import it into 3ds max.

Btw, my first model was also Wc2 related. I think I made the barracks.
 
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Ok this can't be good... the installer keeps aborting the installation automatically once it reaches a certain point. This happened with 2014, too.

Oh well. Sticking with Gmax then.

Unless you guys think Blender would be a suitable alternative?
 
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Ok this can't be good... the installer keeps aborting the installation automatically once it reaches a certain point. This happened with 2014, too.

Oh well. Sticking with Gmax then.

Unless you guys think Blender would be a suitable alternative?

A lot of people swear by Blender. It's very popular and seems like a good alternative to 3Ds Max. I've only ever used it very shortly and like Gmax I was too used to 3Ds Max to get into it.
I have no idea how it works in regard to Warcraft 3 modeling though. You might wanna ask Hayate about that, last I heard he was using Blender.

It should be much better than Gmax though, only downside would be no NeoDex.
 
Ok this can't be good... the installer keeps aborting the installation automatically once it reaches a certain point. This happened with 2014, too.

Oh well. Sticking with Gmax then.

Unless you guys think Blender would be a suitable alternative?

Hmn, you can use Blender for modeling and Gmax for exporting. It's a nice way to go.
 
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Ok, I dunno if this is against the rules but I'd like to revive this thread. I'm restarting work on this project -- I've got 3DS Max 2016 installed now and hopefully Tauer's tutorial up above will serve me well.

*cracks knuckles*

Let's get started, then...
 
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Okay guys. here is the latest progress. I tried Tauer's method, and it works... but I couldn't fix a scaling mistake I made using it, and by the time I'd realized that I'd done that I'd put in the towers, second level, and garden box the old-fashioned way..

sw%20keep%20progress.png


Anyway, lemme know what you guys think. :) I'm pretty proud of it so far, but if any of you have any pointers on what I can do next to finish off the towers and garden, your insight would be welcome! I'm still new to this whole thing.
 
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Looking good! Definately improving. If you haven't done so already, you should delete the unseen faces on the boxes, seeing as they won't be visible ingame.

For towers you could do some simple bevel to achieve what you want. Just convert the primitives to editable poly and play around with bevel and extrude. Remember to lower the side count on the cylinders before you convert them though. For the garden I'd probably just select the top face, do an insert and then extrude down.

One more thing, you can also make the towers instances. That way any change you make will automatically be applied to the rest of them.
 
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Thanks for the suggestions, Tauer! I'll see what I can do. I'm still quite new to all this. Also, how do I put a pyramid on top of the tower on top of the second level?
 
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Thanks for the suggestions, Tauer! I'll see what I can do. I'm still quite new to all this. Also, how do I put a pyramid on top of the tower on top of the second level?

Here's one way you could do it:


1.JPG

In editable poly mode, choose the top face of your tower and click on the settings button next to Bevel.

2.JPG

Some settings will pop up where you can choose the bevel height and outline. Tweak them until you get your desired shape. Then click apply.

3.JPG

Now choose the four vertices on the top and click on the settings button next to Weld.

4.JPG

Increase the Weld threshold until the four vertices are welded together.


That's just one way to do it. You could just add a pyramid primitive on top I guess, but this way keeps it as one mesh. I prefer it like this.

You can make the other towers with bevel as well. Just tweak the bevel outline to a positive value and it will bulge out instead.

Generally I'd advise you to graduate from playing with primitives and start to actually work in editable poly. Play around with the different functions. Insert, extrude, bevel, weld etc. Target weld is particularly useful. That's when you can actually start to make more complicated shapes and the creative juices really start flowing ;)
 
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