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July 8, 2006

Building Downtown

Filed under 3D, Maya

My buddy Trey (a.k.a. Spaghetti) and I want to get better at 3D modeling. The problem is that 3D modeling is time consuming and it is very easy to let it drop as life gets hectic. That's where the blog comes in. We are both going to detail our work in our blogs. If I don't see a regular update from him on his blog, then I will harass him until he starts producing...and I expect the same out of him.

Peer pressure has already worked...I was supposed to do this initial blog entry last week, but I got tied up with a few things...which triggered the guilt-inducing emails from Trey. It worked!

Trey will keep me honest...but I welcome prodding from anyone. If you notice I'm not updating my blog with 3D modeling updates, send me an email or post a comment...it will definitely help keep me on track!

So what am I going to model? I want to build downtown Dallas. I am starting with the tallest building in Dallas, the Bank of America Plaza.

The Skyscraper Page is one of my favorite websites for looking up information about tall buildings. Here is their info on BOA Plaza.

I am going to use Maya 6.0 for modeling. We use Maya at work, so anything I learn on this project helps me with my job as well. I use a SpaceBall 5000 to make manipulating 3d models easier (left hand on SpaceBall, right hand on mouse). For manipulating images, I'm using Corel's Paint Shop Pro X.

Here is what I have so far. I built the frame of the building. Next up: add the windows.

All of my updates will be filed under the BOA Plaza Model, which you can search for. Spaghetti's updates are here.

Comments (5)

It looks polygon-heavy. Are those green lines polys? How many?

Yes, the green lines are polygon boundaries. It has 14,000 polygons. My goal is to model as much detail in polys as I can...I'm trying to avoid using textures. Since most of those 14,000 faces are windows, and the windows are going to have a bit of detail...that number is going to go WAY up.

What about simple building with instanced, detailed windows? The building is just elongated cubes and all the work is done on a window and attached (xrefs in MAXspeak) from an separate file, so your original file doesn't get weighed down too much.

That is what I'm planning on doing...building one window and duplicating it as an "instance" instead of a "copy"...the two choices in Maya. That will save on disk size and memory...but interactive 3d window won't benefit...Maya will send down each instance as if it is real geometry, I believe. OpenGL supports sending instanced geometry...but I don't think Maya takes advantage of it. We'll see when I get there.


I want to know why match.com is third item in your system tray and not the first?

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