How to make a Quick City Block:
For this tutorial, I will show you how to first create a city block and then a building for you to place on your grid. Then I'll end by showing you how to create water and foliage areas. Since all building structures are subjectionable you should look at other buildings on google or some source, to get an overal idea of how buidlings are made. I will warn you that it is a little long, so you may want to take this in parts and comeback to take on the rest. So lets get started making our city block:
1.) To begin create a 20 x 20 plane. Next add an Edit Mesh modifier to the plane and select Polygon.
2.) Drag your mouse over a few polygons, that are in a row, and then use ctrl+left click to highlight a few more rows.
3.) While the polygons are selected click Render-> Material Editor. Under Material Editor select the first material ( it's the grayball) double click on the grey box next to Diffuse option and change the color to black. And either drag the black over to the polygons or select the icon within the highlighted yellow box that says apply material. Notice that we have now created roads for our city. Save this city map as "citymap" or by any other name that is easy to remember.
Creating the first building.
1.) To do this, first create a new file which we will call building one.
2.) Begin by selecting Gengon from the objects panel under Extended Primitives. Now create your gengon shape (you might have to experiment a little to geta feel for how creating such a shape works).
3.) Now Clone the shape by selecting -> Edit-> Clone-> and Copy (Ctrl+V). Move Change the clone's color to something a little more distinctive than the previous shape.
4.) Scale down the new gengon too about 3/4 the size of the previous object. Then under the modifier panel, increase the height to the height of the overall building that you would like. From now on we will call this the Base of the building and the original gengon a level.
5.) Next make copy clones (Edit-Clone-Copy) the orginal gengon (the main level) and move it along the y axis along the base with space inbetween the levels. Continue clnig the gengons until the base is filled to the top with gengons. Basically your playing that game when you were little to determine which baseball team will bat first. You know the one where two people would move one hand on top of other's until they reached the top.
6.) To add style to the building, select the main level and add an Edit Poly modifier. (Warning: If you createedthe other level using an Instance Clone instead of a Copy clone then all of the other levels will also include an Edit Poly in their modifier stack, and the changes made to this level will also be made to those as well, and we do not want that.) Select the smaller squares the gengn, esentially the corners and Extrude them. Notice they make the base more prominent. Then select switch the Vertex and select the top two vertexes on each extrusion, and drag them down. See the picture below for reference.
7.) On the highest level in the building, add an Edit Poly and choose polygon. Then select the polygons that creates the roof and bevel them to add a slope.
8.) Select every level in the building and base, and Group them together and name them group. Save the model and name it building.
Putting it All Together
1.) In the"citymap model" select File->Merge and choose the building model. Since it is grouped, you don't have to worry about moving each individual level and move each one, you can just move the all together. You may have to scale down your model to make it fit on the map. Afterwards, move the building where ever you would like.
2.) To create smaller buildings around the main one, add another Edit Poly to the citymap. Then select smaller polygons (squares) around the building, and click Inset.
3.) Now with the newly created polygons slightly extrude them and you will see tiny buildings appear. Also they are not directly located next to the road, which gives the impression of a sidewalk.
4.) Wash. Rinse. Repeat for the Rest of the Map. For inspiration research structures to use for buildings. You may want to search for Tokyo, Shanghai and other futuristic cities.
1.) To create a water way, such as a man made pond or waterway, use the same Inset technique that we used to create the buildings. Then add an Edit Mesh to the map and color in the new polygons, a light blue color. Finally slightly extrude the polygons bordering the water, that was previously created with the Inset.
2.) Next if you want to create a sidewalk effect, add an Edit Poly modifier and highlight the polygons on the top border of the waterway, basically the polygons shown above. The click on the box next to Inset. Select "By polygon" and slightly raise the inset level. You will notice tiles being formed and as you can expect next we Extrude them "by group" to create a sidewalk effect.
1.) Select a Region where you will like foliage to be created and just like we did for the roads, add an Edit Mesh modifier, and select the polygons and then using the Material Editor, change the color of the area to green.
2.) Then to add bumps or hills to the region, keep that same area selected and add a Noise modifier. You may want to experiment to find the best results for you, but here are some results below that I got, that you may want to use.
3.) Now to add the foliage click on the Create Panel and select AEC Extended and then Foliage. Select the plant that you want and place it in the model. Notice that the plant is incredibly large and t amount of leaves will be very expensive while rendering. To correct the problem extend the Parameters panel and drastically lower the size to something more suitable. Also depending on your processing power, you may want to lower the density, but most importantly lower the Level of Detail to "Medium." Again, rinse and repeat to populate the area with trees.
Wow that was long! You may want to take this in pieces and take on each part in chunks. If you need any help, just comment and in about a day I will leave a response. Thanks and good luck modeling.
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