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Anyone can mesh! Part VI - How to cheat


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Anyone can mesh! Part VI - How to cheat


Required;  Patience level: High, Experience: Low to Medium, Concentration Span: Medium


Ever wondered how people like Maxis, Bethesda and others like them get their meshes so close to the real thing?


No. Go away then!

Yes. You are allowed to continue.


I was just making a pair of curtains (in Wings of course I can't sew) and I realised that the way I cheat on such things could be of some use to others as I have never seen anyone admit before that they cheat while meshing.....


Ok first thing we need is a picture of something we want to make. Try these;




Right click the above image and save as "name" .bmp and put it somewhere sensible like you desktop


If you followed the other tutorials then this first part will be easy. If not then I suggest you do and come back later.


In Wings, right click for the menu and make a cube. Use the face tool and the move options in the menu to get some form of oblong shape like this;




Once you have the shape you want make a bounding box as shown in the above screen shot. Now let us push grab the entire cube (body tool) and move it back so the face is at the edge of the bounding box like so;




Ok you can press the space bar now to clear all selections and go to the file menu and select "Import Image" and import the erm single curtain you grabbed earlier.




left click the front face of our cube to highlight it then right click for menu and go all the way to the bottom and select "UV Mapping". You should now be looking at something like the picture above. 


Right click the left hand screen and select "Segment by Projection" then, "Continue".

Right click again and "Continue", "Unfolding". You now have this right?




What we want to do now is place the image we loaded in onto this face so.....without further adieu (means now :D) - Right click in this new window and choose "Create Texture"




Set the size to 512 x 512, click "Background" options, "Image" and change the image with the little arrow keys to the one we imported.




You can now close this window and press space and rejoice in the fact you now have nothing you are going to keep..... That was the easy bit


The tough part!


The first part of this is going to be more text than pictures so pay attention!


1. Right click menu, select "Cube"

2. Select entire cube so it's all red

3. "Tools" menu, "Bounding box", "Scale to saved BB"

4. "Tools" menu, "Bounding box", "Move to saved BB"


If you don't have the following in front of you then go back and start over.




Now we can start cheating


In the right hand box (geometry graph) select this; 




Now were going to highlight the right hand face of the cube and right click for the menu and choose "Move", "X" and move the face until your around about where the curtain starts like this;




We're going to do this all the way around the curtain - Pay attention to where I have stopped at the top.




Now. We need to split our edges so we can make some kind of flow to the object. On something like this object it is down to your best guess. The less cuts we make the lower the poly count on the finished mesh.


With the edge tool selected click the four vertical edges only and if you listened in an earlier tutorial you will have numlock on - If this is so then press "6" and then "C" to cut the object up into 6 equal pieces and connect the vertices (dots)




?I will forgive you at this point if you need several attempts at this but once you get the hang of it you can do wondrous things.


This time we're going to select the horizontal edges one at a time and use right click, "move", "x" to drag them in to meet the curtain behind them.




Do this all the way down on both sides and you should have something like this;




This next part can be tricky so we're going to lock our background cube (the one with the image on it) into place so we cant select it.




Once you have done that we can move on to the next fun part :D


What we now need to do is count the pleats or in this case we can count the spaces between the hangers at the top. This works with everything: count the spaces, double them and add one. That will give you the "Cut count".




Now that has been explained........Maybe?


Drag a box up through the entire cube from bottom to top, or top to bottom if you're a lefty like me.




Be careful here not to grab any of the vertical edges. If you do press space and start over.

You want this;




Once we have this right click for the menu and select "Cut" then "Enter number", 15.

Press "C" once.




Right remember how we left the top of the curtain? Well this is where we fix that part.




Now once you have the above press the "Z" key to adjust the camera angle. Right click for menu and "Extrude", "Y" - then move the mouse until you reach the top of the curtain (in the image)




Note: You can at this point tweak what we just made so that it resembles the background image. This takes time and patience so your choice!


Ok I'm not taking my own advice here because I already have one I did earlier but it is a good way to learn so I suggest you get tweaking.




Now we want to select all the front faces as above as we're going to make it a little thinner rather than the big chunky block we have right now. Once you have those faces selected right click for the menu and choose "Move", "Z" and move the mouse to get a decent thickness for our curtains.




Note: Now you can actually move each one of the vertical edges to reflect the pleat in the image. Again.... I'm too lazy to do that here :D


Curtains wouldn't be curtains without pleats so lets make some. Take your time here and select every other vertical edge all the way down as shown below;




Now if you have tweaked your edges like I suggested yours should look better than mine but I'm going to cheat twice! I've already done this.


1. Highlight the entire mesh

2. Right click -> UV Mapping

3. Right click in the new window and "Segment" -> "By Projection"

4. Right click again and "Continue" -> "Unfolding"


This is where the fun starts!


Aw you thought you had finished right? Wrong.


The new window that has popped up we need to do a few things to get our curtains (were only doing one face for this tutorial but if you really really want to you can arrange the pieces to do both)


We now need to add the texture to our new map. Right click and create texture and repeat as we did for the very first cube.


This may get complicated and may need a few attempts but I will try and explain as best I can. Press space to clear selection and choose the "Body" tool -> 



Now click on the image that reflects our picture. (the one facing right)

Right click and choose move (free) and scale (uniform) to place the map over the image.


Once you have something sensible you can press space and close that window.




Select the cube we used as a template and delete (or hide it) and...




We end up with a mesh that will very, very closely resemble the picture you started with.


I know how it isn't for beginners but with some practice you can make just about anything using this method. As a HUGE plus it will ALWAYS fit the texture you started with and no or little editing is required.


Hope you liked it. TTFN

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Oh Sam this one I will forgive you for if you say it's scary. 


It really isn't for first time mesher but it does give you an idea of how they make things so close to the real object.


For me to make that mesh this way takes me around 10-15 mins .... the tutorial took me 2 hours lol so I hope you do get to this part :D

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