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Making Virtual Buildings

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:44 am
by tevlic
I think this is a great product. However, I also think you may be missing a great opportunity.

Paper models basically are a 1930's technology. I believe that there is a 21st century application for your product: making vitual buildings. I have attached a picture of a virtual building I made for the Sims 3 game by Electronic Arts using Model Builder


The texture was filched from one of those in the gallery. Unfortunately, I cannot upload my Sims3pack version to your gallery.

But consider, the Sims series is the best selling video game, with millions of copies being sold. There is a very active community of people making custom content for this game. This program is ideal for making textures for deco buildings. (The mesh is very simple -- the one pictured above is a simple cube: 8 vertices and 12 faces (polygons). This program makes for very nice low poly virtual structures.

The same file could also be saved as an OBJ file, a common format in 3d modelling.

The main limination of the program is that it apparently does not save models in an image format. (DDS format is the one used in the Sims.) I just captured a screenshot of the bulding, however, and imported it into Photoshop.

Re: Making Virtual Buildings

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:01 am
by tevlic
Playing with this some more, it is possible to use these virtual buildings in conjunction with other game objects (like stairs). Also several can be used in conjunction to make larger scenes like the rowhouse:


This is significant for gamers because high poly buildings and many of those made in game take a lot of processing power to render. This can result in the game lagging.

I know there are virtual railroad simulators. I don't know if they use 3d modelling and whether other structures can be imported. If they do, virtual buildings could be incorporated into these virtual railroads.

Re: Making Virtual Buildings

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:01 am
by SRV Ron
I have done the same for creating buildings for routes in Microsoft Train Simulator. The PRR Eastern route contains a lot of my and other's creations using textures from Model Builder, photographs of buildings, and screen shots of buildings from the street view in Bing Live Earth or Google Earth.

We also have the same poly count issue plus there is the need to have lighted windows in buildings for night running. (The modeling programs do have settings to allow for those modifications.)

Instead of using a screen shot, I print the finished file as a PDF which I can then load into the paint program to convert into textures that are used by the simulator to create the buildings.

Note, you should be able to TILE the texture for larger buildings instead of having to stack a series of smaller ones.