The Art of Art Assets - Building a Simple Bridge : Part 2a
Assembling the Pieces
Alright we’ve gotten pretty far on our model. All the pieces have been created and our estimated triangle count is under 3500. Putting the pieces together is the easy part. We will mostly be using the non-uniform scaling tool and cloning for this part of the tutorial.
I would suggest first aligning the H Bar support at 0, 0, 0 so we can use it as a reference for the rest of the pieces. Shift click the H Bar support and move it to the right. This will open up the Clone dialog box. You will want to create an ‘Instance’ of the object. Once you have an instance of your object, move it by 50 in the Y direction using the property bar located below the timeline.
Make sure that the H Bar support instance has the same X and Z coordinates. We want our bridge to match up exactly.
Alright we have the H Bar supports, now we need to add the crisscross supports. This is very simple. All you need to do is shift click the crisscross support and do the same thing we did with the H Bar support.
Here is a shot of the perspective so you can get an idea of where this is going.
Do the same for the rest of the bridge up to the center. We will then mirror these instanced supports to the other side and ease some of the placement trouble.
The left 2 supports are at about the right height. I would suggest placing the road on top of the 2 left supports. Make sure they are aligned correctly, that way we can use it to resize the tops of the remaining crisscross supports.
Now you can use the Select and Non-Uniform Scale tool. This is located below the main menu bar to the right of the rotate icon. Resize the crisscross supports to be flush with the road. Don’t resize the supports that are on the end. Your model should look similar to the following.
Select all the crisscross supports and use the mirror tool to flip an instance of your selection to the other side of the bridge. It should look like the following.
We need to add the crisscross supports to the underside of the bridge at this point. This is where you will need to resize and rotate to fit it between the vertical crisscross supports. Be careful when you do the non-uniform scaling, you don’t want to distort the object, just stretch it.
Mirror the supports to the other side of the bridge.
You should now have the supports in place. Go ahead and place the railing on top of the road aligned with the H Bar supports.
Play around with the placement of the railing, road, etc. until you feel comfortable with the final shape of your bridge. Also make sure that there aren’t any visible gaps between supports.
This is what our bridge looks like at this point.
Adjust the railing by bringing it slightly in and down on top of the road. When you believe the shape of your bridge is just right proceed to the next steps.
Group and Collapse
Select all the crisscross supports and group them together by selecting Group>Group from the main menu bar. Name the group ‘crisscross’.
Group the two railing objects, name the group ‘railing’.
Group the two H Bar objects, name the group ‘hbars’.
Select the entire model and group it together, name the group ‘bridge’.
Save your model as “bridge_constructed”.
With the bridge group selected click the utilities tab, click the Collapse button, and collapse the bridge to a single mesh making sure no Boolean operations will be performed.
You now have a fully constructed bridge that is ready for the unwrapping and texturing process.
Save As the file again and name it ‘bridge_mesh’. This is to guarantee that if we have problems later that we can modify the original file with all the modifiers still in place.
Click here to continue.