Expanded Library

Creating Next-Gen Game Assets in Maya

by Justin Marshall

In this Maya tutorial, we will learn how to create a realistic rifle and then process the high-res mesh into a lower-res mesh usable in game engines. Software required: maya 2008 and higher (project files created using Maya 2010).

What you'll learn

In this Maya tutorial, we will learn how to create a realistic rifle and then process the high-res mesh into a lower-res mesh usable in game engines. Creating high resolution props and sets can be really useful in film or video. But when working in games and other real-time applications, it's often necessary to use lower resolution geometry. To create the illusion of greater detail than the resolution would allow, normal maps are often employed. These maps allow us to display a high level of detail on a fairly low resolution mesh. We'll begin this course by building a high resolution assault rifle using a variety of modeling tools in Maya. Once we have the high resolution mesh built, we can build a much lower resolution cage around the mesh, taking into account any of the details that we want to capture. Once we're done, we'll create a uv layout for the low-res pieces and use Transfer Maps to create and apply a normal map calculated from our high resolution geometry. Upon completion of this Maya tutorial, you'll have a finished rifle, but also the ability to create your own normal-mapped assets for use in games or any realtime application. Software required: maya 2008 and higher (project files created using Maya 2010).

About the author

Justin thrives as a lead modeling author at Pluralsight. Growing up, Justin found a deep interest for the computer graphics industry after watching movies like Jurassic Park, Toy Story, and The Abyss. His ambition would lead him to work at Sony Imageworks in Los Angeles on movies like Monster House and Surf's Up. Justin has also had numerous articles, tutorials, and images published in 3D World and 3D Artist. As an author, Justin enjoys collaborating with fellow authors, especially on project... more

Ready to upskill? Get started