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Silent1Unknown
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Post subject: A Beginner's Guide To Modeling For MM2 Reply with quote

So you've beat the game a couple of times and unlocked all the cars. You've downloaded all the extra cars available on the web and came to realize, "Hey, if ordinary people can make these cars, then so can I!" And finally, you've come to the MM2C and checked the MM2 Resource thread above to help you get started only to find out that most of those links are dead or oudated. What do you do now?

Well, that was my story. I had to figure things out the hard way, researching and digging up really old posts. But now that I know the basics, I wanted to make it easier for newcomers by organizing all that info in this very thread. Lets get started!

*******



THE SOFTWARE

You will need the following:

1. ZModeler v.1.07b - To make your model car. Its free, find it at www.zmodeler2.com.
2. Adobe Photoshop - To make textures (paintjobs) for your models. If you don't have Photoshop, you can download The Gimp for free.
3. MS Paint - Loads much faster than Photoshop and is used for some shortcuts.
4. MS WordPad/Notepad - Used to edit tuning files for the car.
5. MS Sound Recorder or GoldWave - If you want custom engine sounds and such. Not absolutely necessary.
6. WinRAR - To package everything together in the end.
7. Midtown Madness 2 - To test out and have fun with your car!

If you have all of the above with the exception of #5, you're ready.


LESSON 1: BLUEPRINTS

Choose a car you want to model. Since you're a beginner, its advised to pick a boxy car. For this tutorial, I've chosen the Jeep Grand Cherokee (2003). You can just copy it.




Also since you're a beginner, you should use blueprints. Some good sites to find blueprints are The Blueprints, Car Blueprints and SMCars (you'll have to sign up to view them at SMCars).


There are good blueprints and not so good blueprints. You can quickly test out your set of blueprints to see how good or bad they are.


Test: Open up the blueprint in MS Paint. Making sure the side view and front view are at the same level (see green lines below), connect features like the top of the headlights from side view to front view (see red lines below). You can also check side and back views. If the red lines are perfectly horizontal, it means the blueprints are MOST PROBABLY (98%) good. Also, look at the front view and trace the outlines of the hood (see blue lines below). They should taper downwards. If they taper upwards or don't taper at all (parallel), the blueprint is NOT COOL!!! Also, good blueprints come with a top view, but not always necessary.
EDIT: Take a look at the side view. On good blueprints, you should see more than just the headlights on the front end, including some of the grille and on the rear end you should see more than just the tail-lights. This is because most cars don't have flat fronts or backs and so you should be able to see some details beyond the headlights and tail-lights in the side view.

NOTE:Before you test out your set of blueprints, you must be sure that all the heights and widths match up. The heights of the front, back and side views should be the same. The widths of the front, back and top views should be equal. Its obvious that you shouldn't compare the blueprints yet, say, if the back view is twice as large as the front.


Example of a fair blueprint:




Example of a poorly done blueprint:



Now we need to prepare the blueprint for putting into ZM (ZModeler). Simply make new images containing only ONE view each and make sure its centered. The images should be saved as .bmp or .tga formats. If you want more details on how to carry out this step, read below. Otherwise, you can skip to the next lesson.



Open up your blueprint in Photoshop. ROUGHLY select the side view using the rectangular marquee tool and copy (by pressing Ctrl+C),



Then go to File>New... and a box will appear. Don't change anything, just press OK and then paste (by pressing Ctrl+V) the image there. Now use the Magic Wand tool to select the area outside of the side view of the car and then right-click it, go to Select Inverse.



Only the side view should be selected now and no white space around it. Copy and Paste to another new document, you should get something like this:



Go to Image>Canvas size... and you'll get the box shown below with the same numbers if you did everything right.



The image should have dimensions such as 128, 256, 512, 1024 ...etc. So pick the next highest number than shown for current width and height. In this case, change width to 512 and height to 256. DO NOT TOUCH THE ANCHOR, it should be the center box. Paint the transparent area white. Your final image of the side view is centered on the canvas and should like this:



Finally, save it by going to File>Save as... and save it as either .bmp or .tga. I choose .bmp because the file size will be smaller and there is nothing transparent on my canvas.



Repeat for front, back and top views.



Few notes:
-When preparing the top view, it should be oriented so that the headlights face down and taillights face up, just like in the blueprint I found for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Otherwise, select the top view and go to Edit>Transform>Rotate[degree of your choice] to rotate it to the proper orientation.
-Sometimes, blueprints are very large in dimensions. When you get to the step where you are about to increase the canvas size, resize your image first by going to Image>Image size and make sure constrain proportions is checked. Ideally, you want the width of the side view to be 512 pixels. That also means that the height of your top view (if you have one) will also be 512 pixels. Remember, when changing the front and back views, their dimensions should match. Also their heights will equal the height of the side view and their widths should equal the width of the top view.

You also probably want some photos of your car for reference. The lighting and coloring on photos tells you depth of the car, where there are curves, how much of a curve and other such details. Collect some dynamic shots from sources like GoogleImage, YahooAutos, Motorcities or even the car maker's site.

Thats it for now I think. Next lesson, we'll start modeling.


JUMP TO ANOTHER LESSON:
LESSON 1: SOFTWARE & BLUEPRINTS - PAGE 1
LESSON 2 PART 1: MODELING THE SIDE - PAGE 2
LESSON 2 PART 2: MODELING THE REST OF THE BODY - PAGE 3
LESSON 3: TEXTURING - PAGE 3
LESSON 4 PART 1: FINISHING TOUCHES - PAGE 4
LESSON 4 PART 2: THE OBJECT LIST - PAGE 4
LESSON 5: PACKAGING TO .AR - PAGE 5
LESSON 6: THE EXTRAS - PAGE 6
LESSON 7: MODELING REFINED - PAGE 6
TUNING AND AUDIO FILES EXPLAINED - PAGE 7
HOW TO MAKE ANIMATED TEXTURES - PAGE 8
HOW TO MAKE A COP CAR & SIRENS - PAGE 11

DOWNLOADS:
PDF VERSION (LESSONS 1 - 7 ONLY) + JEEP.Z3D + JEEP.AR - MMARCHIVE - MM2X
LESSON 1 - VIDEO
LESSON 2 - VIDEO

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Last edited by Silent1Unknown on 08 Mar 2009 12:41 pm; edited 9 times in total
Post 23 Apr 2008 05:15 am
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Bradley_Wint
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Nice choices in the poll
Post 23 Apr 2008 06:23 am
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alexsim2004
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Very good tutorial - I might try it
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Post 23 Apr 2008 03:17 pm
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thenthornthing
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A very simple tutorial. Will be very beneficial to new modellers.
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Post 23 Apr 2008 03:29 pm
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_RicH_
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just a note, but if you use TGA you might end up with a flipped blueprint, depends on the software used.
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Post 23 Apr 2008 05:28 pm
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V-Thirteen
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Awesome stuff!
Post 23 Apr 2008 06:45 pm
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busboy99
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Great tutorial!!! Well done Silent!
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Post 23 Apr 2008 06:49 pm
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Toyzidro
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Good work!! Waiting next lessons!! Shocked Mr. Green
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Post 23 Apr 2008 07:57 pm
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b12man
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Very easy to understand! Too bad you didn't use an '02 Jeep Razz
I'm looking forward to some modeling tips Smile
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Post 23 Apr 2008 08:45 pm
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Tonywolfe121
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my box might get in mm2
Post 23 Apr 2008 08:56 pm
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alexsim2004
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tonywolfe121 wrote:
my box might get in mm2


What would that be?
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Post 23 Apr 2008 10:49 pm
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Tonywolfe121
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http://forum.mm2c.com/viewtopic.php?t=13980
Post 23 Apr 2008 11:08 pm
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Silent1Unknown
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Toyzidro wrote:
Good work!! Waiting next lessons!! Shocked Mr. Green

Shocked Toyzidro awaiting my lessons??? You're more experienced than I am, YOU should be writing up this tutorial and I should be awaiting YOUR lessons. Mr. Green

Don't worry, this isn't gonna be that great of a tutorial. Just the basics. I'm no superstar like Toyzidro, Riva or some other guys around here. Embarassed

@TonyWolfe: I thought your my-car-not-a-bus car was in game already.
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Last edited by Silent1Unknown on 23 Apr 2008 11:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post 23 Apr 2008 11:20 pm
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b12man
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The basics are what we need Razz A lot of the other tutorials don't get straight to the point, or just do something too complicated. I think yours is gonna be great
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Post 23 Apr 2008 11:21 pm
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Tonywolfe121
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almost mm2 wont pick it up
Post 23 Apr 2008 11:26 pm
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