How do I create a low poly Train carriage?

My traditional way in GMAX would be to draw a 2 dimensional outline then extrude it. The emphasis is on low poly by the way as it has to be rendered in real time in a SIM, so 5,000 polys max and ideally 1,000 or so.

Thanks John

You can still use that method to create a train. Start with a plane and then move the verts and add or remove some as needed till you have the outline. then you can extrude it and you have a 3D object now. Then just mess with things and edgeloops till you get the desired result.

So how would I get the curve across the roof line? That’s the thing that puzzles me most.

Thanks John

Curve across the roof line… I am not a huge fan of trains so I am not sure what that is. You can subdivide the plane however many times you like, and then when you extrude it you can do some loop cuts (Ctrl+R) and add more verts where needed. If you could give me a pic of what you are talking about that would be great.

Basically I would normally start with a couple of arcs for the roof outline then add straight sections finally welding them altogether. Curves are difficult because they have the potential to add an enormous number of polys very quickly. For a small round pipe I would normally use a triangle then apply smoothing rather than use an 18 point cross section for a circle. Does that give you a better idea of what I’m trying to do.

When I see the word subdivide it sets alarm bells off with regard to poly counts.

Thanks John

Yea well, you can start off with a plane if you are worried about using curve (which is a good idea not to for this kind of thing). Then just subdivide it (only 4 faces now) then delete the center point and now you just have all the edges. Then you can add more or less vert and get that whole outline (including the thing on top) and then extrude it to make it have length. Basically you are using it just like a curve but where you can control how many verts you use and where to put them. Does that make more sense?

Mentally yes. I can do the subdivide thing then delete the inside points to give me a multipointed outline. I can also delete points at the base to keep the polys down there. Are there any tools for lining up the points to be a curve?

Thanks John

You can change edges into a curve. Like if you have a flat plane, then you could go into the scripts window and go into Mesh >> Edges to Curves and that will change it into a curve. Hope that is what you are wanting!

The script Dudebot refers to creates a curve object based on your mesh. Is that what you mean? Or are you talking about actually making the vertices form a curve matching your reference image? If it’s the latter, you’ll need to just brute-force the verts into the correct places. It’s not hard to position them in Edit Mode. I’m not sure how GMAX works, but in Blender the G, S and R keys are your friends.

Come to think of it, you could also use a Bezier Curve object with three handles, line that up with your reference image, lower the DefResolU value of the curve (F9 buttons), convert it to a mesh with Alt+CKey, then just extrude the end vertices down along the walls of your carriage. Either way should work.

I believe the number you specify in DefResolU determines how many vertices will be created between bezier handles when you convert the curve to a mesh. So three handles, DefResolU set to 2, you’ll end up with 7 vertices along your roof curve.

Thank you, I think DefResolU is exactly what I need. I just need to go and play now.

Many thanks to all who replied.

Cheerio John