Meet Bob! He’s teamed up with instructor Matthew as part of Game-U’s New Jersey Accelerate program. Bob’s a train fan who enjoys Thomas the Tank Engine and the Trainz Simulator video game, so naturally, when he and Matthew looked for a 3D modeling project, they settled on something that could ride the rails!
One of the railway cars Thomas and his friends pull is the old fish van, important for carting fish to market. Using Maya, the all-in-one modeling and animation software suite, Bob and Matthew created a 3D model of the fish van, complete with wheels, couplers, and doors. Without any textures, however, the model is just a shape. Remember UV unwrapping? It’s a process used by modelers to “unwrap” an object along its UV axes, exposing all the 3D surfaces in a 2D work area for easier texturing. Think of UV unwrapping like unfolding a cardboard pizza box. A flat box – or fish van – is definitely easier to paint!
After unwrapping the fish van, Bob and Matthew organized the surfaces and added appropriate textures – rusty metal for the sides, white paint for the graffiti, wood for the base, and polished metal for the couplers. Textures like these bring Bob’s model to life. The next step? Preparing the model to be imported into Trainz Simulator! There, Bob can animate his model for use in his games.
Way to go, Bob! Your finished model looks amazing, and will make a great addition to a Trainz Simulator railroad. Keep modeling, and keep in touch, too! We’re excited to see you learn new and useful skills.