View Full Version : Building Roads?

05-03-2004, 01:41 AM
Ok people,

when you mix your Ashphalt and tarmac....

Only joking! What I'm after is some pointers on road construction in LW. For example, I need to do some animations on a variety of roads, e.g. Town roads (short sections), Country Roads (long winding sections) and Motorways (long straight sections).

I have toyed about with some ways, but not getting brilliant results. For example, I tried a long stretch of road with one long texture map created in photoshop, but the texture map was huge, and a pain to have to do, especially as the road had a bends in it. So I then created a UV maps for a long road broken into sections. This worked better, but when I put a bend in the road the texture became quite choppy and angled.

I am contimuing with my endeavours, and even searched the net, but no-one seems to have put any tuts up on good road building.

So, if anyone has experience and can shed some light, I would be grateful...


Kevin McPoland

05-03-2004, 07:16 AM
use uv mapping...

make a small tilable map for the road..say about 15ft long with one white center dash....

select your windy road polys..
make uv map in neg y projection...

open up uv viewport and using stretch
flatten out the top uvs..
then flatten out the bottom uvs...

your tiled texture will then follow around the corners correctly...

...when i have time i'll post a proper tutorial up!

still it's a start for you!

05-03-2004, 07:22 AM
Thanks Cresshead,

I'll start with your reply guide, and wait with anticipation to see your tutorial if and when you get time.


Kevin McPoland

05-03-2004, 07:54 AM
in the mean time go here and get the excellent videos from splingod there's a couple on uv mapping too.




05-03-2004, 05:13 PM
try this...
it;s pdf i created for tomorrow's lesson in college..re jigged to to be a road so you can take advantage too....they were taught uv's last week but many didn't "get it"....

have fun!:D

05-03-2004, 07:10 PM
Or use this plugin a called 'UV Band Mapper'

Check it out:- http://downloads.laffeycomputer.com/bandmapper/

05-03-2004, 07:32 PM
nice plugin!

05-03-2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
try this...
it;s pdf i created for tomorrow's lesson in college..re jigged to to be a road so you can take advantage too....they were taught uv's last week but many didn't "get it"....

have fun!:D

Cool tutorial Cresshead! Thanks. :)

05-03-2004, 08:10 PM
glad you like it!

the piks are poor quality as i was trying to keep the file size down to a minimum but still have them "readable" for what they are intended for...the student version is 1.6 mb with colour piks.


05-04-2004, 11:12 AM
Cresshead, thats perfect! I would have replied earlier but I've just got home, and I can't download Zip files at work...:(

thekho, thanks for the link to the plug in. I was thinking of a looping future type race track as a project soon, and this lends itself very well...

I love this forum!!!

Kevin McPoland

05-04-2004, 02:12 PM
Hi thekho,

I have been trying the UV Band Mapper plug in, and following the instructions EXACTLY, but I keep getting a crash when I run it.

It comes up with

Line 92, illegal index value (-1) provided"

then crashes modeler.

I have LW 7.5c running. Have you (or anyone else reading this) had this happen?

Kevin McPoland

05-04-2004, 03:23 PM
Cresshead... great tutorial. Very generous of you to share it with the Lightwave community.

05-05-2004, 05:38 AM
Originally posted by kevinmcpoland
Hi thekho,

I have been trying the UV Band Mapper plug in, and following the instructions EXACTLY, but I keep getting a crash when I run it.

It comes up with

Line 92, illegal index value (-1) provided"

then crashes modeler.

I have LW 7.5c running. Have you (or anyone else reading this) had this happen?

Kevin McPoland

Sorry, i'm afraid i can't help you cos i'm using LW 7.5 but i think you should email him who made this plugin if you have a problem. He might help you.

05-05-2004, 12:11 PM
I've done lots of roads without the hassle of UV's.

Make a long subdivided road, and apply a repeating road textures. Then, use bones! Bend as needed.

05-05-2004, 03:37 PM
Hi Dan,

Thanks for the extra tip! I have to confess, I haven't actually done anything with bones really, none of my "playing" has needed them yet (still really working in modeler), so I got out the good old "Inside LW7 (by guess who), and just learnt from the chapter on Character construction!

I would never have guessed your snowman would help me set up roads!

Kevin McPoland

05-05-2004, 05:16 PM
as you can see there's various ways to get the results you desire..dan's way is pretty neat too btw..not thought of that one for roads!

also have a look at splingod's free tutorials as he has a couple of uv tutorials on there in the free section of his website too...

as ever, which ever way gets a result your looking for is a good result!

so, uv's, plugins, bones or morphmaps!..they are all options open to you when you try and find a way....

dan's book's are ace BTW...definatly get them if you haven't already..inside lightwave is a "must" have addition to any lightwave user...a sort of second manual for lw!... made from several trees [of a glade!] by how heavy it is!

05-05-2004, 06:50 PM
Yep. Bones are great for tons of things beside character animation. Bumps in objects, deformations to furniture, curtains, paper, etc.

I quickly threw together a road with bones for you. Note that the lines in the road pictured, are all procedural. Using bones deforms the procedural of course, as well as any image maps applied.

Download the scene and object HERE (http://3dgarage.com/daroad.zip)

Hope that helps!

05-06-2004, 02:29 AM
Thanks Steve! :)
The method you use really would depend on the type of road you need. You mentioned several types. If you have a very simply or basic road you might be able to go wtih bones though sometimes you have to watch out that you dont get some unwanted kinks or deformations in some areas. This can depend on the number of bones, falloff, bone strength etc.

With the new bone tools in LW8 its easy to split, fuse and do a variety of things to bones. Another thing is long chains of bones may not be convenient to bend by hand. This is where you might think of using IK. Again if you have LW 8 you can use IKBooster, whose IK system is perfect for this since you can adjust each node at will. LWs stanard IK can get twitchy with long chains and also time consuming to set up multi goal IK chains.

If I were going to use some kind of deformation tool I would look at FIs_Bezier bend or Shift Spline Transform which are spline based deformers and better then the one included in layout.

some other ways would be to select points off an existing landscape, create splines and use them as a guide for rail extrudes for creating the road surface or as guides for rail cloning support pylons, fence posts, light posts etc. The nice thing about rail extruding is that you can create the UV map right there.
You can easily create points to pick by stenciling in geometry.
You can also boolean in the roadway.
You can also start with a flat grid and model everything flat. from the top view you can treat it like a map and layout your surfaces, UV maps etc. Once you do that you can covert UV maps to weight maps. You can use those weight maps along with the FALLOFF setting with most of the tools in the modify panel to move, rotate, stretch and so on based on the weight maps strength.
You can also use image maps to displace geometry which may be useful for creating roadways. You can also use an image maps to create weight maps using the Texture Point plugin in modeler.
Another method is to create roadways using morph maps.
For instance you can make a grid and then create morph targets with the grid up, down or whatever. Using the airbrush tool or image maps (textured point in modeler or normal displacement in layout) you can use the image map to control which parts morph by how much.
The idea is that there are lots of ways to do this depending on the type of road and the type of environment it will be in. :)

05-06-2004, 12:00 PM

Thanks for the example, I'm about to look at it as I am also interested in the use of procedurals in the lines. Very cool!


Wow, that's a lot of info! Unfortunately a lot of it is over my head at the moment, but rest assured, you took the time to write, so I will take the time to try the examples.

Mind you, for both of you LW Guru's, I guess (but I'm not sure of course), that there are a lot of people like me who would be interested in buying project specific tutorials like this.

I appreciate you do stuff on your courses, but for some of us the price (whilst excellent value!) is still a bit steep. The sort of thing I mean is like "How to build a road/urban environment/junction scene etc for $20 - $30." Then people could dip in and just buy the tut's they want.

I know SimplyLightwave does a project type thing, and I have purchased from them, but the trouble I find is their tutorials seem to last forever (I started buying the MacLaren tut, and it's been going on AGES). There needs to be shorter and more of a variety to keep me personally interested.

I started this topic, as although I thought it would be a very popular topic for tutorials in general, I really couldn't find much on the web to help me. Most tutorials specifically deal with things like Character stuff or Cars (not many tutorials for other sorts of vehicles either - e.g. Boeing Aeroplanes, Helicopters, Boats - HINT)

Looking at your answer in particular Larry, there can be such a variety of ways that I can't be the only one needing help (...or maybe I am...!).

So thanks you ALL again, I now have options and things to try! :)

Kevin McPoland

05-06-2004, 12:52 PM
Thanks Kev!
What I threw out here was just off the top of my head....sort of a "if you had 10 minutes to think of something" kind of thingy. :)
I figure that since theres not much space or time on a forum to do a full blown tutorial at least I can throw out a bunch of options that give a place to start or points you in the direction for doing some research.
Theres quite a few things Im working on in terms of training materials so you might see something along these lines soon. :)

05-06-2004, 02:48 PM
Thanks Kev -

you should check out the Class on Demand videos (www.classondemand.net). Shorter, more topic specific tutorials.

When you're interested in something, send it to me via email and we can produce some videos. We need requests people!

Also, we have some new material coming soon on CD from 3D Garage.com.

Keep up the great work. Let me know if you have any problems with the road files.