curved bridge


Let me preface this by saying I’m very new at this and I’m sure I’m doing this in a very inefficient manner.

I want to create a curved stone bridge. So what I’ve done so far is create a cylinder, stretch it out, and then create a copy of it and put it slightly below it in subrative form to hollow it out. This seems to “kind” of work, but then I wanted to put some railings on it. And I really started to get in trouble. I would be fine with a solid rock railing on it. I thought maybe I could create copies on the sides, but then my subtractive layer doesn’t seem to work on them.

Am I going in the right direction? I also tried to do this a bit in Maya, but that didn’t seem to work well at all.


You need to model things like that in your 3D program, like Maya. If you’re having trouble there then you should look into 3D modeling tutorials.

Well, I kind of got it figured out by now. I made subtractive sections for the left and right railing as well. I am watching some tutorials for 3d modeling in maya, but it’s very slow going. I’m sure I will get it eventually.

Ok, I’m making some progress (kind of) in 3D max and getting a curved bridge in. However, whenever I apply a material it looks all funny. I’m assuming there is something I need to do with the scale? I’m setting 3D max to centimeters when I export.

First off, kudos for diving in and learning this stuff! You may want to look into UV mapping - if you don’t create a UV map for your model it will look funky when you texture it. There should be some good tutorials on it for studio max on youtube. Good luck!

Best way i can think of: find reference picture with side view of your bridge, or draw it on paper. Make texture out of it, best like 2048x2048 dimension. Apply this texture to one of box static meshes that are in unreal. Static mesh not CSG one!. Your picture should nicely fit to side of static mesh. Scale that static mesh to match size you want. Now you have reference picture ready.

Now create Addtive only brush for one section of bridge. Copy it and vertex edit to match curve on reference picture. then copy next segment, and so on. But above everything stick to grid, or you summon HOM daemon (i hope they killed it finally but nobody knows for sure).

This all would be much easier in 3d max:
make and uv unwarp one section, remove surfaces that will be inside bridge.
copy segments until you have half of bridge length, attach them all together, weld verts
and then just bend tapper and twist until you happy.

Ok, I definitely did not create a UV map for my model. I guess I will look into that next.

Thanks again for the help,

Ok, I’m going through the tutorial on UV mapping, and I think I understand the idea

Basically I need to assign a texture to each face of the object yes?

Now at this time I’m still doing very basic, I’m probably going to use one of Unreal’s default material/textures such as marble or maybe one of the brick ones. How do you tell what size those are so you can apply those properly. Can/should you import those into 3D max and then apply them there? Then I would import back into Unreal?

Thanks again,

The basic concept of UV mapping is this: textures are flat, but your object is in 3 dimensions, so you need to unwrap and ‘flatten’ the model to tell the computer how it can apply the flat texture to your 3D object. The goal is to ‘unwrap’ your model without stretching any part of it too badly. It’s like wrapping a present but in reverse ^.^


The important thing to understand here is that once you’ve done the work of UV mapping you can apply ANY texture to it and it should work correctly. UV unwrapping doesn’t involve applying a material to your object, it’s just the ‘map’ that gets used when you DO add a texture.

ok, I think I’m making some progress here. my textures seem to apply properly now, but they are WAY to big.

Here was my first try before UV mapping.

Here is my new one, the textures now fit but they are SO big

When I apply the textures to the bridge built with BSP’s I get something much more natural

Just to make sure I’m doing this write, here as how I did the UV mapping

Select the object in 3d max
covert to editable mesh
mod - UVW map

then save and export

I feel like I’m close, but still missing something.


Question, what if I want to map one textures to the bridge and the other to the pillars?

Also, still can’t figure out how to get the textures smaller on the bridge. They fit, but are way to big




add an edit poly modifier on a piece and attach all others.


click in the edit poly modifier on the face-selection mode and select all faces that shall
have a different texture than other objects in your model.
set the material id e.g. to 2 for the pillars and everything else 1

add a unwrap uv modifier

in the unwarp uv modifier


hit the “open uv editor button”
in the new window hit strg+a (or ctrl+a) to select all faces (if in face-mode)
then go to “mapping” and hit the flatten button to let 3dsmax flatten your uv map.

now you can change the size of uv mapping for every object.
if you want objects to share the same uv space just drag them on top of each other.

this is the very basic of easy uv’ing and should be good for getting into it.
later you might want to do it more professionally ;D

Cool, will try that tonight, ty

“if you want objects to share the same uv space just drag them on top of each other.” I would do this for the pillars yes? So I don’t have to map each one?

yes, but actually this way you map each one anyway so its also a no :smiley:
but for what you mean its: yes :wink:

take a look at the last screenshot.
the pillars i made as example for you are just cylinders.
unwrapping the uv (is like rolling the cylinder over gift wrap paper to seal it) results in
a rectangle with the same amount of faces planar on the uv sheet.

to make them share the same uv space you go e.g. in face selection mode, mark them and
put them on top of each other. then you can also mark them all and scale them.

dont be afraid to overlay your pillars uv’s with those of other parts of the bridge (or move the other
parts away for later) because you assigned them different ID’s in the prior step.

this way you need a multimaterial with 2 layers. one for the bridges main part texture and one texture
for the pillars. the layer 2 (or 2nd) texture would be the pillars texture.

if you want ONE texture for everything (a so called atlas texture) you would want no
overlappings of all the uv’s for each texture to achieve more variety in your texturing
process. the downside would be a lower texture resolution.

the next learning step after that would be to do normal baking.

Hmm, I can’t get different surfaces at all, I must be doing something wrong. I even tried just using a cube, it already has all the surfaces mapped to different sides, but no go.

Well, I’ll try again tomorrow, ty anyway for the help.

then you forgot something. edit poly modifier -> face selection mode (the square) -> selecting faces -> set id (1 or 2 for two materials/textures) -> unwarp uvw modifier -> flatten mapping -> still in face selection mode -> select / drag around etc.

I tried to simplify it since I’m not making any progress

  1. edit poly modifer and attach it then face selection and set id’s

ID 1

ID 2

Then select ALL Then unwrap UVW and hit flatten mapping

Then export and import

But everthing stays the same. Is there a step I’m missing, like an save UV map, or export feature I need selected? This seems like it should be pretty straight forward.

Also, I note that in other tests, if I increase the number of faces on a polygon, I don’t get the extra faces when I import to Unreal.

For example,

I create 3 tubes, and if I change the number of sides between the tubes that imports correctly, but if I change the number of height segements that doesn’t. (all after UVW unwrapping of course).

Side note, I swear I’m not stupid, lol

Well, I finally got it. Not sure what was different this time. Though I actually applied materials inside 3d max first. Then replaced in Unreal

Thanks again for all the help. I also started the courses at digital tutors.

i want to start doing all this modelling stuff aswell, where do you get/download the programs to do this stuff?