After a bit of a festive hiatus, I’m back in the swing of things – I plan to get back to full regularity after the new year. The only UV mapped portion of this is the logo, and the grey shutters – the rest is colour picked from a reference photo.
The foyer is slightly different, and the protruding signs aren’t there, but it’s a start and will need further refinement.
Comparing the two, the logo on the side of the building is way too small, and I’m too tired to fiddle on with re-UV mapping it right now.
Not going to include any brands in this; I wanted to play with a few different styles. But first, a little breakdown of the model itself.
Laptop died, and charging port is very finickity. That may be all for tonight…
The very next day…
Being totally honest, I am really not keen on this model. It’s ugly and feels like a bodge-job: the mesh is messy, and the topology around the doorway is all over the place.
I am pleased that I found a technique that works for ceiling lighting and floors though, so that’s something.
Both the top and the bottom floors have lights on their ceiling. For comparison, no lights have been added to the middle floors, but the light seeps through from the ceiling of the ground floor onto the first floor. Again, I’m OK with this for now.
The first floor looks as if it is made entirely of light, possibly because the Toon shader doesn’t absorb, bounce and disperse light in the same way a realism-based texture would. Why would it? Its a cartoon texture!
Well, the sky’s a nice colour at least… I still don’t like this model, and I’m thankful that tomorrow is a new day so I can start working on another building, and thinking about how to implement a controlled demolition into the storyline.
Completed in 1972, and formerly occupied by BT until 2013, this building was used to manage Sheffield’s phone systems.
The building was sold in 2014, and is now luxury student appartments. The more I work on this building, the more interesting it becomes – it has since had a change of colour scheme since BT departed, but I wanted to keep it in the original colours because I find them the most interesting
Working on the building has been equally interesting and confusing, and a little infuriating. The building you see to the left that looks like it adjoins to the tower actually goes underneath it – and it is now used as a car park.
Since the building was sold, its colour scheme was changed to some thing a little more modern and white, so it has lost a lot of its brutalist charm (and it’d look like just another unfinished building on my work-in-progress map!)
I’ve made the design decision to keep it in its original colours as much as possible.
Here’s a reference image:
Above we see the same building from the other side. I’ve not wanted to go too much into the horizontal building in this post, there’s a bit more work to do on the vertical element of the building, shown in the renders as dark grey before I can start on the second building of Telephone House tomorrow. Also, the foyer will need redoing, because currently it’s all windows and no doors.
For those who genuinely can’t wait, or are unfamiliar with the area… this is what I’m up against:
I’ve (kind of) finished the upper building, there’s some tweaks to be made still, but I did record a silent screencast to show exact process I used.
The concept of ‘save the best till last’ is quite alien to me, this is why Fultons was one of the first buildings I had done, because as a starving artist, places that sell great value food hold a special place in my heart.
This is the first render, and I’ve blocked in the windows, the shop banner and some of the support pillar on the corner. The dark patch to the right of the store is B&M, and will be added in later.
Immediately looking at this render, the things I need to change are: – The banner has two different shades of blue, I need to set them all to the darker shade. – The doors will need to be made to look more like doors than windows. – Promotional posters in the windows.
What’s missing from this view is that either side of the building (Castlegate House) – there are two bridges, which allow (or at least did at one point in time) access to the upper floors.
I’ve worked on the upper floors of Castlegate house, and the dark grey area where B&M would be is actually about a storey higher, and the building to the left is a major Post Office.
I’m ambitious about bringing the bridges back into use, because they would offer a great vantage point of the area, and would be perfect for ducking and diving, but also aware that I am only one person, and to bring in the intense level of detail I envision would take an awfully long time.
Just a quick catchup, I know it has been a while since I posted a talking video! Here, I’ll briefly cover adding some vegetation to grassy areas, which I’ve done using the Blenderkit addon.
I’ll show you how I was applying textures to the roads in the city, and talk you through some of the buildings I’ve done this week. If you’re keeping a regular eye on what’s going on here, you’d have seen a lot of this before, it is just an update video for the past week or so.
I’ve got a bit of a cold, so please excuse coughs and other such noises.
Allergy warning: Though every effort has been taken to remove sharp inbreaths, some may remain.
Lord Nelson, a public house on Arundel Street, known for its vibrancy. The only UV mapped parts of this building are the doors and banner: the rest are plain colours picked from the reference image at the bottom right.
The windows are a generic glass texture I’ve been using for almost every building, this is so that any changes I make to the standard glass in the environment will affect every building at once.
I have done this deliberately, because I know that the game engine is very funny about transparent textures, and will refuse to compile if I don’t get it just right.
The UV map will later be expanded upon with brick textures, and promotional signage for the side of the building like chalkboards and banners.
This is an earlier render from before I’d mapped in the logo text and doors from the UV map above. The black ‘skirting board’ texture also needed a bit of work.
Blender’s Freestyle lines help to add perspective, a bit of a comicbook feel and help identify issues with the texturing of the mesh – it really helps with scenes like this, because if you know the area, it automatically looks familiar to you.
If tonights buildings were branded, they would be Pizza Hut and Fone+
I’ve wanted to build these from just a single,good reference image side by side with the model: trying to find the most efficient method. I’ve not done any work with the logo – in an aid to speed up the modelling process.
I’ve applied basic textures to the walls, they are nothing more than diffuse colour textures – the black portions are glass textures. To the left,we have lastnights buildings.
I like the oversized windows – they’re almost caricatures and will allow a lot of light into the interior scenes, and provide a great view from inside the building.
I’ve been asked by a few people just how big this city model is, and which range it covers – so decided to render a full top-view of the map, so people can see the region I’m working on. The dark buildings are buildings I’ve started working on to some degree.
To give a sense of perspective, St. Pauls Tower is the centre-most building, and you can clearly see just how much more work I have to do.
If you are in the Sheffield area, and are looking to help out with this mammoth project, you can register an account on here, and once I’ve validated that you are a real person and not a spammer – I can set your status to Contributor, which will allow access to a team-management system I’ve installed – and I’ll also set you up with commit/push access on Github.
Currently, I’ve no idea how I’m going to manage and organise a team – this is a labour of love project I’m doing in my free time: so some self-motivation on your part is a must.
While on the subject of layout – I’ve retextured the pedestrian areas to use some of the photographs I’d taken of the ground the other day. I did take some more today, along with Mecca Bingo reference photos, but alas:
I have been experimenting with some of the grass textures from Blenderkit, but found them to inflate the filesize to be too large, so will be continuing with UV: though this is definitely not the end of my foray into this tool: particularly for uploading my urban environment textures into the community, as well as pooling resources of talented artists.