3D Seattle Skyline

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    OK, so I'm starting actual work on this project. If you don't know what I mean check out this thread and (hopefully) it will make sense.

    I'm still undecided on whether to attempt to use mostly the "actual" skyline (my original intent) or use the Dystopian City Blocks to create a "representational" skyline (probably MUCH easier); this means I'm still soliciting opinions on which way to go (hint hint).

    I knew upfront that I'd need to create a custom model for the Renraku Arcology whichever option I chose, so I figured I might as well start with that. I started by modeling the basic shape in Sketchup. I used the basic dimensions of 700m x 700m x 960m - yes, I know those aren't entirely accurate but they are close and those dimensions are MUCH easier to work with. Besides, the difference from the original will hardly be noticeable in context of the final scene.

    Next, I created a VERY preliminary texture (all four sides are the same) in Photoshop. I create some semi random patterns of "lighted" windows. They ended up looking more tiled than they actually are but this is just a first run and I'll continue to modify until I get satisfactory results. Also, the color-scheme of the border lights, logo on the side and corner triangles was chosen because it says somewhere (Renraku Arcology: Shutdown, I believe) that the building appears silvery-green. I'm not sure how I'd go about texturing that with satisfactory results, not mention that in all of the illustrations I've seen, the structure appears mostly black. Anyway, I decided that making the architectural lighting a neon green would be a reasonable compromise.

    Finally I imported it into DAZ|Studio and did some additional tweaking (primarily a bit of Displacement Mapping). Then I created a basic animation of the structure rotating with a light on it so you could see it in 3D context and rendered it. I've included a link to the video clip and below is a link to a static render that shows the 3D effect of the Displacement Mapping on the architectural lighting (click on the thumbnail to go to a larger version). Keep it mind, this is a VERY basic first step; it's NOWHERE near finished. However, I am interested in any thoughts or feedback anyone might have.

    image

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Tubbster

    Tubbster (Face)

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    Great!!!

  • Citizen Joe

    Citizen Joe (Member)

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    I want to say that I read someplace that the arcology uses fiber optics to transfer the light on one side to the other so that you don't have a massive shadow. It might be a different building in Seattle, or I might be thinking of something in california.

    Edit: Yes, they use light transmitting conduits to use the light on the farms indoors and then transmit it to the shadow side, illuminating parts of Seattle. The glass is tinted a silvery green.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Citizen Joe:

    I want to say that I read someplace that the arcology uses fiber optics to transfer the light on one side to the other so that you don't have a massive shadow. It might be a different building in Seattle, or I might be thinking of something in california.

    Edit: Yes, they use light transmitting conduits to use the light on the farms indoors and then transmit it to the shadow side, illuminating parts of Seattle. The glass is tinted a silvery green.

    Yeah, I remember reading about the light transfer. Honestly, I don't think I could really "manifest" that in artwork without it looking fake. That's because, well, in a sense it is; it's defying conventional physics. I would imagine that aside from it not casting a shadow that would make adjacent buildings completely dark, it would appear somewhat unnatural - if even on a subconscious level. From an artistic standpoint, it would be easy enough to emulate this, but it would actually look a bit amateurish - like you forgot to add the shadows on a three dimensional object when the rest of the scene has them. Of course, I can choose where any (significant) light source comes from so I could make it mostly a non-issue anyway.

    I'm still experimenting with the 'silvery-green' but I'm not getting satisfactory results. I might just make it black with a very slight green tint. As I said before, I've never seen it illustrated where it appeared anything other than black or dark gray.

    -HabitualGypsy

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    OK, I'm pretty sure that I've decided to go the "authentic" route (see prior map thread if this doesn't make sense). It's gonna be (A LOT) more work, but it was my initial goal anyway. I've posted a couple of WIP pics so you can see where I'm at so far (click to link to full-size images).

    I should clarify a couple of things so that the images make a bit more sense. First, I'm having trouble getting the same angle that appeared in the original photo. And, yes, everything is DEFINITELY in the right place and to scale (+/- 1m or 2m here or there). You can see from the renders that I'm using a map of Seattle as the ground plane. This helps ensure that every building I've included is in the correct location. I also used a vertical plane to measure building heights (re-sized as necessary). I have a feeling that the camera controls in 3D software (possibly just DAZ|Studio) aren't as accurate to the real world as I might've hoped. But since I'm not absolutely beholden to reproducing a virtual representation of the view from Kerry Park, circa 2050, it might be a moot point. At the end of the day, I want an image that looks good and is as realistic as possible - even if it only hints at the "iconic" view.

    Next, there are still several buildings missing from what I was initially going to include. In some cases, I couldn't find models of them, in other cases, I had trouble converting them from .skp to .obj files. For the most part, it's no big deal, I'm going to be including new buildings anyway and I've gotten most of the ones I was after - certainly enough to represent a familiar Seattle skyline.

    And, yes, I'm well aware that many of the textures (as well as some the models' geometry) don't look so good. One of the next phases will be re-working textures. Some will only need minor tweaks (notably Two Union Square & B of A Fifth Ave Plaza) while others will need comprehensive re-working. For the record, I intend for the final image to be at night. This means that at the very least, I'll have to add randomly light up windows to the various facades - kinda along the lines of the arcology texture. Speaking of which, it's still in early stages as well; overall, I think it's a massive improvement from my initial post, but it's still got a ways to go.

    Finally, there's the elephant (almost literally) in the room of the Renraku arcology. With the second image you can see it in a 3D environment to it's stated scale (more or less). I know I may sound like a broken record, but it just doesn't seem like it was well thought out. I get that it's supposed to be big - huge even. In fact, previous illustrations have, IMO, captured that vibe pretty well (for the most part). But when seen to scale, it's just so ridiculously mammoth that it almost becomes all of downtown. Seriously, it pretty much makes every single building currently existing - combined - look irrelevant. And going back to the previous drawings, I don't think it was contextually represented as even being 1/4 the size as it appears here. So, aside from venting, I'm torn: I really, REALLY want to make the scene accurate (to scale from a canon perspective), but I'm really struggling with the inclusion of something so comically colossal.

    Anyway, feed back is encouraged... as always.

    image

    image

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Citizen Joe

    Citizen Joe (Member)

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    As tacky as it may be, the whole face of the arcology could be a display. Originally put in place to advertise Renraku products, now it would be displaying relevant government stuff. Maybe even wanted posters.

    Edit: just had an idea. Set the scene either at night or overcast, that way the light from the sun isn't an issue.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Citizen Joe:

    As tacky as it may be, the whole face of the arcology could be a display. Originally put in place to advertise Renraku products, now it would be displaying relevant government stuff. Maybe even wanted posters.

    Edit: just had an idea. Set the scene either at night or overcast, that way the light from the sun isn't an issue.

    The display idea is definitely interesting... but I'm not sure if that's the direction I want to go at this point. Fortunately, there's plenty of work (lighting/texturing, etc.) to keep me occupied while I consider it.

    As far as the lighting issue, I do, in fact, intend to set it at night. It just wouldn't seem truly Shadowrun in the day - LOL. Of course, if I was going to go with a daytime image, I wouldn't be doing Seattle justice if it wasn't at least overcast - if not downright rainy.

    -HabitualGypsy

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    OK, update #2 - as always, click on the thumbnail to link to the full-size image (1280x720). I'll try to limit this to just the highlights:

    image

    • I've started adding Dystopia City Blocks. It turns out that there was quite a bit of room to drop in the 400m x 400m sections after all. So it's beginning to look like I have the best of both worlds.

    • I turned on shadows with the single light that's in the WIP version of the scene. The lighting set-up is temporary, obviously, as the scene will be set at night. However, having decent illumination makes it easier to work with until the latter stages. Also, the shadows re-inforce the 3D nature of the renders and are included to maintain the 'tangible' mindset of the "set" during these early stages.

    • I'm still not able to duplicate the angle from the original photo-reference I was using but I've managed to come up with one that I think is satisfactory. It's similar enough that it still evokes the iconic view and has allowed me to include all the buildings I've been able to find that fit my criteria.

    • I added a stretch of the monorail. It's actually running down 4th Ave, not 5th Ave, since you wouldn't be able to see it until it got to Seattle Center from the viewing angle. Honestly, I don't think it would be terribly obvious if I didn't point it out. There are two Monorail trains displayed and they're both currently yellow. I'll change that once I start digging deeper into the texturing process - and yes, I know they look a lot like school buses right now.

    • There are a few "current" buildings that I had originally included that ended up either deleted or were blocked by "new" structures (see below). In "exchange" I added the Pacific Science Center. You can see the distinctive arches near Key Arena (aka The Seattle Coliseum) near the lower right corner.

    • While most of the Dystopia City Blocks were chosen and placed for simply artistic/aesthetic reasons, there were two blocks that included two specific buildings intended to represent specific in-game structures. The first is the building that appears just to the right of the Space Needle (composition-wise), which also happens to be the new tallest skyscraper downtown (discounting the mammoth Renraku Arcology). It is located at 3rd Ave & Union St and is supposed to be Brackhaven Tower. The other is the next tallest building - just a bit more to the right, appearing under the end of "Renraku" on the Arcology. This is intended to be the Lone Star building. It's described in the books as a pyramid (what's with all the pyramids in the Sixth World?) so I figured that was about as close as I was going to get with an office building that only takes up one city block. Eventually, I'm hoping to add some kind of logo to both to emphasize their identity.

    So that's it for now, I guess. Feedback is encouraged - I'd love to know what you guys think.

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Citizen Joe

    Citizen Joe (Member)

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    The monorail does run down 5th, and is a key feature to buildings along the line. While I respect artistic license, your project started as a complaint against the artistic liberties taken by previous artists. Moving the monorail seems to contradict your premise. Maybe adjust your POV so that you're looking down 5th ave.

    edit: How would things look from the appropriate altitude just over 1st Ave and Mercer? That puts the Space Needle center stage and flanks with the Arcology and Aztec pyramid.

    Edit 2: If you can remove the Renraku label from the arcology, I think that would be better. In the later editions, the arcology was taken over by Seattle and no longer Renraku property. Also, Reraku would be showing the logo rather than a name like that. The logo was some sort of fractal image I believe.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Citizen Joe:

    The monorail does run down 5th, and is a key feature to buildings along the line. While I respect artistic license, your project started as a complaint against the artistic liberties taken by previous artists. Moving the monorail seems to contradict your premise. Maybe adjust your POV so that you're looking down 5th ave.

    edit: How would things look from the appropriate altitude just over 1st Ave and Mercer? That puts the Space Needle center stage and flanks with the Arcology and Aztec pyramid.

    Edit 2: If you can remove the Renraku label from the arcology, I think that would be better. In the later editions, the arcology was taken over by Seattle and no longer Renraku property. Also, Reraku would be showing the logo rather than a name like that. The logo was some sort of fractal image I believe.

    Sorry, I worded that poorly. Yes, in reality the monorail runs along 5th; I was stating that in my render I had it running along 4th but you probably wouldn't realize unless I had pointed it out.

    And your point about maintaining accuracy is valid. Though, I would say that my original motivation wasn't as broad as just taking artistic liberties. It may sound like justification, but in all honesty I couldn't care less what changes are made if they aren't obvious. As I said, it's unlikely anyone would have realized in the final image (as opposed to a map) that the monorail was off by one block - once other buildings were added to fill in the gaps.

    It's probably a moot point, however, since I explored your other suggestion. I moved the camera to 1st & Mercer and moved it up to ~100m. I then started to mess with the x/y rotations as well as focal length. I think I came up with some suitable results but I did want to address the second part of that suggestion.

    Personally, I wasn't really keen on modeling yet another structure (the Aztechnology Pyramid) from scratch... especially one that's substantially more complicated from an architectural standpoint. Above and beyond that, my initial thought was that the composition would be too ambitious - including too many elements.

    But I figured I might as well at least try a mock-up to see what it looked like. I created a simple cone primitive to designate the location of the Azzy Pyramid. As you can see you have to pull back quite a ways to incorporate both new structures and, IMO, it takes the focus away from the lower Queen Anne/Belltown/Downtown area that I feel is so iconic to images of Seattle.

    image

    So, while I appreciate that suggestion, I don't think it's viable for what I'm trying to do here. Now, the first part of your idea is very helpful. I've got two different versions below with slightly different compositions. I'm pretty sure I like the second one better, if for no other reason than the opportunity to add Rainier into the background to the right of the arcology (I'll have to choose a less obtrusive block on that side to open up the view).

    image

    image

    And to your final point about the appearance of the arcology, I'm using three main visual references:

    http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/secrets-of-power/wikis/renraku-computer-systems

    http://www.shadowrun.com/shadowrun-tabletop/media/

    http://harebrained-schemes.com/post/shadowrun-returns-concept-art/

    These are my primary reference because they are all (more-or-less) canon. I've seen a lot of interesting fan interpretations out there but I'd prefer to stick with how it's "officially" presented (at least visually). As you can see in the first and third, it has RENRAKU written across like I've initially done. For the record, my image is intended to be circa 205x, so it's not the ACHE yet. Also, I believe the fractal logo you were referring to is shown in the second link above the picture from Renraku Arcology Shutdown.

    Also, keep in mind, I'm still working on textures; I'll definitely add some more color to it and possibly even some eBillboard-style graphics - think Shinjuku or Blade Runner's LA. Either way, I'm still planning on keeping something pretty close to what I've already got as the base texture.

    Two final (slightly OT) thoughts before I'm done:

    1-If you look at the third Renraku link (concept art for SR:R), there's a couple of odd things that might jump out. The first is that the angle of the walls is WAY too shallow to allow for even remotely accurate dimensions. The second is that the old-school building left center (with the blue-glow) is obviously supposed to be Smith Tower. According to the map, that building's RW location is almost dead center of the arcology.

    2-The monorail route as shown has some pretty significant issues. The one that applies to this project is the unrealistic (and unnecessary) turning radius near the Space Needle. The map shows the track basically turning 180° in the width of ~one block. That's obviously physically impossible.

    My solution to this problem is just to assume that the re-route of the monorail would be to continue straight toward the Space Needle instead of following 5th Ave after Denny. It could then have a more realistically shallow curve, swooping around the Needle and coming into the existing station from the opposite direction. From there, it would curve slightly south to meet up with Thomas St. Of course this means that both the Center House as well as the Chihuly Garden & Glass Exhibition Hall (which wouldn't exist in an alt timeline anyway) would get taken out. I think the trade-off is reasonable considering it eliminates 'removing the existing station and adding a stop right at the base of the needle (20-30m away), then adding a tight u-turn for pretty much no reason'.

    Anyway, those are my current thoughts on the project. Let me know what you guys think.

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Citizen Joe

    Citizen Joe (Member)

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    http://www.urbanaut.com/Adaptability and Flexibility 4.htm

    Technological advances may solve your issues with the monorail. Remember that it kinda goes way uphill on the extension, which is a bit of a no-no for existing monorail technology.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Citizen Joe:

    http://www.urbanaut.com/Adaptability and Flexibility 4.htm

    Technological advances may solve your issues with the monorail. Remember that it kinda goes way uphill on the extension, which is a bit of a no-no for existing monorail technology.

    That's definitely interesting stuff. To be honest, I wish they WOULD expand the stupid thing already. It makes infinite more sense than any of the other half-baked transit ideas that they've tried implementing around here. But, I digress...

    Even with the new technology, I still think the route of the monorail on the Seattle Sourcebook map makes absolutely no logical sense in several places. Some of the choices are convoluted for seemingly no reason. Again, the 180° turn at the Space Needle: I just measured it on Google Earth and, generously, it's 77m from the center of the base of the needle to the center of the tracks at the existing station.

    Granted, that would be technically be possible according to the site you linked; but that's assuming you extrapolate the 90° in 38m ratio to allow 180° in 76m - a dubious assumption, IMO. That also assumes they routed the monorail THROUGH the Space Needle! They've already re-routed it to allow for a circuitous route, so why stick to coming in from the east when when you're also exiting eastward?

    Also, while the technology may allow for you to make tight turns, I see little advantage in doing so unless space is at a premium. In my proposed solution, the route would cut across the block where Fisher Communications now sits. Even assuming that same complex was there in 205x, there's a nice s-curve between the two buildings that would make an appealing thoroughfare for all parties. I mean, heck, if the current route runs through the inside of the Experience Music Project, I see no reason why it couldn't go through that block.

    But again, this may all be academic. I looks like you won't really be able to see the route of monorail north of Denny in my image. Technically speaking, if the route remained faithful to the Seattle Sourcebook map, it would start to bend at least a bit just before Denny. Then again, who's to say you could see for sure with the buildings I have in my image?

    Anyway, I have a few more figures to place before posting another update. I have almost everything in place - save some stuff along the waterfront and maybe some airborne and waterborne vehicles. It looks like 5th Ave will be the only street you can actually see and I've already traffic "under the rail".

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Citizen Joe

    Citizen Joe (Member)

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    OK, how about this... The monorails come into the station, then the rail shifts over to the outbound track and it reverses to continue the route. That station would also be how new cars get put into service as well as removing cars for maintenance.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    OK, so here's the latest update. As I stated in my previous post, the scene is almost entirely populated. I messed around with the lights a bit just to illuminate things better while working on it; again, the lighting will be totally different as it is going to be a night scene. I also added a backdrop, but it didn't really come out right. I'll keep tweaking it or scrap it if I can't get satisfactory results.

    There's just a few more things I'd like to add before focusing on texturing but overall this render gives a pretty good idea of the final composition. Let me know what you guys think.

    image

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Traxx Steiner

    Traxx Steiner (Moderator)

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    Great work.....every GM could present this to a new player and he would have a great base for picturing his runs in the downtown area.

    T.

  • Citizen Joe

    Citizen Joe (Member)

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    Wait, is that SoDo on the right side of the arcology? That area is a shipping area, low with cranes, lots of shipping containers and also the shipbuilding area for FedBoeing. I think there's an elevated road going south through there that heads towards the bridge.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Citizen Joe:

    Wait, is that SoDo on the right side of the arcology? That area is a shipping area, low with cranes, lots of shipping containers and also the shipbuilding area for FedBoeing. I think there's an elevated road going south through there that heads towards the bridge.

    Yeah, that would be the very north end of SoDo, though technically not really 'So' of the 'Do' (see latest render). You're right about the buildings - the block I had initially placed there didn't really fit the vibe of the district. I was planning on putting the cargo cranes in either way but the buildings were certainly too tall, regardless.

    FedBoeing's shipyards are actually well out of frame - located just west of Harbor Island at the south end of Elliott Bay. Also, the elevated section of 99 near the West Seattle Bridge is too far south to be in frame as well. Since I added the Kingdome, you can get an idea of the perspective.

    image

    In the latest update, I added the three cargo cranes (they'll get changed to a normal reddish-orange in the next phase), put some strucures at the base of the arcology on the waterfront and added the Kingdome, two cargo ships and a "larger vessel".

    I also put in three airborne vehicles: a jet-powered VTOL just to the left of Brackhaven Tower - flying toward the Space Needle, another (fan-powered) VTOL on one of the landing pads of the building in the center and a helicopter flying west-southwest over the waterfront (in front of the arcology).

    Oh yeah, I added one more block north of the Continental Place to fill out the Belltown/waterfront area and took the map texture off the "ground" and put a suitable color on the water. Of course, this is temporary as the water in the final render will primarily be a reflection of the rest of the scene.

    So, at this point, I feel like I'm done adding figures. The next step is working on textures. Fortunately, the textures from the Dystopian city blocks won't require much work - aside from getting the window-lighting to work properly in Daz|Studio. However, almost everyting else will require a great deal of attention to obtain satisfactory results. This will certainly be the most labor-intensive/time-consuming phase of the project.

    OK, so there we have it, let me know what you guys think.

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Michael Chandra

    Michael Chandra (Moderator)

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    There's actually a Brackhaven tower? I think I just found a terrorist target.

    Also, whoa, that thing is way too huge. I really think they should have build 75% underground instead.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Michael Chandra:

    There's actually a Brackhaven tower? I think I just found a terrorist target.

    Also, whoa, that thing is way too huge. I really think they should have build 75% underground instead.

    LOL - a tempting target, indeed!

    Actually, it's artistic license. To the best of my knowledge, it's never explicitly stated that there IS a Brackhaven Tower, but I felt it was only logical... Brackhaven Investments, power political family, etc. Many famous RW skyscrapers are owned/named after financial institutions, after all. I just figured that's what should be at the location for Brackhaven Investments on the Seattle Sourcebook map.

    And actually it's not really THAT tall. The model, to scale, is about 355m which makes it about as tall as the JW Marriott Towers in Dubai or roughly the world's 30th tallest building as of 2013. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me that it would have many subterranean levels as well...

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Michael Chandra

    Michael Chandra (Moderator)

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    I dug around in Seattle heights and zoning laws and compared to the allowed size in most neighbourhoods, this puppy is huuuuuuge.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Michael Chandra:

    I dug around in Seattle heights and zoning laws and compared to the allowed size in most neighbourhoods, this puppy is huuuuuuge.

    Sure, it's awfully tall based on 2013 Seattle zoning laws. Right now, the tallest building in Seattle is Columbia Center at 286m (roughly 80% of the Brackhaven Tower's ~355m). However, I believe that's well over current building height limits.

    Also, note that the current 2nd tallest is 1201 3rd Ave (formerly the Washington Mutual (WaMu) Tower or as I prefer, WashMut Tower), the bright blue building to right center, which is 235m or 2/3 the height of Brackhaven. If it appears smaller it's because of the perspective - the models are definitely to scale.

    So, yeah, Brackhaven would be pretty tall for 2013 Seattle, but 205x Seattle? Probably not so much. Remember, the Renraku Arcology is more than 2.5x that height... notice that you can't even see it all in the render (hint: the Renraku lettering is about 1/3 of the way up the model).

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Citizen Joe

    Citizen Joe (Member)

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    You have reached my highest praise of 'Acceptable'. Very good. :)

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    Quote from Citizen Joe:

    You have reached my highest praise of 'Acceptable'. Very good. :)

    Thanks! I'll take what I can get - LOL!

    And here's the latest update:

    image

    My plan was to just focus on textures before messing with the lighting, but I realized that I needed to get at least a reasonable approximation of the lights so I could test any ray-traced reflections. Basically, what that means is that this is pretty close to the overall lighting that I plan on using in the final image. I'll probably add some additional spotlights from the ground to highlight certain structures (ala architectural lighting) and see what I can do to to create some ambient lights where the models lack them - like around the circular hole in the building right-center.

    This brings up a potential problem that I've discovered with the UV (texture-mapping) method used on the Dystopia City Blocks. Without getting into too much 3D jargon, the models use geometry-switching to make them more flexible. Basically what it means is that each 400m x 400m block has 10 variations. And while each one appears to be completely unique from the others, they're really just using the same "building blocks" if you will. I guess you can equate it to using the same group of Lego pieces to make several different models.

    Now, while that sounds great (and for the most part it is), it limits how items can be textured. Instead pf having a unique UV-map for each version of the model, the various pieces are broken up into texture blocks (for each unique "building material"). Again, for the most part this is great but it creates a problem when working with windows. On structures with large stretches of glass (like Brackhaven Tower - !), this means that the windows are simply tiled. If this was a daylight scene that would be awesome. But I want to add semi-random lights - like I'm doing on the arcology. With tiled-textures broken down into such specific material zones, there's no way to make anything appear random at all.

    To illustrate the point, look at the building just right of the monorail train and the one right in front of the tower with the landing pads (center). Both appear to have random windows lit up. This feature is built into several of the blocks but only ones that don't have a lot of surface-area devoted to windows. Unfortunately, most modern skyscrapers are almost all glass on the outside.

    I could, in theory, deal with this in postwork. But the problem with this is two-fold: first, I'm not exactly a wizard in Photoshop; the more I can accomplish in the actual DAZ Studio render, the more consistent the overall image will appear. And the second issue is that I'm actually trying to create an a short 3-second animation as well. Postworking a single image is one thing... postworking NINETY images so that results are all consistent is another issue altogether.

    So that's where I'm at right now - if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging along on aspects I have a known-workflow for. And of course, I'll continue to let the light/window problem work overtime in my subconscious...

    -HabitualGypsy

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

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    OK, yeah, that was unfair - mentioning an animation and not following up. So I went ahead and created a tumblr page where you can see the progress of the animation as well the still image. Since it takes a long time to render and edit even a simple 3sec animation, I'm keeping the resolution smaller until the final render.

    Just for the record, the following things are animated so far:

    • the camera zooms in slowly which enhances the 3D perspective

      • the jet-VTOL is slowly flying toward the Space Needle; it will eventually have a searchlight on the Needle as well

      • the monorail train on the northbound track; I might add a southbound one as well but right now I'm leaning toward that making the scene "too busy"

      • the fan-VTOL lands on the heli-pad on the tower structure near center-screen

      • the helicopter flies across the face of the arcology

      • the large vessel (definitely not a car ferry - nope) near the waterfront is slowly heading west out of Elliot Bay

    Eventually, I plan on adding things like blinking lights, etc. Oh yeah, I also want to make the traffic under the monorail move slowly. But I still need to work on the scale/textures/lighting of the vehicles. So that's it for now; at least it gives you an idea of where I'm headed with this. Let me know what you guys think.

    -HabitualGypsy

  • Traxx Steiner

    Traxx Steiner (Moderator)

    rank: Master

    score: 979

    I like it much....

    T.

  • HabitualGypsy

    HabitualGypsy (Member)

    rank: Innocent Bystander

    score: 0

    Quote from Traxx Steiner:

    I like it much....

    Thanks! I feel like it's turning out well.

    Click here to link to my tumblr for the latest update (I'm ditching ImageVenue) - there's both a 1440x1080 image plus full HD video clip. Here's the rundown of what's new:

    I've done more texture work on the Brackhaven and Lone Star blocks - mainly windows. I also added some architectural lighting to the main buildings on said blocks to highlight them. I added "Brackhaven" lettering to the tower - though it's kinda hard to read. I also added the Lone Star logo to the top of that building. I'm toying with the idea of it slowly rotating as well.

    I re-textured the monorail and added a light to the front of it - this is much more noticeable in the animation. Also, I added a street lamp to 5th Ave below the monorail so you can catch a glimpse of the traffic. Again, it's more pronounced in the video. I might add more street lights as this would probably enhance the effect.

    I changed the background - well, I changed the way it's getting rendered, so it looks a bit different. It was on a huge plane behind all the other models - imagine it as the world's largest movie screen. Because it was a "physical" object in the scene, it was susceptible to lighting effects. That was no good. The color and luminosity are now more consistent and, as side benefit, you can see the Kingdome much better.

    Now, since the background isn't really in the scene (from a render-engine standpoint), I had to adjust the position of the jet VTOL. Without getting too technical, I need to have "actual" objects in the background for the search light (volumetric) effect I'll be adding. It has a little bit to do with the fact that you can't actually SEE light until it bounces off something. I won't bore you guys with all the details, but I had to move it down so there are buildings behind it.

    And finally, I messed around with the textures of some other buildings (two RW ones - the Westin Towers & 1201 3rd Ave, as well as the building with the circular cutout). This is just experimentation at this point. I'll add actual texture maps (based on real photos) to the two RW buildings and I want to try adding a glowing light effect to the circumference of the cutout on the other (see the similar structure in the illustration at the header of this very page ;) ).

    I think that's all for now - let me know what you guys think.

    -HabitualGypsy