Mini Brief: Creating A Shop Front


the task of this project is to create a shop front for a building that would feature in the town centre. This building is based on the real world being realistic and common. It is to be 3d Modelled for use in a video game engine as part of a shoot ’em up game.

Pitch/My Idea

Since the buildings in this project are going to be in a town centre there are certain buildings which fit and certain ones that don’t. Food shops are a big part of a town centre as this is usually a place for social gathering. Therefore my pitch for this project is to create a bakery. The building will be semi-attached feature a side alley that acts as access leading to the apartment above the shop. This can be used in the game as a resource area or as a way to access the roof. The current plan is to have a garden roof, meaning that it will be flat, surrounded by railings and contain furniture and homely decoration.This would act as a good vantage point in the game that allows the players to get a bird’s eye view of the map. The player does not reach the roof using the apartment however it is still reachable via a fire exit ladder placed on the side of the building.

The shop front itself will technically be on the first floor rather than the ground as a downstairs storage room will be accessible from the outside via steps that lead downwards. This then means that the entrance to the shop will be small steps that bridge over the top of the downstairs. To make this clear that it is a bakery it will contain the typical feature of a canopy which will be out during the day. Just above that would then be the sign displaying the name of the shop to recreate the realism.

The appearance of the shop changes depending on whether it is day or night. When it is the day the shop is open with the canopy out and the products such as pastry and cakes can be seen on stands through the window. At night time, however, this appearance completely changes as the shop is shut. Since it is bakery it is likely that the shop would not be open on a night time. To show the canopy is now folded away and the window is no longer visible as a metal grate is pulled down and locked over it, adding security. The apartment above now comes to life, the windows are wide open with lights flashing on and off and lots of noise echoing out. The sign of the bakery is now hanging from one hinge revealing the name of a gambling club located on the floor above. To make sure apparent that it is an illegal gambling club certain indications will be visible such as cards and money will be stickers plastered on the windows.

If this building were to be used in a game it could be done in several ways. The bakery could act as a place where the player can regain health or possibly by more food for further adventures. The club above would act as a mission that the player can only access at night, where they have to infiltrate and shut it down.


To help with this project I went out looking for unique buildings that could possibly bring something to my building. This included possibly window designs, roof designs, and canopy designs. As well as this I also looked at buildings that had the design which I decided in my pitch.


I created initial sketches of my building that allowed me to possibly look at different varieties of the design. This was mainly to help me come up with a design for the side entrance in the alley as I wasn’t sure how it was going to work.  It also allowed me to combine some of the ideas that I had from my research into my drawings.


Before taking my design any further I wanted to create a ‘photo bash’ in photoshop. This way I could see if the different designs elements actually worked together. When doing this I found that there were some tweaks I had to make to my design such as the alley entrance as there was no space for the ladder that leads to the roof.



Before modelling my building I decided to go into SketchUp and create a quick mockup of my building. This way I could visualise what the final outcome would look like and what I feel needed to change. After doing this I could tell that the rooftop access didn’t fit in as it was too bulky and looked out of place. Therefore now the only way to reach the building will be via the ladder down the alley.

Mock Up


To make sure that the building was the correct scale I looked up what the minimum height must be from a floor to a ceiling. This helped me create the three stories of my building. As well as this I found out the average size of a brick and a door so that I was able to create the width of the building that looked in the correct proportion. Since the maximum width limit was 7m I decided that my building would be 5 metres, this way I would have plenty of space for the door, its frame and the large window looking into the shop.

3D Model

With my measurements I had found for my door I was able to create the basic shape of my building. I added all of the details for my building simply using the bevel and extrude tools as this allowed me to create the trims and roof of my building. For things such as the canopy and the windows, I did them as separate objects so that they would be easier to edit later on. I added a little detail to the side of the building as its only purpose was to allow access for the player to reach the roof, therefore I simply added a ladder onto the side, as well as a train pipe which went all around the building. The overall building turned out really well and looked similar to my original drawings and my photo bash. The final poly count was 5000 with this building and the reason for that is the railings. Since the railing contained lots of cylinders it had a high poly count, even though they had a few sides. Without the railings, the final poly count only came to 1500. To make sure my window would be transparent I also made sure that I cut out a full behind them using the slice tool, this way the inside of the building could be visible. However, since I wasn’t doing an inside to the building I decided to place a small box around the inside of the window. Therefore the non-existent back of the building could not be seen. For this project, I decided just to model the daytime version of the building as it contains the most detail and would allow me to add texture to the windows.


This was my first large-scale attempt at texturing and also my first time using substance painter. At first, I found it extremely hard as I didn’t understand what I was doing. However, after seeking the help of my fellow group mates I now have basic knowledge of the program. When texturing I tried to show a good contrast between certain parts of the building so that it was broken up and added more depth. A good example of this is the window frames. I decided to do this in a dark brown wood texture to add separation into the wall. I also did the door and frame a completely different colour so that the door is clearly visible. When in substance painter I made sure that I exported my material as a PBR, giving multiple layers including roughness, metallic, and emissive. I separated each component of the building and UV mapped them separately as this was easier for texturing. I then brought the textured versions all back together in a single 3ds max file so that it could be imported into Unreal Engine.  I didn’t texture the windows as this is something my fellow student would help me to create when in Unreal Engine.

Texture Maps

Here are all the base colour maps for all the different textures that I used for this building.

Unreal Engine

Before texturing I imported my model into Unreal to make sure that it was the correct scale. at first, I found that my player was nearly 4x the size of the building and clearly that was wrong. I found that the problem was when exporting the model as an FBX in 3DS Max I had to change the units to match those which I worked in. This worked and my building was the correct scale.

In Engine.png

After importing my textured building into Unreal I was able to add the other PBR maps to the different components as they were set as different material ID’s. This was fairly easy to do and made a huge difference to the final outcome.


The Street

In unreal the whole group imported the FBX of their buildings so that we could create the final street for this project. To help with the layout I decided to create a road in 3ds max as this would allow us to easily figure out what buildings were meant to go where. It also filled out the gaps between the buildings. The centre of the road appeared empty so I decided to add a railing in using the options available in 3ds max. This forced the player to run on the path instead of cutting across the middle. Even tho my building was textured I imported my untextured version into the street as I felt like it looked odd being the only building that was textured.


Overall I am happy with the outcome of this project especially since it was my first time texturing a larger scale model. This project allowed me to experiment with new programs such as substance painter and unreal engine and grasp a basic understanding of how they work together. In my previous attempts at texturing I have simply done the entire model as one UV map however by separating the individual components like I did with this project, I found it much easier to keep track of what part was what in the UV map. It also made it simpler when actually texturing in Substance painter as there was no chance of the texture spilling into another part of the model.

Portrait Sculpting

As part of my Creative Futures module, I am trying to improve my anatomy drawings skills. Since this gives me a better understanding of how the face shapes together with the different bones I also thought it would be good to try and use these skills to create characters face in sculptures. For this task, I used one of my drawings of the another member in my group as well as just by looking at him.

I then had a go at creating a self-sculpt of myself concentrating mainly on the face shape and features rather than things such as the hair. When doing this I found that I was certainly creating a realistic and proportionate head, however, I was struggling to find a likeness. The main problem I found was the shape of the nose. I couldn’t quite create the correct shape for the nostrils of the nose as they kept looking flailed and too far off of the face.

First Attempt.png

Comparing this to my previous attempts at character modelling, my sensei in the Creative Futures Boxer project, I can see that I have certainly improved in the overall shape of the face. With my sensei, I was happy that he was old as it meant that I didn’t have to do hair. When doing hair with this project I felt like I didn’t d too much of a bad jump as the person’s hair was wild and crazy so it didn’t have to be precise and combed.

Sensei Model

Types Of Textures Research

Since texturing is the next stage of my developing my 3d skills for use in a video game I decided to research into the different types of textures as well as the layers that make up a final texture.

Normal Map

This is a technique that is used for faking lighting to give a texture depth, for example, bumps and dents. The reason this map is used is because it can add more detail to a prop without increasing the polygon count of the model. The way it works is that it stores a direction at each pixel of the model meaning these can be placed to imitate detail by having lighting and shadows.


Specular Map

Putting it simply a specular map is what is used to alter the textures shininess and highlight certain colour areas so that they are either more visible and give depth to the model. Another aspect of this map is that it shows the different pixels in different colours to represent the different levels of lighting in that part of the texture. This makes it easy to alter the lighting and make parts separate from one another. When looking at what the specular map is I came across a good youtube video that explains the basics of how to create a specular map.

Specular map example

Metalness Map

This map is pretty self-explanatory as it is used to make certain parts of the textured model look as if they are a metal material. This is done using black and white. The colours of the model which are white are the metal parts, the parts which are in black are not. This helps to add realism to the model, making props look more believable. For example, a sword blade would look silly and fake if it didn’t have the metal map as it would not have the shimer and roughness of metal.


Base Colour

The base colour is simply the actual texture which is used for the model. The map is then used on top of it so that it can contain more detail.

Base colour.png

Occlusion Mapping

Similar to the normal map, the point of the occlusion map is to simulate soft shadows that appear in the cracks and curves of an object. this helps to make the texture more 3d and prevent it from appearing flat. It also helps to separate different parts of the model from one another. A good example is on a brick wall. The occlusion map will help separate the bricks from the mortar so that they stand out and don’t blend together from a distance. This would usually be added after the final render of the model in photoshop.



The albedo map, also known as the diffuse map is the basic colour of the texture. for example the red of a brick texture. The user can then adjust the shadows and highlights of this colour.

aledo example.jpg

PBR Workflow

PBR, also known as physical based rendering, is a process that the user has to go through manually where they remove the light from the texture. This is a longer process but the majority of the time creates a better outcome as it gives the user more control on where they want the lighting to be. It is done using a combination of the previous maps.  The final result is more accurate to what the user desires than the other texture processes available. Here is a good video on what PBR Workflow is.


3ds Max: Improved Props

To help with my skills in 3DS Max I wanted to go back and revisit some of the props that I made in the first semester. Instead of going straight into the 3D software I began this small project by drawing out the props I wanted to create. This way I could break them down into the key component as well as visualise them in perspective.


The first prop that I decided to create was the cart as this was one of the first 3D props that I made. I began by drawing out the cart in perspective as well as breaking it down it to its components. This was fairly simple as it was mainly made up of boxes.

Scan_20170330 (8).png

IN 3D I could easily create this and since last time I have learned lots of new techniques that meant I could make it more realistic. This included the bend modifier. I tried to include more detail with this version and think about how it fits together. For example, I created individual planks that make up the cart as well as the wooden planks that lay underneath the cart, connecting it all together. With the first attempt at this I simply placed the wheels on the side but with this version, i connected them to the under the beam.

Final Render.png


Similar to the cart I also recreated the square shield that I did about also decided that this would b e more of my own design rather than from a reference. I drew out the shield in the shape that I wanted it to be as well as with all the components that would make this up.

Scan_20170330 (9).png

I think that my first shield wasn’t too bad considering I just started, however, this version looked more polished and professional. It may differ a lot from the original design however I like this as it is more of my design rather than just copying from an image. I’m glad I decided to redo these props as I feel like ti helps show my progression. This is something I will then do again in the future to show more improvement.


First Time Texturing

Using my previous model that I made based upon a telephone, I had the task of adding texture to it so that it was realistic. To do this I created a UV map. This was simple as all I needed to do was go into 3ds Max, add the UVW modifier and then use the flatten filter. This laid all the faces of the model out for me to view. By clicking on each individual face of the model it showed me the corresponding part in the UV map.


I then took this into photoshop where I could add a texture using the uv as a guide. I went into google and found an image of a grey plastic so that it showed the correct material of the telephone. I used this in photoshop to then texture my uv map. So that the texture didn’t appear to big I made sure I choose one with a scale of 1024×1024 and then scaled it down in photoshop. This meant that I could multiple the texture across the entire map so that the pattern was small and only visible up close.Once done I added an LCD display so that this part of the phone was not plastic. This could then be simply added as a material in 3DS Max and then rendered.

Overall I feel like this isn’t bad for my first time texturing. However it certainly could be improved. If I were to spend more time on it I could add multiple textures to the different buttons and even a better LCD display.

textured phone.png

Low Poly Telephone

In 3DS Max I had the task of modelling a telephone based upon pictures that I had taken of a real life one. The telephone had to be as close to the real scale as possible and have as low poly count as I could get them.

This task was fairly easy as I only needed to use two boxes. One for the phone, and one for the base. The buttons and indents would be added using the connect tool and the bevel tool. I also used the technique from the hard surface modelling task and added a chamfer to the phone so that the corners were not as harsh.

Final Render.png

I found this task very interesting as it allowed me to find new ways to complete tasks and minimalize my poly count. I was also able to grow more confident wth the bend modifier in comparison to the previous projects as I found new ways that it could be used so that it bends different parts of a shape. I used this modifier for the actual phone itself.

Hard Surface modelling

To improve my 3D skills further we were provided with the task of hard surface modelling. What this means is making it so that when a texture is applied to a model, corners are not so harsh and are less visible. We did this by finding an example on the internet and trying to replicate the result.

For this task, I decided to a floor. I found a picture on the internet that I liked and recreated it in 3DS Max. To remove the harsh corners I added chamfers to all the 90-degree angles so that they where moe rounded and smooth. This was the easiest and quickest way to hard surface the model ready for texturing. I only recreated part of the floor since it is a recurring pattern.

This is something that is extremely helpful depending on what it is that I am modelling. For example with my previous project, the motorbike, I don’t think this would have helped so much as there were a lot less sharp angles. However, it is perfect for environment models.


Low Poly Model


For this task, I had to recreate my computer that I have at home. This included the computer itself, the monitor, and the mouse and keyboard. The only limitation I had was that each model could not be more than 256 polygons. This was fairly easy as most of the components were samples boxes with insets and bevels.

The hardest to create was the keyboard as the buttons caused the poly count to exceed 256. After a while of trying to lower this, i was able to get it down to 240. The mouse I am fairly proud of even though it was easy to create. I simply used an FFD to gain the rough shape and then used a turbo smooth which gave me the exact shape of my computer mouse.

As the final poly count (including rendering items)  is 447 that means all the items are far below 256 polygons




Mini Brief: Motorbike

Starting this project I was given the task of modelling a motorbike. However, I couldn’t just go on the internet and find one that I liked. I had to go out and find a bike which I could then take pictures of and use later for reference. The reason for this is because it gives me real world experience of the source material that people in the gaming industry have to get and how they have to get it. It also meant that I could get up close with the vehicle, giving me a better idea of how each part fits together.

With these reference shots, I then Identified the bike so that I could go on the internet and gain even more images that would help me model this bike. With these, I then began my model by drawing out all the different component of the model. I did this in a way so that I could model it all separately and then bring it all together. This way I would be able to concentrate on one part at a time without other pieces being in the way.

Using my sketches I began 3d modelling. I made all of the pieces using cylinders and boxes. This was to ensure that I was using quads at all times. To create the correct shapes I used a technique which I had previously learnt from my Iron project which was to use the FFD modifier. This allowed me to easily create the shapes I needed for the bike. A little trick I used when creating my model was to allocate different material numbers to different parts of the bike. For example, the bodywork would be green whereas the wheels would be blue. The reason I did this is so that it was easy to separate all the pieces from each other.

With my model finished I rendered it in multiple ways. I made a rotation sheet so that all the sides were visibly seen. I then rendered two other images which showed just the bike, which I could later go in photoshop and texture over the top, and the other so that I could add realism to the bike. I rotated the bike and moved the side stand so that it appeared like it was properly stood up.

I also created a development sheet so that it was clear how I started this project and how I got to the final model.

development sheet

This project has been the largest that I have done so far and I have used a lot of techniques learnt from past projects. A good example being the use of the FFD modifier to shape the panels. However, there are some techniques that I have learnt which I didn’t find too helpful with this project. One of the most recent techniques that I had learnt was to chamfer corners so that they weren’t as sharp when it came to texturing. However because of the shape of my model it meant that I didn’t have any corners which needed to be chamfered as most of the bike had either straight or rounded panels. Overall this project has allowed me to increase my 3d skills. I am glad that I had one of the harder models as it enabled me to push my limits and caused me to plan out how I was going to create this model.