Mini Brief: Creating A Shop Front

Brief:

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.

Research

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.

Sketches

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.

Photobash

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.

Photobash.png

SketchUp

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

Scale

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.

Texturing

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.

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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.

Evaluation

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.

Boxer Environment

Narrative

To add a definitive narrative to my boxer character that I created in one of my earlier projects I wanted to create an environment that showed both of the characters in. Since I had decided my characters where sensei and training robots I already knew that I wanted some sort of dojo within the background of the environment. I had the idea of showing the character on a courtyard, training, with mountains in the background. Along one of the mountains would be a staircase that led to the Dojo on top. I gained inspiration for this Idea from the building that houses the League of Shadows in the movie Batman Begins. By having it surrounded by mountains and trees it shows that it is remote and cut off from the world implying that few people know about this place. This then led me to sketch out a rough version of what my environment would look like.

Photoshop

With the environment, I went into photoshop so that I could refine the design and add colour. This also allowed me to add the final concepts I did of my character to complete the concept and show the final narrative.

Mini Brief: Pride and Joy Concept

Brief

The aim of this brief is to create either a hanger, a garage, or a dock with a relevant vehicle shown taken apart, being repaired. For example, for the change, a jet would be a good choice. As well as this a pet must by shown near or on the vehicle, awaiting the return of the owner. The environment must be cluttered with things found in that place as well as show the personality of the owner and as if it has been life half way through repairing the vehicle. The final outcome would be in the form of a 3D model. Not only was this project about expressing my perspective skills but also about give a narrative to a piece so that it gives a backstory or a reason on why it is designed that way.

Thumbnails

To start off my sketches I drew small little thumbnails of different ideas for this brief. This included different environments as well as different vehicles. I also wanted to try drawing different perspectives. Even though I can change the perspective when on the 3D side of this project I felt like doing this would give me a better understanding of how I wanted it to look as well as what items looked best where.

Final Idea and Sketches

These thumbnails gave me lots of different ideas which I could then use to start my initial sketches. I decided that I wanted to proceed with the garage task for this project and started drawing the different props commonly seen in this place as well as the possible vehicle that could be placed in the garage. I went out and got the reference from my garage of what the environment would look like when it has not been kept looked after. I finally decided that I wanted a Baja as a vehicle in my garage and that it would be on a car lift so that it was more convincing and that parts could be removed from the vehicle.

Perspective

I also decided on a perspective for my final render after drawing multiple different angles of the garage. This would then be shown in the final render of my environment. When deciding my perspective I took the rule of thirds into consideration. I know that my Baja would be in the centre of the garage meaning that the final render had to be from a diagonal so that it would position the Baja at one side and still show lots of props.

Photo Bashing

To help me visualise my final outcome I went into photoshop and made a photobash which included the basic elements that would make up my garage. I tried to do this in the perspective which I had decided upon so that it would give me a clearer understanding of how the final render would look and what props would be visible. When doing this I found that I had to change the shape of the garage as the shelves could not be seen, therefore I moved them on the back wall so that they could include more props.

Garage Photobash

Grey blocking

Before creating my 3d render I went into SketchUp and blocked out the environment including where I would roughly like the props to go so that the filled out space. As well as this I was also able to use the label tool in Sketchup so that I could easily see what each prop was meant to be and where it was meant to be.

3ds Max

Using my sketches I then went into 3ds Max and began modelling. I started off with the vehicle as this is the largest and the focus of the render. I created all different props which would be commonly seen in a garage such as a workbench, a toolbox, and storage boxes. These props would also be duplicated to fill out more of the space of the garage. The pet I decided on was a cat as they are known to linger and considered loving. This would help with adding to the narrative of my piece.

Narrative

For my garage I wanted it to appear as if the owner had been working on the Baja but was unable to complete it and had not done for some time. Shown by the accumulation of different tools and boxes. To help with this I added a plate of food half was eaten and a drink to show that the owner had suddenly left and never returned. This is further shown by the cat as he appears to be laid down under the Baja, waiting for the return of the owner.

Environment

When adding the props to my environment I noticed that the position of some of the objects had to different from my grey blocking so that they were either visible in the final render or so that they looked like they belonged. I decided not to include some of the props such as the lights and the generator as the position of them would not be in the final render. Also since I knew that I wanted the render to appear as if the sunlight was entering through the garage door I felt like I didn’t need to make the light as it would not be on.  I also used a debris maker script so that I could include leaves which appeared to have blown in from the front door. Making the garage look dirty and unused.

Final Render

My final render used lights to give the effect of sunlight entering from the exterior and was then rendered using a camera positioned in the place I decided in my sketching stage of the project. This also helped give light on the props at the back of the garage which are less visible The final render ended up being a slightly different perspective to what I originally decided upon as a realized that a lot of the props and the door could not be seen in that view.

Final Render

Presentation

With my final render, I wanted to create a presentation sheet, similarly to what I have done with my past projects. This will allow a viewer to easily see how I got from the beginning to the end of this project. It also showed everything neatly and only contained relevant information, including what added to the narrative.

Pride and Joy Development Sheet

Evaluation

For this project, I paced myself well making sure I had the relevant sketches completed before moving into the 3d so that it would make it easier for me to imagine the final render and know what would be in my final environment. This is certainly one of my favourite pieces that I have done so far, as I have paid more attention to detail making sure that it contained lots of props that filled out the entirety of the area yet didn’t look out of place. Even tho the final piece of this project was a render I’m glad that I created a presentation sheet as it matches the recent projects I have done and helps me to maintain a theme. This is beneficial for me in my portfolio.