Thursday, 9 August 2012

Final Renders: The Odyssey Plaza


Here it is everyone The Oduyssey Plaza. Happy it's finsihed but actually had a lot of fun learning and creating it and have really learnt a lot along the way and can't wait to get stuck into another project to put into practice everything I've learned and try and expand upon it!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

City Scape

Put in the rest of the buildings to fil the skyline around the plaza to make it feel actually situated in a city!!!! The outside is as important in bringing the scene to life. Nearly finished a few more tweaks and i'll have some final screenshots of the plaza all finsihed and we can call it a day!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Finishing touches

I'm still working away on the lighting to try and get it just right and fix a few minor errors here and there. I've tried to vary the colours and make sure there is a distinct shift between each section of the plaza and try and balance the relationship and harmony of the colours. Using the photofilter post processing helped to push the coulours in a more dramatic way to and helped give a richer tone.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Fountain lighting

I strated to make some adjustments to the lightings to make it more dramatic and interesting. I decided to add lights to the fountain and tried to make the water really satnd out a bit more and really bounce the light around.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Odyssey Tower

Heres the Tower after a few tweaks as I still wasn't quite happy with it from the last few posts I did a few days ago. But finally have what I wanted and stands proud over the plaza at last!!!

Entrance Shutters

Oh here are the entrance shutters with the nice alpha maps that give it that great see throughy goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really glad they worked so well as I was worried that resolution maybe an issue!

Monday, 30 July 2012

little sign

Just a sign that I forgot to post a while back!!!!

water feature

Just putting together the final touches to the plaza, going to create some buildings for the outside of the plaza to make it feel like it's in a city and add some decals here and there to lightly scuff the floors and walls up a bit. Here are a few more assets that have gone into the plaza. This is the Foutain a small water feature for the center for people to hangout at. I used the cubemap I created with a water volume to get the realistic look of the moving water in the piece. Works really in game and behaves very realistically.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Front door

Heres r=the entrance I've adjusted the lower texture a hundred times to achieve the look I wanted but i'm happy with what I have got now Also tried to really inforce the corporate brand in the plaza and have this as the main focal point that will spill throughout the plaza. I tried to think along the lines of the enivronment design in Brink and how they said the environment should tell the story without rampping it down the audiences throat and spell it out for them so they want to explore the space.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Plaza Name....

Heres the curved planter that holds to two ramps nicely together and has the name of the plaza for all to see and lead the player up to the main Odyssey Tower! The next update will be some changes I made to the entrance and the Tower having a nice night texture that was a pain to make!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

More Posters

Just been busy pulling all the pieces together but here's a couple of quick screenshots of the posters I created last time with those great reflections!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Posters and Reflections

Had fun creating the designs for the posters and made up companies being showcased in the plaza. I think they work really well! I also discovered how to create a global cubemap, which means I could have everything that is reflective actually reflect the surrounding environment instead of rendering out each one and having lots of wasted memory of having alll those extra unused files. It has really made everything feel so much more realistic now and has been a great learning experience as it allows to really take my work one step closer to what I wanted to achieve.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Shops: - Branding

Tried to give the indetity to some of the shops and the brands so expanded a little for the shop fronts. I created some decals which arfe shared throughout the other shops as well as a unique one to, to help break it up. Also started work on the posters around the plaza to, more updates to follow.

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Started filling up the plaza with some smaller props and assets. I designed a company called eco-cycle who are meant to recycle everything and have their bins about the place. I was quite happy with what I came up with. Max render and one in engine: -

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Put the front ramps in leading up to the entrance of the plaza. I used the floor lights I made to illumninate the ramp and draw the player in. I also made the floor reflective as well to simulate the effect of polished concrete.


Got the stairs in properly so I could actually stop having to do a crazy jump up the first tier!!!! Made some little glow strip lights on them to.

Hot Shops part deux

The shops I had been working on!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

some more graphics

Made some more designs for company branding and those corporation style names. Added one to the textures for the shops I've been working on just not updated them on here, but will get screenshots for when they are ready.


I went on to use those graphics to create one of the shop fronts. I followed simon fuchs tutorial on making realistic glass in cryengine and found it very useful as it then dicovered from further reading how to generate my own cubemaps for my level so icould have the plaza reflected in the window and make the area more realistic. I broke the front shop section into its own piece as I wanted to lower draw calls in the level as the material would be quite expensive especially if I had teh illuminated signs attached as well. So I unwrapped some the sign ahop toppers on  a sepearte texture sheet so they would have the same material and glow effect and help to tie the plaza together as places like this have very strict rules on having the same architectural style inside the area (such as santa monica place I mentioned in my earlier posts). The front looks a little plain at the moment but I'm planning on adding some decals which say "sorry, we are closed for the night - please return soon" over the front or something to that effect.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

shop graphics

I started to design some unique graphics for the shops and create brands that could be used again on posters just to make the area feel consistant. I decided the most corporate areas need their corporate coffee chain so here's my spin a classic coffee chain! I think making graphics for projects like this are sometimes my favourite parts!!!

Saturday, 14 July 2012


Made some plants and planters to add some greenary as all the plazas have them and they add something  living to the scene. I felt the materials of concrete and metal were becoming quite dominant and harsh to look at so I decided to try and add some wood textures if I  could later on around the plaza possibly on the walls as pieces of wall art with a corporation logo on it or something to that effect perhaps?

Friday, 13 July 2012

some lights

Just a quick post today just showing  some small ground lights for the plaza based on some I saw on my trips to London around the southbank area. They look really great at night and looked very atmospheric. Though seeing as I found the glow material it would be a shame not to use them as it gave me such a good effect on the lift! Oh and I forgot to mention I had been playing with the lighting and time of day again to achieve the nice bloom effect which is noticeable with the night time of day I have set in the screen shot.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Need a lift???

I've been working on some lift doors that will just be static, so I tried to make them more interesting by having the animated texture sign and also applying a glow effect to certain areas to give the effect their is power running through it and adds a bit of life to the scene. The glow effect was created by using the alpha channel to mask the areas i wanted to glow and that applying that mask to the glow material slot in the material editor, I foiund quite quickly that using it careful and not poushing too much was important or the diffuse texture gets washed out completely and teh bloom from the lughts becomes a little too intense.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Material editor

The material editor in cryengine is brilliant and easy enough to use with a little reading up on the forums and cryengine documentation. I wanted to create some dynamic textures in my scene e.g. moving images and illuminated signs, glow for lights etc.

After reading a few things I started work on a test piece for moving textures. I posted the image with the material browser window next to it to show the tiling settings and how it moves. I found that it comes down to the way the textures are laid out so I figured that the use of multi/ sub would be necessary for these types of signs and would need their own texture space I f I wanted them to move without showing other pieces of the static uv sheet!!!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

working on textures

I started to play around with the material editor and the textures as I wasn't to happy with the look I have at present so I decided to change it up a little and think it looks better for it though I'm still battling with the walls of the plaza as I think having the shops and other assets over them will help to define what is needed of them to make them feel more realistic. I also want to try and avoid having my level looking to white as it seems to be slighty too monochrome (even though the area is obviously meant to be relatively clean and shiny, much like zaha hadids architectural works) but I think I'll wait to let the environment progress and see how everything sits before making any rash decisions.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Pulling it together

The pipleine has been really great to work with as it allows me to seamlessly flow between max and the editor. I'm starting to put all the main structures in now all the uv's have been properly sorted so they tile efficiently and the materials have also been set up and exported to which now means I can start filling the main area up!!!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Lighting with assets

Heres the skscraper with a place holder texture as the replace me textures were getting rather annoying!!!!! But the main reason for this post is to show of the lighting i'm happy with!!! I want to ad in some clouds and other things to fill the sky up a bit and make it feel more real but that can come later. With the time of day setting I also managed to get the top of the skyscraper to start blurring out as well from the player perspective to add that sense of scale.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Solutions and a bit of lighting

I've spent the last few days or so working on figuring the lighting out and playing around with the settings and graphs. I've really enjoyed some of the flexibility with the options it gives and makes the engine very versatile to use, in terms of getting the look you want from it! Here's a screen shot of me working on the lighting and the Time of Day settings. I've actually managed to achieve a much better lighting I had after reading more into the documentation.

Friday, 29 June 2012

It's broken

It keeps crashing and I have no idea how to fix it and it has started to crash everytime I use it. The only solution was to install the newest patch for the engine . This has lead to the lighting in my level being messed up and so I'll have to re-work due to some changes between the 2 versions. Luckily the lighting was still a W.I.P so it wasn't a huge problem but time consuming non the less. This is a screen shot of the previous level crashing on me and all that it was showing me!!! So annoyed I hate technology sometimes......

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Moving some more...oh and problems.

Moved some more stuff in. Though I seem to be having a bit of trouble with cryengine. I'm not sure what the problem is so I'm looking through some documentation to try and figure out what or if I have done anything wrong. The problem seems to keep crashing the level when the view port is moved which isn't good. I'll post another update on the problem soon soon.

Meanwhile here is some more progress.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Moving over some of the props

I started moving over some of the props to amke sure they are to scale and look rightin comparison to rest of the environent.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Making some chunks

I decided to make the main plaza area into 4 seperate main pieces to make it easier to unwrap and  make the most out of my textures. I worked well as I found that the unwrap meant I could easily plan and map each section as I wanted and started make some cohesion between the pieces and made it feel more connected.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Building on Crit

Here are some more screenshots of my building process with the plaza.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Industry feedback on the plaza

I managed to get some feedback from an environment artist and the main piece of advice I was to not make the environment too big and I was being to abitious with what I wanted to get done within the time scale and the fact that I was still learning and getting used to the engine. He also explained to me that obviously in games environemts have several people working on pieces at a time so it maybe an idea to try and scale it back. I wanted to make the area enclosed still so I decided to lose the large restaurant area and also found that it made the plaza become more corporate and started to sit right with the way I wanted.

I just reused what I had in the original design I didn't bother with restarting as I already had the a good head start with what I had.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Tower: Modelling Unwrap

To get the best resolution for such a big building and to make the level feel more realistic I decided to Unwrapp the building across several material ID's in order to create a multi/sub object material. This would also transfer well in the cryengine as the material editor is very flexible and allows for easy creation of realistic looking concrete, stone and metal all within one material that in theory could be used again across other models if they were to be unwrapped efficiently over the textures. What I found interesting through the project is the way in which the pipelines for engines can be very for one set of work and not in another. I found this with getting the tiling to work with UV's. In UDK it supports a tiling function within the engine across bsp as well as geometry. In cryengine I found that this method actually gave me a lot of control and confidence when going to import objects into the cryengine as I already knew the tiling and textures would work.