View Full Version : City scene

01-16-2006, 10:00 PM

i'm trying to make a big city scene,
but it's going realy slow (i don't mean my pc, but myself) to model and texture, i know that if you have a big scene it is just logics that it will go slow.
But anyhow, maybe you guys can give me a few tips to speed things up or maybe just usefull information on creating a big city scene.

i looked on google and found a few tutorial but not very usefull ones..


01-16-2006, 10:19 PM
Do a search on these forums for city and you'll read a lot on greeble.

Search for it on these forums, and go get it. It's great for starting the thing. You still need to model some key buildings, but it'll speed up the process.

01-17-2006, 12:19 AM
Yeah, greeble the smaller background buildings to fill out the scene and only make "hero buildings for closeups etc.

On a similar note, I was reading something interesting about the making of 1930's New York by one of the TD's on King Kong and he was saying that they developed a script to make random smaller buildings and it would automatically:

+ put windows and doors in the right places
+ put fire escapes in the right places
+ place textures in the right place (so dirt/water stains under the windows etc)

they had to tweak it sometimes, but a remarkable time saver!

01-17-2006, 01:48 AM
I've been tinkering with a quick city drop for a project at work... thank goodness that the city isn't what I'm needing to focus on because there's no way I could get the whole thing done on time with the other stuff on my plate! Greeble's incredible for filling space, and filling it well.

I'm sure that if someone's already coded windows and fire escapes and mapping into a greeble type thing, one for 3dsmax won't be too far along! :D

01-17-2006, 09:31 AM
Just remembered: one thing with greeble is that it will only greeble QUADS . . . many a frustrating when I forget this and wonder why some polys aren't extruding!

01-17-2006, 04:33 PM

i checked out the greeble plugin and is works like a charm, thx.

But for the texturing, how can i do this without making the city dull because of the same textures?
Should i make a few materials or a lot.
What i mean is that i want variation in the textures of the city but i can't make a different material for every building can i?

01-18-2006, 07:19 PM
Here's a couple of shots of the mega city backdrop we made

Mega city shot 1 (http://www.designimage.co.uk/gallery/dredd.htm)
Mega city shot 2 (http://www.designimage.co.uk/gallery/mega-city.htm)

The pictures are large and wide so you might need to scroll around a bit......

We painted up the skys using a lot of source from the 'PANORAMICA skys cds' which were well worth the money (although they were a lot cheaper when we brought them).

I did use greeble for the low buildings, but converted it to a mesh and box mapped it.

The tool i found really useful was 'Scatter' which you can find here (http://www.maxplugins.de/max7.php) (type scatter in the search bar)

Basically it allows you to take bunch of building models and scatter them over a plane.

We arranged the buildings in concentric rings with really high stuff in the forground (like 100,000 polys per building) to ultra low stuff in the background (50 polys). in the distance the buildings just fog out to a darker version of the sky colour so all you really need is a silhouette.

01-18-2006, 09:38 PM
Hey ken T!

That's some nice work there! If you don't mind me asking, about how many production hours went into something like that? The one thing I've figured about the city stuff is that it takes ME a loooooong time and I didn't have enough time or resources on this quick project to pull it together as well as I'd hoped...

Then again, I'm not pre-vizing the city, but something else going on so I guess it's not crucial for me.

01-19-2006, 01:31 AM
I was able to grab a few nice high rez towers from another project. Even so I spent several weeks just making buildings...

It's been a while, but I guess that once all the buildings were done, it took about a week to put the shot together. I.e: add the other details like the fly overs, paint the sky, light and render the different passes, composite, and the do the final touch up in photoshop.

All in all I glad we only had to do still frame panoramics. If the whole thing had to animate it would have been crazy..

p.s. nice flash work on your web site.

01-26-2006, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the kudos on the site!

I don't feel bad now that I was so unhappy with my results... but, I wasn't really showing the city, just needing scope. If it comes up again, I'll know what I'm getting myself into!

01-26-2006, 05:25 PM
Hey Ken, yea really nice work there. One thing i would suggest, is maybe In the first city picture bulk it out a bit with some simple low polly towers and research into how cities evolve from towns into cities, where sectors are etc, for example, Manhattan in New York has lots of sky scrappers closely together and then from there out the buildings start to get shorter and shoter as they spread out, i think the height against location of your buildings need a bit of work, other than that, the second pic is spot on! excellent work mate!


01-26-2006, 05:47 PM
the bulk of your buildings can be simple boxes with sharply edged tonal boardered displacement maps added to the boxes for the building grooves.
that will cut down on your poly count and give you the look of a modelled exterior

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