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gregsandor
06-22-2010, 12:34 PM
Here are a couple of quick renders of the environment I'm building. The diner, gas station, and motel were all built around 1953. From the look of it they must have used the same contractor or supplier: they all have that same kind of stonework (and I've seen it on other diners and motels from that era.) Anyway I think its kind of an all-American scene -- road culture.

They are based on this location: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=40.252823,-86.699425&panoid=ABkncChW1LGKVczbZEuSMA&cbp=12,38.73,,0,5.92&ll=40.252886,-86.699499&spn=0,0.006947&z=18 (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=40.252823,-86.699425&panoid=ABkncChW1LGKVczbZEuSMA&cbp=12,38.73,,0,5.92&ll=40.252886,-86.699499&spn=0,0.006947&z=18)

The terrain covers a lot of ground with a long stretch of highway cutting across it, centered on the diner.

The terrain base is a DEM, then for my area of interest I hand drew a detailed elevation model using an orthophoto as a guide. There's an additional displacement map to raise the roadbed and give the pavement the required slope out from center, plus one for potholes, then a further masked layer of displacement for cracked pavement.

I modeled all the man-made objects including Shirley's Diner, the Union 76 station, the Lincoln Lodge, (how's that for a patriotic group of names?) grain elevators, roadsigns, utility poles, houses, and even a couple of house trailers in the distance. Most if not all of the textures I've made too.

exidge
06-23-2010, 11:28 PM
Looks good - so far, do you have any pictures of the real scenary you're trying to rebuild?

cheers,
exidge

gregsandor
06-24-2010, 05:48 PM
Sure:

They are based on this location:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=40.252823,-86.699425&panoid=ABkncChW1LGKVczbZEuSMA&cbp=12,38.73,,0,5.92&ll=40.252886,-86.699499&spn=0,0.006947&z=18 (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=40.252823,-86.699425&panoid=ABkncChW1LGKVczbZEuSMA&cbp=12,38.73,,0,5.92&ll=40.252886,-86.699499&spn=0,0.006947&z=18)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinerdude/with/2196811162/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/holmesbartonholmes/2747632431/

leigh
06-29-2010, 12:48 PM
Texture wise, it's off to a good start but your textures are looking far too clean. Add some dirt and break up the surfaces with detailed spec and bump maps. Also do some displacement work on the road - add some holes and other details to break up the monotony of the current surface. Also perhaps break up the uniformity of your elements like the grass and the curves of the road, add some irregularities and imperfections to make things look more natural and give them a sense of history. Every picture should tell a story, especially something with the title "Road Trip". Adding a background also gives it a lot more of an interesting context and a greater feel of open space and scale. Here's a really quick paintover to give you some ideas.

gregsandor
07-29-2010, 02:42 PM
Leigh,
Thanks for the paint-over -- it is really helpful to see the scene with the grunge added. I've started my dirt masks for the buildings. So far they're crisp versions just to get the dirt in place. I'll feather them out and make them look more natural, but already the buildings seem to sit in the terrain better. Also went in and modified the stone shader so the texture looks better up close. I have a couple of clear high res photos of the real buildings so there will be a good bump map from that reference.

Started painting maps to destroy my perfectly paved road. They need more contrast to stand out better but the cracked pavement is in place. I've spent some time looking at real road work. Also the large patches and crack patching is coming along on the main roads; they are darker and have slight bump and more spec.

Now there are three types of grass, short dry stuff for edges near roads and buildings, nice mowed lawn stuff, and taller weedy stuff for ditches and field edges where the mowers don't go.

Texture wise, it's off to a good start but your textures are looking far too clean. Add some dirt and break up the surfaces with detailed spec and bump maps. Also do some displacement work on the road - add some holes and other details to break up the monotony of the current surface. Also perhaps break up the uniformity of your elements like the grass and the curves of the road, add some irregularities and imperfections to make things look more natural and give them a sense of history. Every picture should tell a story, especially something with the title "Road Trip". Adding a background also gives it a lot more of an interesting context and a greater feel of open space and scale. Here's a really quick paintover to give you some ideas.

gregsandor
08-14-2010, 02:39 AM
Adding silt and fine gravel to the potholes.

gregsandor
08-14-2010, 05:35 PM
Time to take a drive:

gregsandor
08-14-2010, 07:06 PM
continuing

gregsandor
06-23-2011, 08:51 PM
Finally able to make time to get back to this highway. Here's a WIP animation of a drive along the road at about 60 mph. I want to slow it down to about 35 or so, then pull into the diner parking lot. After several years working on this off and on, and now seeing it really coming together I'm starting to think more about what I want to see happen in this setting. I feel sort of all dressed up with nowhere to go. Until I figure out where that is I know I want the diner to be a focal point, so I'll work on it and the texture for it.

I've just posted a still of plain road at my portfolio here at cgs from the animation.

http://gregsandor.cgsociety.org/gallery/989195/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU3KKev1j9o

I'll be grateful for any suggestions as to how to figure out what to do with this landscape now that it is built. There are lots of details I would like to add, but I'm really starting to think about it in terms of telling a story in it, or with it. Sometimes when I think about it I want to see large silver spaceships hovering over the trailers, others I think it ought to have a lot of 1950's farm trucks rumbling by, and kids in convertibles like an old Coke billboard, and others I think it ought to be a current day scene with those ghosts of the past, and so on. I suppose I could pack all that in at once. I really am at a loss.

Edit:

On second thought, maybe it ought to be about what I really like about these places in the real world on road trips, how they're kind of boring at first, but then there's silly simple stuff that I really love about them.

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