Cloud City Skyscraper

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  03 March 2013
Cloud City Skyscraper

Hej everyone!

So we are three architecture students working on this architectural competition for our school, dealing with a fictional skyscraper of amazing 1066m of hight in Jordan's capital Amman.

We started about a month ago and we will hand in in April, so this is all a big rush considering the size of the project. Now we have generally settled the programming, transportation and space concept of our tower and are working on the architecture and parallel to that we are doing a video in Maya, which is what I will be documenting here, mostly.

Our project is called "the cloud city", since we figured that there will be over 50.000 people visiting this tower every day and around 8000 will even be living there. The tower houses a major health care facility and a medical university, but also apartments, hotels, public recreational space and retail space. We are aiming at discovering how life in confined spaces can have a city-like quality, so in our video we mainly want to show that this tower works like a city, just vertical.

Film is not necessarily the most common means of presenting architectural work and our's is even more unusual, because it is all about people in a way: Technically we want to have a camera follow a series of people who work and live in and interact with the tower. This is a long shot - literally - because it should look casual, should show the poeple and the architecture as sort of a very accented background (DoF-shots) and it should not stop. Our camera is in that sense some sort of invisible, very curious robot.

Currently we are making coarse movies from the stroyboard for finalizing the camera movement and we are planning to going into more detail with the modeling after we know exactly what is going to be visible.

This is the first time we are doing something like this and therefore we put quite some thought into the workpipeline - maybe some of you who have a little experience want to comment on our thoughts and our progress - we would be happy to get some feedback and interest you in our speed-production

Gerald, Martin and Jiaying,
Cloud Stitch Studio

PS.: All our videos can be found on our blog
respectively our youtube channel
Cloud Stitch Studio'y Youtube Channel

There is a little information about the project, our concept etc. in earlier posts, if you're interested, but since it's a competition we didn't have too much time to keep it up to date.
Nevertheless I will gladly take questions and answer them if possible!
"All the others ....... just act like you don't know them"

Last edited by moegerbyte : 03 March 2013 at 02:47 PM.
  03 March 2013
Hej again everyone!

- so this is a first update concerning the shape of our tower and our movie.

We have been developing the shape as a contrast to our interior programming: While on the inside our tower is fairly complex and structurally consists of three-dimensional floorplans we want the ourside to be rather clean.

Conceptually this means that we are equipping our social confined-city-experiment with a shell that gives insight to the complexity of the interior spaces in some places, but is only semitransparent elswhere. The darker surfaces are a sun-related strategic decision (because Amman is in a hot-dry area that has a problem with overheating) and part of them might be photovoltaic panels shading the interior and generating electric energy for the city.

The load-bearing facade follows the implications of building at a enormously large scale like this: To preserve a certain perception of scale for a beholder, the pattern on the outside (Working both as a structure and an ornament) subdivides into smaller iterations, that will become visible when one gets closer to the building thereby adapting to the human scale.

As for the movie, we have produced low-detail models for every part of the tower that we want to show now and we have worked with mock persons and motionpaths to experiment with camera movement, the visible background (which is essentially what we want to show, of course) and the overall pace of the movie.

Since time is precious we just rendered the introductory shot and uploaded it to youtube so our professor would get a better impression of how we think the video will look like. Sorry for the weird pace - youtube automatically sets the fps to 30, while we are working with 25fps (which will later play very well together with our films of the physical model of the site and the tower). Please ignore the glitches for the moment

Click here to watch it.

As you can see, we are planning on doing everything in white, with ambient occlusion and transparent, maybe slightly tainted glass shaders.

There is also this problem with the shader (mia_material *preset to physical glass), that shows maya-made geometry oudside (the place-holder tower), but doesn't show the other geometry - maybe somebody has a clue, why that happens?

So much for that - comments, questions, tips and constructive critique alsways welcome!
Also check out our blog for some more info if you're interested (click here )

the Cloud Stitchers
"All the others ....... just act like you don't know them"

Last edited by moegerbyte : 03 March 2013 at 11:15 PM.
  03 March 2013
Our first problem-related post:

Can someone help us find out why some geometry on the outside of the train is not visible through the glass?

I've tried several of the mia glass presets and ended up with a a "thin glass" one, because the windows are not 3 dimensional bodies.

As you can see, there is geometry (this steel-construction) in the un-rendered part of the render, but they are not showing in the render later. I'm assuming there should be some flag set to 1 like "visible in refraction" or so, but I can't for the heck of it find out what's going on.
"All the others ....... just act like you don't know them"
  03 March 2013
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