Neon City

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  09 September 2011
Neon City

Hi.. To keep my self motivated and hopefully get some feedback I'll post updates on this scene here.

The idea is to create a dark street at night/dusk with lots of neon signs and lights reflecting in a rain wet road and with tall skyscrapers in the background.

There are still lots of "dummy" objects in the scene.

  09 September 2011
Looks great, can you reveal what lightng technique you are using to light the scene. Probobaly GI, but what is the main source of light? BTW I think you should use fresnel reflections for reflecting of the building to get the right look.
My ARNOLD WIP thread

Last edited by genesis max : 09 September 2011 at 11:43 AM.
  09 September 2011
Cool stuff, Latter - very nice continuation! Hydrants are tiny imo and the bar of that shield at right might be a tad too thin. (perhaps also the lamp somewhat small, but check refs) The rest looking great so far!
  09 September 2011
genesis max, thanks. I am rendering the scene in vray and I am using a vray dome light (gi: irradiance map + ligh cache). It is just a temporary light setup for testing.

zokana, thanks. It is great to have you on board. You were such a great help in the NYC wip thread. I've scaled the firehydrant and lamp up a bit, but I think I need to find a few reference pics and see if I can figure out exactly how big they are in real life.

I've made a new test. Not a lot of big changes, but I've modeled a neon sign and added details to the road, and to the overhang ( or whatever it is called) on the left.

  09 September 2011
Is this going to get a fictional Midtown Manhattan street view or are you using a certain reference?

Sidewalk surface is nice, but it could look less even imo. And its edge may not be higher than the surface - imagine all the people falling over that stone and all of them lying then on the road.

The size of the hydrant looks good. Their size can actually vary a lot in reality, but generally about 1/4-1/3 higher than the wheel of a car.

Very nice work, man!
  09 September 2011
Zokana, Thanks It is a fictional street, but if I've found reference pictures of places that have the same type of feel that I am going for. I am going for a darker more gritty mood than the NYC picture. My first idea was New York meets Bladerunner LA.... but I might be going in a slightly different direction.

I've added more details and made the sidewalk more uneven as you suggested. I've also lowered the edge a bit. I don't wan't people falling over the edge
I think I'll make a few changes to the chrysler building and use it as one of the skyscrapers in the background.

Last edited by Latter : 09 September 2011 at 11:49 AM.
  09 September 2011
Thumbs up

Certainly not easy to get a believable fictional Manhattan street view, but youíre already experienced with realistic views, and modeling is very convincing so far. Nonetheless, the fictional nature of the subject is giving more space for critique
So a few of mine:
- Mailboxes that much in the center of a sidewalk?
- Tyres especially of the cab appear to be rather sporty, could be less thick imo (but didnít check refs)
- The two stores left and right in the foreground look somewhat similar
- The mounting of that "Casino" billboard could be more realistic.

Not sure about the idea with the Chrysler building. Itís shape is most characteristic - could work perhaps without the whole top part. I could also imagine smaller buildings at that crossroad in the background, like for example the back side of a Broadway theatre with its black brick stones. Or the continuation of the street, to get a completely different mood than on your previous work.
  09 September 2011
That was very useful critique as always Zoltan

I've moved the mailboxes closer to the street. I didn't check the tyres yet, but I will keep your comment in mind when I get time to check and ajdust the cars.
You are absolutely right about the stores. They were pretty much identical. I've changed the store to the right a bit, but there are still lots of changes to be made. I will add more detail to all buildings and make them more unique.
The Casino sign was modeled after a reference photo (from china or chinatown somewhere), but I might still look a bit weird. I'll take a look at it and see if it needs to be changed a bit.

Good point about the chrysler building. I am going to create a few different skyscrapers instead.
I've also decided to with your idea of continuing the street. I was affraid it was going to much like the 43rd street picture I did last year. I don't know if the road turns too much to be realistic.
I've also added a crosroad just before the 3rd car. I'll add a few traffic signs later.

I hope I'll be able to make a major update by the end of the weekend

  09 September 2011
Youíre so fast - you get a whole new street in two days!

Looks very good imo. Canít really tell how realistic the slight curve in the road - personally i wouldnít regard it as unrealistic. Fact is that streets are getting curvier in Lower Manhattan.

While adding new details maybe time now to think about the composition. Where do you want to have the main focus of the viewer? Needing something special there, like more light, extraordinary architectual style, or perhaps some sort of action - some kind of eyecatcher before filling the whole picture with stunning details, just to realise then that something is missing.

Some thoughts in detail:

- the lower part of the building in the foreground at right could be more classic. Many buildings in Manhattan have a more elaborated lower section, often a sort of US classicism, like on this typical example:
sidenote: older buildings have mostly more of those typical archaic looking air conditioners in the windows:

- The upper parts of the buildings further back look somewhat uniform with the similar vertical structure.

- You will need more lamps (which could be quite a lot larger btw, when looking at the last photo).

(btw: meant before the intersection of the mountings and the wall concerning the casino billboard.)

  09 September 2011
It is time for another small update.

Zokana, I am not that fast I made some of the background buildings a couple of years ago for another project.

I'll change the light later in the process. There will be a bit less skylight and light from neon signs and street lamps.
The main focus should be on the guy in the lower left corner. I'll try and get more focus on him by turning on the lights in the spotslights just above him. I don't know if that is enough or if I'll need to change the camera angle for instance.
My intention is to have him look something like the picture below. A guy in a trenchcoat or leather jacket with a cigarette in his mouth. He will be turning with his face to right.

I've changed the lower part of the building to the right. I'll add more detail later. Your links were very useful Zokana.

I've added more lamps and made them a bit larger, I've also added traffic lights at the intersection further down the street.

I'll take a look at the casino mouting later. I'll change the background buildings later and make them more like the first building to the right.

  09 September 2011
Oh wow, James Dean will walk down your street!

The camera angle is very good imo. Couldnít be much better actually. What i would think about is flipping the image to get a completely different view than on your last Manhattan piece. Wouldnít hurt compositionally either to have the diagonal of the street the other way. Could look somewhat like this: (the skeleton just used to keep the current style of your dummy )

The only thing i donít like that much on your new building is that double row of the stone plates. Architectually strange - they would be shifted under each other to fake a real wall. Stone plates could be slightly thicker and the edges smoother.
  09 September 2011
Smile hi

Hi just to note, 1-
the curve in the road does not feel right it should be more like a strait road intercepting with the one on the foreground, it will give the deep that you need depending on the angle.

2- cheek the high in the ground floor of the buildings because the ground floor is usually 1 to 1.5 meters higher the the upper floors, acording to the dummies does not fell right 4 to 5 meters in the 1 floos 3 to 3.5 in the rest, in old houses it is usually more like 1 meter.

looks good keep adding detail eheheh
  09 September 2011

btw: my dummy might be slightly too large
  10 October 2011
Hi Sorry for my lack of updates, but I've been very busy the past couple of weeks.

Zokana, thats a great paintover. Nice touch with the skeleton. You certainly made the mood dark! I think I like the idea of mirroring the image. I'll give it a try. I've changed teh stone pattern a bit. It might still need to be more rounded?

I don't know if I'll make a cg copy of James Dean I am not sure if I have the skill required.

whitemagus, thanks. I've changed the curve of the road. I don't know if this was quite the way you meant.

I've also changed the height of the first floor to make it more realistic. It might still be slightly wrong though...

Time for a small update. I've made changes to some of the buildings and added more detail. I've also changed the lighting a bit.

  10 October 2011
nice progress.. i am liking the lighting...


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