Making a good road/street

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  08 August 2012
Making a good road/street

Hey guys,

I know that this sounds simple, but ive been having a hell of a time figuring this out.

I have a city scene. Sometimes the street will be seen from up above from over head views from a helicopter, and other times the street will be seen up close from the perspective of someone walking on the sidewalk.

My question is, how do i make the street look nice when the camera views are closer to the ground? Ive been painting most of the assets in the scene in Modo, but i have recently been experimenting with Mari. I am rendering in Maya with V-ray. Whenever i paint in Modo, the street looks kinda cheap, and unappealing. I have tried using tiled textures, but when i get close to the street, things look distorted. I even gave it a try using an 8k texture map, and it still looks strange. Ive been playing with a few high resolution textures from Cgtextures, but i am still not satisfied with the quality.

At 1:10 there is a quick shot, of a nice looking road. I would like to achieve a similar quality to this. Yes i do know that this is for a movie, and they probably have a monster rig, but i would like to at least get the quality as close as possible.

Should i break the street up in sections, and use multiple 2k maps?, Should i try to paint it all in a 8k map? Im really lost here. Any help is appreciated!

Last edited by Bigwil357 : 08 August 2012 at 12:11 AM.
  08 August 2012
Can you post a shot of what you've done so far, along with renders from your different camera positions, and a snapshot of your UV layout? It's hard to offer advice without actually seeing what you've done.
  09 September 2012
Sorry for the late reply...had to put my project on the back burner for a second, anywho....

Here are some shots from my scene with the road. This is just one slim section of the road instances many times. It is alot better than what i had before, but i still dont like it THAT much. Part of me just wants to go with it and get it over with, and move onto more important aspects of the project, but the look of the road still bothers me. All the UV is is the top polygon of the cube, with the 2k texture painted onto it, with image ink. Id like to get more detailed, like the link I gave in the previous post, but for now, i would just be fine with getting a decent asphalt looking texture on the road.
  09 September 2012
Thank you for those tutorials Neil. Simple but powerful.

Bigwil: since you are using Maya, another way to randomize your tileable texures, is to use the "stagger" function on the file node.
  09 September 2012
I personally would go procedural with your road texturing. You can still use file textures to add realism and detail, but a procedural material (fractals) would really help out, and you can make it as complex or simple as you like to achieve your results.

Try starting with a granite (3d) node, and adding your asphault and concrete textures to that, then do some tests? If you need a concept screenshot or something, I'll whip one up for ya.
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  09 September 2012
Thank you all for your replys! I just ended up making a larger cube with a 2k texture applied to it. It still would like to get a better looking road. I was watching Planet 51 last night, and i am in envy of their roads! They realy looked real. Very nice bump and reflective properties. Thank you soulburn3d for your links. and i would love to see a screen shot of what you are talking about InfernalDarkness.

Here is what i have currently
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by soulburn3d: These tutorial may help out a bit transitioning between the close and far shots.

- Neil

Awesome tips ... thanks Neil
  09 September 2012
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