Undeground Train Station (WIP)

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  07 July 2013
Undeground Train Station (WIP)

My name is Liam Kirkman, I am an Animation graduate which is where I first learnt Maya. I have been out of Uni for a year now and with not much look finding CG jobs. I partly lack confidence in my work so to fix that I decided to make more and better work.

My current project revolves around an underground train station. I liked this concept mainly for the potential with the lighting and texturing which are 2 areas I need to improve most to secure a great 3D Artist job. Other than the main idea everything else was a bit of a montage of different cities and styles of stations.

I have noticed that the tile texture is a bit overused especially in the tunnel. I still like the idea of the tile'd tunnel but it needs breaking up with something but i am not sure what?

I would greatly appreciate any feedback on this project and will post updates and show the improvements
  07 July 2013
One thing which might be handy to break up the tiled areas a bit, would be a few signs, advertising movies, public services, whatever. Maybe timetables.
It might also be worth softening the lines between the tiles somewhat. Right now they look a little sharp at the edges.
I'm not sure how you've done your tiles texture, but you also might try adding a few tiles here and there which are slightly different shades. Not a lot of difference, but a tile which is say 5% lighter in tone, and a short distance away one which is 3% darker. It'll help break up the computer perfect feel of the textures.
  07 July 2013
Thank you Pagrin for the suggestions. I haven't posted it just yet but I do have some lights which now run down the tunnel which help that particular section. But yes the rest of the tiles does probably need a bit of variation with it.

It is a tiled texture and the original image only has about 15 or so tiles on it, So making 1 or 2 different shades might make it a bit obvious that it is a tiled image.

And agreed some more posters and images would definitely help too
  07 July 2013
As the texture is a tiles image. You can always increase the size of the image yourself and then alter a few tiles.
Basically just bring the texture into Photoshop (or whatever you are using for 2D elements) Increase the size of the canvas, then copy paste your texture into the blank space. Alter a few tiles ere and there and away you go.
Remember a small texture image might save you a little computer power when rendering, but you are also loosing the ability for variation. Sometimes it's better to use large images.

Also you might want to crack a tile as well. After all these places often have at least some form of minor damage here and there, due to accidents of vandalism.

I look forward to the update.
  07 July 2013
Ah BRILLIANT IDEA! I will make sure to try that.
  08 August 2013

Quite a few differences since the last post. Darker tunnel with the lights to break up the tiles.
Rim lights aimed at the post/column in the middle to reinforce the direction of the light from up the steps. Any criticisms/advice?
  08 August 2013
It is lacks indirect illumination. Light reflects of ALL materials, more or less. Right now with all that pitch black surfaces and shadows, it looks more like screenshot from somenting like doom3.
  08 August 2013
The problem I see is that everything is illuminated somewhat, which takes the edge off the image somewhat. Maybe reduce the amount of lights you have in the scene and brighten the ones you keep, emphasizing the key areas (down the staircase, onto the seats etc).
Keep at it
  08 August 2013
Ah you raise a very good point. The scene isn't completly lit properly yet. For example, beneath the platform there is the rocks with a nice normal and displacement aswell as details on the wall under the platform. So those need to be showed off but not too bright.
I will listen to all your advice though. Keep it coming

Here is a colourscript I roughed out a while ago

I wanted the main light sources to be coming from up the stairs and from the trains headlights. I think I have gotten a bit distracted away from my original idea. But I will keep your advice at hand. Thanks

Last edited by liamkirkman : 08 August 2013 at 09:13 AM.
  08 August 2013
I think this is a great subject you have here...I'd try to correct the perspective e.g. giving it a realistic pov from the opposite platform, or so. I'd also try to focus on some few colours, the harsh green of the seats for example is looking a bit off.
Maybe try to get the contrast between the (even if poorly) lit station and the darkness of the tunnel and maybe some slight reflections on the top side of the rails which would give you a hint of the deepness and the direction the tunnel is heading to...
keep going!
  08 August 2013
I am still taking all your feedback into account. Thank you all, it is very helpful. But I am at this stage so far.

Now there are still a few changes to be made and some lighting additions, However this is a current render that has had some work done in photoshop to really show the final concept off. I am hoping to get the final image like this, but looking even better
  08 August 2013
Your lighting on the tracks needs more refinement, IMO. Also, the documents scattered near the chairs are nice, but they're kinda confined to that place only. The entire station looks brand new, so you'll have to work on making a bit dirtier. Also, please consider the fact that the train number is self illuminated and should have a slight bloom corona around it.
  08 August 2013

It's looking pretty nice but I have a few suggestions
- First, the most conspicuous are green seats. They are too bright and too clear. I would like to see the whole image but my eyes keep staring at those seats all the time Much darker green should solve it. Also, if you could add some dirty specular map on them or make them a little scratched, it should make them look more realistically and they would match the scene better.
- The trash on platform are focused too much on one point. It would be better to spread them out through the whole platform
- The tracks seem too extremely clean? for me
- More posters and commercials
- Maybe some kind of graffiti?
- Maybe a few broken tiles? Like here

- Maybe some abandoned bag, toy e.g. teddy bear, hat or something like to stress that someone was there
- I've googled some metro station images and almost all of them have shining floor. In my opinion, if you could replace the floor with the more specular + some floor tiles and very dirty specular map on it, it would look pretty awesome with your back light from upstairs.

Here is an example

Hope it will help a little
  08 August 2013
Thanks for all the comments guys.

I am working on some changes you guys have recommended.

Could anyone recommend me a good tutorial (video or written) for rendering out different passes such as Depth, Diffuse, Material ID, specular etc?

Its something I've been trying to learn before but never took it as in depth as I want to for this project.
  08 August 2013

This is pretty close to be finished. Just wondered if people had anymore advice or criticism.
I am now in the process of trying to dirty up the tracks more and some small tweaks all over. If you image my picture that had photoshop work on it, with this latest image that's what I am going for.
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