Here is some progress of the project I had in mind for several years. Probably since I saw Treasure Planet, Last Exile etc :slight_smile:
I actually started it at least twice already and never finished. But this time, I hope it will be different…

So this is what I have so far. There will be a character standing on some platform in foreground, looking down at the city…

here are some props that will be used in the streets…

here is screenshot from Softimage and ICEtree. I’m using ICE to gerenate houses by randomly combining 10 components (ground, 1st floor, 2nd floor, roof etc)

and here is test of a rope ICE compound that a friend of mine did. It generates rope between two Null objects, allowing me to control elasticity of the rope easily…

and here are some of many sketches I did. but current goal is to make everything a little bit more steampunk, so more pipes, gears and stuff like that

any comments are welcomed :slight_smile:


Looking great, I hope you won’t oversaturate it with textures, as it looks nice now. To achieve this effect, you will have to increase the exposure after texturing.


the icetree thing (no idea what it is) looks complex, but result seems impressive.

I look forward for more update to this project.


ICE is ONLY on Softimage. It was design the have better simulation effect but turn out that many programer use it to help create rig or modeling by instance.

If Softimage still exist it’s because of that. Sadly


mister3d: thanks. i still have a lot of modeling work do to. I’m actually trying to design houses properly right now, so everything might change quite a lot…

PKD: here is some info about ICE:
it’s really a visual programming thing such as xpresso in Cinema4d, or whole Houdini (yeah, i know, Houdini is more powerful)…
Great thing about it is, that it allows even non-technical people like me to to do quite complex effects and tools… (for example I did these tools for scattering objects, and trust me, I’m not a programmer :slight_smile: )

Scote: Let’s not be so pesimistic. Softimage has many great features to offer. Of course, ICE is one of the best now :slight_smile:


I’m a softimage user myself. and I live in the city who create the software, but with years I can tell you our industry use less softimage and turn to maya. For about 3 years now, but it’s difficult to manage a new pipeline in a studio.

Arnold renderer turn out to be more powerful. Hope to grab a license someday


well, i can’t really comment on situation of the industry as i have some experience only from Europe. Maya having bigger market share is quite well known fact. But i’m really happy with Softimage. We are working on nice animated feature film here completely done with Softimage and Arnold and that is a joy for lighting artist :slight_smile: (well, at least for me it is)


This looks great, definitely be watching this. I’m in the hardly ever used anymore software club to…lightwave user here.


Great work, I’ve been a fan of soft and the things you can do with ice. I really like the direction this is going, once of those pictures you could stare at for an hour.

To chime in on the industry stuff, i’ve worked in both north america and europe… maya seems to be so standard now that its a bit frustrating. I have a love/hate relationship with maya and its… issues… but always been a softimage fan from a distance. Kudos to anyone who shows off the potential of other software packages!


thanks. my goal is to make people explore the city a little bit as if they were at the place of the character standing there… here is older version of the city, but with the character (it’s Tatiana from Last Exile that I took from my old project)


Thanks for the information on ICE. I am only a hobbyist, & no deep pocket or time to keep up with so much new stuff, for essentually a hobby. This hobby is pretty expensive if you use genuine products. So I keep it to using a few & make most of it.

Maybe I should explode making some money from this hobby, but thats something to think about when the cost get too much.

Anyway, this is looking to be a masterpiece in the making. Good luck. I look forward to more updates.


looking forward to seeing how this comes along.

Do you mind expanding on how your ice tree makes your buildings?.. I am currently makign the move from one less used software (Lightwave) to another (Softimage) as I think the toolset for modelling etc seems stronger. Although now I am wondering if i should have just made the jump to maya and be done with it… But now I am rambling.

So anyway, do you have the ice tree create a building by combing a set of pre modelled components and random, and then you manually place the building that was put together in your scene?..

Best, William.


well, it seems my laptop adapter died so i’m stuck without a computer at home for few days. anyway, i did some sketches and i need to decide, which way to go. either simple houses (on the left) that are not so interesting, but they work quite nicely together in the city, of more deformed houses (i like them more) but those might not work so well then i put many of them next to each other…

PKD: well judging from your Winter is coming, you should have no problem earning some money with 3d :slight_smile: but yeah, it is expensive hobby, if you want to use professional tools. but so are most hobbies (i started making pottery and that is even more expensive than 3d :slight_smile: )

WChestnutt: sure, i will do that when my laptop works again (hope i will just get new adapter tomorrow). but basicly i just modified a little bit one compound i did before for placing instances on nulls ( you can see it there and also download the whole addon).
and yes, i use premade components that are combined randomly. well, i have 10 custom parametres set on each null that are set by defaut to -1. that is telling ICE to pick random model from a group. but if i want to, i can change that, so for example, i can have the whole house generated randomly, but pick specific roof etc…
about maya/softimage thing… well, maya is good. and it’s used in most places… but i am softimage fan and would miss ICE too much… :slight_smile:


That seems to be true also in the teaching and learning areas. Looking at old college course booklets from as far back as 2006, Maya and ZBrush courses are more numerous since about 2009/10. I don’t see Softimage courses listed at all in recent years booklets, and even Max isn’t as popular a course as Maya now. I suppose it’s an always evolving and changing thing, and Maya will eventually play second fiddle to something newer and better. The one program that seems to have staying power in college courses is Photoshop. They seem to have been teaching PS forever and it is still a highly sought course, always fully subscribed at my local college. I think the fact that Photoshop is widely used in many industries is what makes it appeal to all sorts of students.


What do you use for renderer? and how did you do the atmospheric look? lume glare?


Talk about PS, its ridiculously price in Continental Europe. The CS6 Standard version cost $699 list on US website, but cost 950€ on Germany website. I check this just today, as I need to get a new copy for my new PC. Seeing the big price difference left a sour taste in my mouth.

I used mainly Zbrush & Maya, & the good things about using popular software is support as well as more resources (tutorial, plugins, models, books etc).

I actually started with max made some of my early models in it, but I thought of giving Maya a try, & never went back to Max. I liked Maya Interface much better. Its also easier to borrow books at my local libraries on maya. The earlier adaption of Mental ray was pretty bad, & need a lot of technical know-how, & steps (link this node to this node) to get it working, but now its much better. I have few complain about Maya except the price! Zbrush however, is such a frustration, now its better, but the earlier version are so dark & moody, & menus that do not make senses.

Overall, I am happy with the tools I use.


Pottery is expensive? Hmmm, I did some pottery back in high school, but I only spend money on the mud, or clay, all else is from the school.

I used to play with cars (modifying stuff) & it cost a bomb. Now I just stick to stock cars. Yap, hobbies can be rather expensive.


we use Arnold here at work and I am in beta, so I never want to use anything else :slight_smile:
atmosphere is done in Nuke simply using Z-depth, grade and some glow

PKD: yeah, pottery gets really expensive once you have to buy all the equipment (especially a kiln), get some place where you can do that etc. I’ve already spent more on that than I spent on Softimage license and my workstation… but i guess cars are even worse :slight_smile:


Well, im still without computer (using phone now) but it gives me time to think about the concept a little bit more. this is a sketch i did last night. it would be the outer edge of the city. A bit more natural…


I really like your sketch :thumbsup:

wait for up !