[CE3] New York Alley Environment with pigs!

Hello dudes and duderinos, I've been pushing some polys and need some artistic feedback to wrap this thing up!!

All kinds of feedback appreciated!!

I use Maya for modeling and Cryengine 3 for "rendering".

Feel free to ask if there's anything to ask about!



  • e-freak
    mh, it's very contrasty, glossy and noisy. I definitely like what you've got so far, but try to simplify or think of other methods to guide the viewer's eye more onto the center piece of it :)
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 8
    Really nice! It's a little bit too noisy though, but yeah really nice shot!
  • Braxer
    @ e-freak - True.dat, I toned down the glossiness and you're right, it was very noisy :) upploaded a new version, also added a lamppost to get a foreground element and put some radial blurr in the right corner just to tone down some detail, better? :)

    @ chrisradsby - Thanks! Jag
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 8
    Adam you bastard :D Post more often! And get yourself a nice profile pic ^^

    Okay here goes, more comments and crits:

    - I like the left side of the street a lot, it has lots of nice detail on the building and on the bottom of the building.
    - It does look like an alley-way, you would think that it wouldn't have a proper curb there, and even if it would have, from this angle it looks way to narrow to fit two cars? It might just be the angle though!
    - The right side building looks a little bit neglected. Maybe a nice concrete base or something for the building would help.
    - I really like the lighting and really nice touch with the pigs and the butcher. You should have more shots in-close on those ;)

    Really nice work so far Adam, I really like that you're posting your work here :)
  • IchII3D
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    IchII3D keyframe
    Looking good so far, get those drain pipes, dripping decals, water overflow pipes etc... Its all in the details. Currently it looks a little flat and very... game like. Needs a punch of depth to the brick and grounding, once you start adding these smaller details you might find you can pull back some of your larger clutter props. The ones that stand out is the weird box with a fan on down the street, feels like it would be on a roof and just seems there for clutter and detail.




  • respawnrt
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    respawnrt polycounter lvl 5
    Hi dude, if you have some time i'd appreciate some answers regarding some stuff.
    1.Did you made everything in maya and exported ? or you exported individual assets and placed them manually in cryengine ?
    2.Did you exported the materials with all the textures from maya or did you exported materials and manually placed the textures in cryengine ?
  • Braxer
    @ chrisradsby - haha yeah im gonna look into finding a picture.. Have been lurking here for a long time but never really had the energy to post so never bothered getting a picture ^^

    Yeah it only fits one car, but the angle makes it look more narrow than it is aswell. I was thinking that it's a one way road but that might be kind of weird in this case..

    @ IchII3D - Thanks! I see your point and I'm gonna look into it, the drain is an awesome idea so I'll ad it and im gonna look into where I could add some pipes! The big weird thingy is taken straight from a photo I found of a mystic alley, unfortunately I didn't save it. The only thing is that I added the pipe coming down from the roof to it, but I see what you mean..

    @respawnrt - sure, I have to tell you that this is my first CE3 scene so I'm a total newb :( I have hacked it together in that sense, I haven't used any multimaterials and most of the scene is built out of the brick texture and the metal texture, so i dont have any multimaterials. The butcher was exported as two pieces though, the skin and the other parts, but i placed them manually. I'm gonna learn CE3 for my next scene I guess, but their wiki has loads of info:

  • IchII3D
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    IchII3D keyframe
    @respawnrt do all your material work in CryEngine and sync back to your 3D package.
  • e-freak
    love the update. great work!
  • Skybex
    Love the look of this scene.

    The lamppost in the foreground seems a bit low res for something seen so close up. You can also see the seam in the UV.

    The window above the Butcher has the same exterior brick applied to the interior. Reads a bit odd to me.

    I also agree with chrisradsby about the curb. The road seems a bit too narrow to have one
  • Braxer
    @IchII3D- I've put some drainpipes now but since i've worked stupidly with the exporter there seems to be a limit of what i can add, cryengine no longer imports new stuff in my scene, i can only modify stuff at the moment... guess it's my bad somehow. But I feel eager to start something new now so I'll let that constraint be my "white flag" :) thanks for the feedback though!

    how do I sync back materials to maya? Want to learn for the next scene :)

    @e-freak thanks!!

    @Skybex thank you mr.! yeah you're right, ive put the seam on the other side now.
    I also added another texture inside of the room now, that was a good point :) I'll keep the curb basically because I'm fed up with the scene and want to move on ^^

    @chrisradsby added some more detail and clutter on the left side now.

  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 7
    the angle is killing your shot. It creates a lack luster composition. I would say maybe try like 4-5 more angles to see what lands. Keep in mind rule of thirds and all that jazz. env Looks good so far!
  • martin.hedin
    You should put in proper lintels over the windows, the structural elements that distribute the load over the opening to the sides.





    To me it really stands out that the building would collapse otherwise.
  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 5
    It looks absolutely amazing so far, I agree with the window suggestions as well as the fact that its very noisy. Everything is screaming for your attention and your eye is very distracted looking at the piece. I think some more distance fog would help with that. Like more steam/smoke from from vents or something of the sort. You have very scattered lights and on top of that the very bright sun/light coming through the break in the buildings. Keep it coming man, I like this a lot :)
  • Kaneth
    I covered this over at CryDev


    Hopefully some more feedback will come your way so you can polish this piece to a mirror shine
  • Rurouni Strife
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    Rurouni Strife polycounter lvl 7
    Love it. I'm slowly starting work on a new piece (my commute makes it hard) and I really want to have both UDK and CryEngine shots of it. Pieces like this really motivate me to dig into CryEngine and kick out some beautiful works.

    If I had to crit something though, I'm not a big fan of your glass material. Can't say if it needs a stronger more reflective cube map or what though.
  • nathdevlin
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    nathdevlin polycounter lvl 6
    Hi Braxer,

    Been following this piece for a bit. I like the overall scene and know you want to move away from it soon. Here are two tweaks that may benefit the piece and not be too much work.


    I've quickly blocked in an object in the right foreground. The intention is to bring the eye back to the left of the image towards the butcher. I feel your current image draws the eye to the end of the alley towards the bright areas following the lines towards the vanishing point and away from the main focal point.

    You could move a lamp post to the right hand side or a telegraph pole with wires ( lines ) leading the eye back to the butcher on the left also but it's more work.

    The other tweak was the warm yellow/orange light appearing on the lamp post on the left. I'd keep it consistent with the rest of the image and stick with a pinkish/white light.

    Other crits would be the modelling of the lamp post in the foreground. Given the high texel density I'd imagine the model could have more geometry to create nicer less abrupt edges.

    Hope these help.
  • glottis8
    I dunno about that block right there. Makes my eye hurt, and it kills the nice diagonals that you had going in your perspective. I would get rid of the closest sidewalk you had there, and just add maybe some puddles of muck, those could add some nice reflections to add to your comp, maybe a grate with some steam coming out of it. Maybe some rats to add life to the scene.

    I really like what you have done with the scene. I see all the feedback that you have incorporated is making it look sweet.

    Other things to note... i don't think the building on the right would be that bright if the sun shafts are coming in through the background like that. It should be a tad darker. Looking great tho! awesome stuff man!

  • nathdevlin
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    nathdevlin polycounter lvl 6
    Hi Glottis8,

    The blocked in shape needs to be a final asset like the dumspter to not stand out as much. As a quick paint over it does contrast strongly against the sharper details in the image it's just to show what area to fill to balance the image.

    As you suggested darkening the building on the right would actually have a similar affect on the composition leading the eye to the left side of the image that's another good solution for an easy fix.
  • Braxer
    Hey guys! Thought that the thread died a while ago! Unfortunately that means I haven't done any further work on the scene, but this motivates me to push it further!! 2 week vacation abroad coming first though ;(

    @Alberto Rdrgz - I hear you, but I grew fond of this angle and have added detail accordingly so it can become a lot of work if i were to change it, and I don't want to get stuck on this scene forever ^^ I could try and jerk it a little bit and rotate it slightly though, and see if i can get it more interesting ;)

    @martin.hedin - True.dat mister! That would make a lot of sense, I'll add it :)

    @Add3r - Thanks a lot man!! I'll try to play with the fog and see if I can make it easier to read, good point. I will look into particles aswell, I have just been to lazy!

    @Kaneth - Wow I feel extremely honoured!! Thank you, this is upping my motivation level to the skies :)

    @Rurouni Strife - Thanks man! I strongly recommend to try Cryengine, it is amazing at realtime lighting and the control of the lights and posteffects is great! I'm super happy to hear that you got inspired!!

    @nathdevlin - Hey, great crits man!
    I'll play around with the idea of an "extreme" foreground element and see what it ads, but as you and Nathdevlin said, darkening the right building could also do some of the job, so Ill experiment with both.
    One of your images is not showing for me (the first one)
    about the lamp post, you're absolutely right, it does not look very interesting and I'll add some detail and adjust the bevels to it.

    @glottis8 - Thanks, and great feedback! True about the right building, I'll try to tone it down, It's so light because I've added artificial light to it to make the textures pop more and to color it, but I agree that it competes to much with the left side.

    And again, thanks a lot for the feedback everyone, I'm gonna put some work and update it when I come back in 2 weeks.
  • duck
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    duck polycounter lvl 7
    Looks super sweet. Did you play around with DOF?
  • nathdevlin
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    nathdevlin polycounter lvl 6
    Enjoy the hols/break. Hope it's somewhere nice. I did a quick paintover to show how a few tweaks to the values in the image can define the composition better. I was aiming to make the butcher the focal point and the area around him. It's now lit with a stronger intensity I also got some rim lighting in from the light behind him.

  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 5
    Damn son. ^ One of the best paintovers ive seen on here. Straight to the point and has some REALLY good points. Sorry to thread jack here, but damn. Nice paintover. This should definitely push this already awesome environment to the finish line for sure
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 6
    Ooo, I agree, nathdevlin's paintover really makes the focal pop. Value adjustments aside, I like this a lot; epic shot!! :D
  • Braxer
    @Duck - thanks! yeah i wanted to have DOF both in back and foreground but didn't figure out how to do it!
    @Nathdevlin - WOW!!! man that's a freaking great paintover! Its straight on and I agree totally with you. gonna try to achieve that when I come back. You make me feel bad for being on vacation not being able to work on this ;-) Thanks a LOT
    @Add3r and Jessica Dinh - Yeah mr Nathdevlin is indeed awesome!! And thanks:-)
  • nathdevlin
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    nathdevlin polycounter lvl 6
    Don't worry Braxer holidays are allowed :P Thanks for the nice comments guys. For me what distinguishes really good work from great work are these final touches. They are not a lot of work but are basic fundamentals of art. I need to produce more current work with this stuff too.

    Never underestimate the improvements a good understanding of colour, composition and value can bring to a piece. If these tools are used well they can bring meaning and purpose to a piece or at least a focus.

    Here's a good book aimed at comic book artists that touches on some of this with clear examples for those who are interested.

  • glottis8
    Nice. The only other thing is i might get rid (like someone here already mentioned) that lamp post that is in the middle ground. It just feels forced there, and that might give your alley way a little more room to breath.

    You can see some of the points i made on the paintover, which looks great. Just like painting textures, when you have your overall comp and first pass lighting, you want to push it to make your highlights brighter, your darks darker to really frame and set the mood in your scene. Then you can add some backlight with secondary and tertiary colors to compensate your scene. I am a firm believer that lighting can determine how great your end result turns out to be. Can't wait to see an update with all of this feedback!
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