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115 Madison Avenue in the Style of "The Division"

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Final scene update:


Hi everyone, it's time to call this project done.
It's been a tremendous learning experience and a lot of fun.
I am quite happy with how it turned out.
There is a lot of things I would have done differently where I to start over but one must stop at some point.

Thank you all for your amazing and encouraging feedback :smile: 


Edit 2016: Updated the video links





0yd2jpg
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ak9kjpg
yqx9jpg
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jv3ujpg
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I am looking into packaging everything up and offering it for download but I don't know what I'd have to upload for a UE4 version. As soon as I figure it out I'll post it.

Thank you all and see you next project :smile: 



Original Post:



Hi everyone, happy 4th of July :smile: 

Last E3 was full of surprises, one of them was Ubisoft's new game 'The Division'. I love the art style and want to try and create a scene that evokes a similar mood.

I chose a real life setting as my jumping off point and will then make it match the setting of the game.

yawvjpg


I was thinking of going for a snowy night setting.
From what we have seen so far, I believe the game is set in winter after christmas (the lights are still up).

I want to recreate the corner facing the convenience store.
There are still many questions that need answering and I'm far from finalizing the asset list.

Below, you can see a rough blockout with some notes:

qftfjpg

Some ideas I'm still toying around with are:
> Should there be a damaged EMT tent, that the truck crashed into?
> Should the intersection be one of those cobbled raised intersections?
It's not there in real life but it would make for a more interesting pattern on the snow.
>Should I add a withered tree anywhere in there?

Anything goes and I would appreciate any feedback.


Cheers,

Replies

  • maverickhornet
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    maverickhornet polycounter lvl 9
    Ohhhh I like! Will be following this! Liking the look of The Division.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Been doing some pre-pro this morning.

    Here is a more formalized asset list:
    Asset List
    Bldg_Gallery_Base_Corner
    Bldg_Gallery_Base_Middle
    Bldg_Gallery _Corner
    Bldg_Gallery _Middle
    Bldg_Store_Entrance - Just the entrance, no supports, will reuse on long side
    Bldg_Store_Corner - Is just the corner support
    Bldg_Store_Showcase - two glass fronts with one support in the middle
    Bldg_Store_Support - One support, goes left and right of entrance
    Bldg_Store_Hatch_A
    Bldg_Store_Hatch_B
    Bldg_Store_Hatch_C
    Bldg_Store_ApA_Corner Corner, entire right side and the first tall pane and row of 3 on the left
    Bldg_Store_ApA_Middle just one tall pane
    Bldg_Store_ApB_Corner Corner, entire right side and the first tall pane and row of 3 on the left
    Bldg_Store_ApB_Middle just one tall pane
    Bldg_Store_FireEscape
    Bldg_Store_Scaffolding Green wrap around
    Bldg_A_Groundfloor
    Bldg_A_Floor
    Bldg_A_Roof
    Bldg_B_Groundfloor
    Bldg_B_Floor
    Bldg_B_Roof
    Bldg_B_Scaffolding
    Prop_Norm_AC
    Prop_Norm_MuseumBanner
    Prop_Norm_Flag
    Prop_Norm_FireHydrant - http://alturl.com/3mjrz
    Prop_Norm_TrafficLight - Img 0018, traffic light with street name and lamp
    Prop_Norm_SignOneWay
    Prop_Norm_PhoneBooth
    Prop_Norm_XmasLights
    Prop_Norm_NewsStand - http://alturl.com/g7vg7
    Prop_Norm_Generator
    Prop_Norm_GasCannister
    Prop_Norm_LubricationBucket
    Prop_Riot_BarricadeMetal - http://alturl.com/z8ex7, http://tinyurl.com/k8pdh6n
    Prop_Riot_BarricadeConcrete - http://alturl.com/xjr4j, http://alturl.com/498kd
    Prop_Riot_Tape
    Prop_Riot_MeshA Wrapped around Barricade Metal
    Prop_Riot_MeshB Wrapping tore off
    Prop_Riot_MeshC Shield attachment for BarricadeConcrete
    Prop_Riot_GarbagePile
    Prop_Riot_BottlesGrp
    Prop_Riot_BricksGrp
    Prop_Riot_DebrisPileA
    Prop_Riot_DebrisPileB
    Prop_Riot_Truck http://alturl.com/hdg6a

    Strt_Madison_N
    Strt_Madison_S
    Strt_34th_E
    Strt_34th_W
    Strt_Intersection
    Swlk_NE Sidewalk by gallery http://alturl.com/biywm
    Swlk_SE Sidewalk by store
    Swlk_NW
    Swlk_SW

    Please leave a comment if you think anything is missing or if I should take something off.

    Cheers
  • LANKUS MAXIMUS
    I often use google earth for reference too!

    Promising start. The Division was definitely one of my E3 highlights. I look forward to seeing your project progress. Best of luck with it! :)
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Thank you :)
    I am super excited to start modeling.
    It's also a great opportunity to learn UDK :D
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Production is now underway and here are the results of day one :)

    jcvc.jpg
    u4aw.jpg
    hxvr.jpg
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Hi,

    Another update:)

    I started work on the looted/destroyed store.
    I tried to imagine how people would go about destroying the shutters, trying to get into the store. Probably the hinges would be the first to go and then they'd get bent and torn. I tried to add that into the model.

    What do you think of the shutters?
    More damage, less damage?
    Should I go about the damage type in an all together different direction?
    I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

    mo5i.jpg
    al78.jpg
    l4or.jpg

    Cheers
  • LANKUS MAXIMUS
    I like your approach to fleshing out the scene. The modular pieces are looking really nice so far.

    Great start! :)

    edit - I think your shutters are fine for now. They convey a nice level of damage, which can be pushed further when it comes to normal map time :) I like it because they look like they've been pried open. Which would happen in this kind of hostile, survivor environment.
  • leleuxart
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    leleuxart polycounter lvl 8
    Awesome models so far! Looking forward to seeing more. The Division is one of my top games from E3 too :)
  • SaferDan
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    SaferDan polycounter lvl 10
    I am confused, are these blockout messhes? or final ones? They look very dense for low poly meshes!
  • blinKX10
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    blinKX10 polycounter lvl 7
    Oh wow, you've made some real progress! Everything is looking fantastic!
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Let's say un-optimized game res :)

    Since I'm going for the style of a next gen game there are certain details that will be modeled that otherwise would have been texture.
    So there are bolts on the back of the traffic light, for instance.

    Most of those I consider pretty close to game res.
    They haven't been optimized yet and I'm keeping everything quaded for now to use them as a jumping off point for high poly bake versions later.
    Except for the shutter, I modeled that one straight to high poly and will not be optimizing it until I lock down the shape/damage.
  • [Deleted User]
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    [Deleted User] insane polycounter
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Thank you :)
    Don't tempt me with the cryengine, lol
    I am more familiar and comfortable with it and would love to do this in CE3
    But I've been avoiding UDK for so long and now it's time to learn about all the new features :)
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Here's a first pass at the damaged scaffolding.
    A pickup truck ran through it at high speeds and crashed into the store.
    It tore through the first row of supports and then there was a ripple effect backwards.

    9mxy.jpg
    kjzb.jpg

    Please let me know what you think.
    Could it happen this way or should I apply a completely different logic to the damage?
  • leleuxart
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    leleuxart polycounter lvl 8
    At high speeds, I would imagine a truck would be able to go through the thin support beams pretty easily and hit the wall. From the ones I've seen, they were usually pretty flimsy. You could probably keep the broken set and use it for something else though, like a car backed up into it to get access to a window for quick looting, with the car trunk open?
  • J0NNYquid
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    J0NNYquid polycounter lvl 5
    I'm so jealous of people that have the mentality and patience to get organized before they start. Something I'm trying to work on. The scene is coming along really nicely.
  • silkroadgame
    This is really attracting for me!I'll follow this topic.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Thank you for the encouraging words :)

    leleuxart, that is a great idea.
    It would hide another little story away in the environment.
    On the other hand I was really looking forward creating a beat up version of the truck, where it struck the wall.

    Decisions, decisions, lol
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    So I decided to take a break from the buildings and do some light prop work.
    My city is now ready to face the riots, lol

    3hec.jpg
    6qk1.jpg
    3ei1.jpg

    I also tried my hand at some sculpting.
    The result was dismaying :(
    As you see the geometry pinched something aweful and the result was a streaming mess.
    What are good/different ways to set up sculpt bases?
    So far I've been creating an all new model with cleaner topology but I'm not sure that's the best way to go.

    Please help, the answer to that has eluded me for a long while now.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Here's some progress on the sidewalk :)

    usdy.jpg

    Started placing some assets in UDK.
    Being new to UDK I was having a hard time placing assets and organizing the scene until I found the Scene and Layers tab in the content browser window.
    Now everything is a lot easier and clearer :)

    What would be good tutorials to start with?
    When I was using unreal engine 2, UDN was awesome but now I find it kind of bare bones.
    What would you recommend?
    Also are there mudbox specific tutorials that cover how to prep your model for mudbox?

    Thank you all, in advance.
  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 8
    Well, when you are getting your meshes ready for sculpting you will normally have your "base mesh", which is the block out of major shapes you will use as a base for sculpting with evenly spaced quads throughout the mesh if you can help it. This base mesh is not optimized whatsoever actually. Its built specifically to keep evenly spaced triangles, this way there is no pinching, no long stretched triangles, etc. This will give even topology throughout to hold the details you sculpt. I normally just throw edge loops throughout the model, and keep quads as often as possible when getting something ready for zBrush or Mudbox. In Zbrush, I will often Dynamesh a really rough base mesh to clean up topology even more, and allow for easy sculpting without worry of edge flow.

    After all of the sculpting is done, I then create the low poly, in game resolution model. This is unwrapped and then thrown in a baking program, such as xNormal, and then the High poly sculpted mesh is baked into normal maps onto the low poly.


    This was just a simple break down of my basic workflow. Works anything and everything for the most part. I have seen it used from characters all the way up to entire environments with success. Always good to aide your workflow with programs like nDo, dDo, crazy bump, etc. Will speed up your normals process, and with an entire environment piece like this... Efficiency is EVERYTHING. I know you are going next gen with everything, but to even be run on your own computer when working on it, has to be taken into account. There is next gen, and then there is wasteful. We are almost at that point where there is a definite grey area when it comes to tri use and when to use textures (normals and displacement).

    Goodluck with your project.
  • sipher3325
    This is excellent. After seeing The Division I got inspired to create a scene too but I don't see me doing anything in the near future. Your stuff is coming along great though.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    This is great, thank you!
    So I was on the right track, just had the process backwards :)
    I'd try to re-cut my mesh after I'd get done with the game asset.
    Your process makes a lot more sense.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Weekly update :)

    This has been a tremendously fun project so far.
    It's been a while I've had time for a personal project.
    Here are some shots from the maya viewport.

    al9o.jpg
    nprv.jpg
    vn4g.jpg
    erm7.jpg
    umc5.jpg

    No placement is final yet, so if anything jumps out at you please let me know.
    I've been watching and re-watching 'the division' footage from E3 and my mind gets blown every day by how much detail there is in this game.
    There's a tiny modeled icicle under the fire escape, right next to the fully modeled bricks that surround the windows!
    I think its safe to go quite a bit higher with detail with this but I must avoid the temptation to go all out to the realm of wasteful.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    The 'Spectrum 80' vending machine :)

    m5l9.jpg

    It will lay on its side in the scene.
    The crumpled newspapers inside will make sense then.
  • serriffe
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    serriffe polycounter lvl 7
    the block-out starting to look really good- :)
  • MiAlx
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    MiAlx polycounter lvl 10
    I really like this so far man!

    I stumbled across a page the other day that could maybe be useful for references (maybe for the rust or whatever). Take a look at this, maybe you can use something there.

    Anyway, keep it up. :)
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 11
    Looking good man! When making environments of this type you've got tons of repeating elements in the scene so you really need to plan your textures and UVs beforehand. Else later on you'll end up having to redo a lot of your own work.

    But yeah dude :) Looking good so far, get into a game engine later on it'll be great!
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Thank you for the kind words everyone :)

    MiAlx, thank you so much for the link, what a great resource!

    chrisradsby, I've been thinking a lot about how I'd want to do UVs and textures.
    What would be customary in such a case? Watching watching the E3 footage I can't determine a preference for tiling over custom.
  • Treboras
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    Treboras polycounter lvl 9
    This looks very promising! Can't wait to see more.

    For the ground you could try using a good 1x1 tiling, then break it up with vertex painting and good prop placement / additional newspapers / leaves etc.

    Couple weeks back I modeled one of those newsstands myself, interested to see how yours will turn out. I surely would do some things different, if I had to model it again :D
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Thank you for the advice, Treboras.
    Sounds like a good idea to do the road that way.
    The original location has these really interesting construction tags/markings on it so I was thinking of doing that with projectors but then I didn't know how to do the snow that's covered them.

    Are there any good tutorials on how to vert paint in udk?
    That might sound odd, but I'm having difficulty finding tutorials that are not video based :(

    Anyway, I couldn't resist and threw what I have so far into a scene.
    It's very premature as everything is still in flux but the allure of the game engine won, lol

    pvnx.jpg
    4wg9.jpg
    h1oa.jpg
    fsbj.jpg
    u7he.jpg
    k1e2.jpg
    4yvp.jpg
  • Firefly
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    Firefly polycounter lvl 4
    This is looking great!
  • Treboras
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    Treboras polycounter lvl 9
    That might sound odd, but I'm having difficulty finding tutorials that are not video based :(

    looks nice so far, but I have to ask: What is wrong with tutorials being a video?!
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Haha, it's completely personal preference.
    There's nothing wrong with video tuts but I like having a pdf or an article open and read. I just like reading.
  • NokkonWud
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    NokkonWud polycounter lvl 3
    I'm another fan of written tutorials. I find it much easier to read over something and take it in then having to watch a video online, rewind it and play again.

    Same for any kind of walkthrough. Ideally we'd get both. :)
  • Treboras
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    Treboras polycounter lvl 9
    Haha, it's completely personal preference.
    There's nothing wrong with video tuts but I like having a pdf or an article open and read. I just like reading.

    well of course I respect your wishes :)

    there you go:

    http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/MeshPaintReference.html (this may be the best one)
    http://www.carlk3d.com/udk-vertex-painting-basics-post-21/
    http://www.laurenscorijn.com/vertex-blending-snow.html

    and althought you don't want, if you don't mind nevertheless, a video tutorial: https://www.3dmotive.com/f100601
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    These are awesome!
    Thank you so much.
    And of course I'll watch the video tuts too.
    I wont ever turn away a possibility to learn;)
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    The A.P. Smith, O 'Brien Style Series S fire hydrant.

    otrb.jpg

    That is one of the things I love about these types of projects,
    You learn so much about all sorts of topics.
    Today I learned about the history of NY fire hydrants :)

    http://www.firehydrant.org/pictures/nyc.html
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    A take on the 'American Academy of Dramatic Arts'

    y7up.jpg
    6qj2.jpg
    a7j8.jpg
    oyio.jpg
    v1i4.jpg
  • pixelpatron
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    pixelpatron greentooth
    Gonna love me some next gen! Lookin good. Picked great source material.
  • synergy11
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    synergy11 polycounter lvl 6
    Nice work!

    Are you going to be texture blending/vertex painting across the top row of the building? You might get seams as you made them separate pieces.

    I have been working on a similar building and ran into this issue. Just thought I would throw it out there.

    Can't wait to see this progress.

    CHeers.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Hey,

    Sunergy11, I haven't given the buildings much thought yet.
    I was going to use vert painting on the sidewalk and the main road.
    For the buildings I was thinking of doing a mix of custom and tile but vert painting seems the way to go. What was the problem in your experience?
    Also, if I plan for vert painting, will I need more verts?

    In the mean time here's a dumpster :)
    I know it's a staple exercize to make one of these, which I managed to dodge until now, lol

    3jkb.jpg

    The Left one is tipped over and there will be piles of garbage pushing up the flaps.

    Cheers
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    I have taken a break from modeling to acquaint myself with vertex painting textures and what that would mean for my modeling workflow.

    The first test was kind of disheartening :(
    I threw together rough asphalt and snow textures and tried them out on the intersection. It looked like I'd have to increase the amount of geometry exponentially to get anything close to a natural looking transition and placement.

    cj8i.jpg

    But then I found Christopher Albeluhn's amazing tutorial on vert painting:
    http://www.chrisalbeluhn.com/UDK_Advanced_Vertex_Painting.html

    The results are quite impressive. I still think I'll need more polys on everything though.

    u3pf.jpg

    So is there a way to blend more than two materials together?
    If I use R for the first mask, could I use G or B for subsequent materials?

    Also, the snow and asphalt are no where near finished, but please let me know what you think. Snow especially is really difficult to wrap my head around.
    hxeo.jpg

    Cheers
  • EvanL
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    EvanL polycounter lvl 6
    So is there a way to blend more than two materials together?
    If I use R for the first mask, could I use G or B for subsequent materials?

    You can. You could do something like a lerp for 2 materials than lerp that again for another material. Just depends how you want to do it. I'd advise taking a close look at your material and really try to understand what's going on. It's not too bad, just requires a lot of logical thinking and a bit of basic math.

    If you want a better transition for the snow, you'll have to really think hard about how you're using that texture mask to manipulate the transition. The one in the tutorial is just a simple cloud filter and might not be right for the kind of snow you're going for.

    One of the things I loved about The Division trailer was how they nailed slushy snow. Might be something you want to consider.
  • leleuxart
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    leleuxart polycounter lvl 8
    Yeah, you can all of the channels for vertex painting. Just connect the first Lerp that you created into the B slot of the second, then the second plugs into diffuse, spec, normal, etc. There is an order of heirarchy, so whatever is used in the second lerp will cover the first, and the third will cover the second, regardless of the channel they use. Using a mask definitely helps compensate for a smaller vertice count, which you've already seen.

    As far as the snow texture, I think you should include a soft and lumpy normal map(a cloud texture might be a good base) to give it more depth and make it look like it's building on top of the asphalt. And a noisy spec map

    Edit: EvanL kind of beat me to it. I agree with the slushy part and the normal map should help, but you may have to use a channel to vertex paint in wet parts around the edge of the snow.
  • AkiRa
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    AkiRa polycounter lvl 6
    I really like how this comes along! Your modelling is really impressive!
    Great work so far!

    As for the snow and vertex painting thing, I can tell you that realistic snow is (atleast for me when I tried it) really hard to achieve.
    For the vertex painting itself, I would try to blend your materials by heightmaps to get a way smoother and realistic transition between them.
    Sadly I can't say anything about blending more than two materials in one shader because I've not tried it myself yet.

    Keep it up!

    EDIT: Woha, too late! :D
    So yeah, seems to be easy stuff! :D
    As for the slushyness of the snow...basically what EvanL and leluxart said. Try to get a nice normal and especially spec map, maybe with camera direction based "sparkles" like you find them when sun shines on snow.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Thanks for the feedback :)

    This is a breakdown of the snow shader so far:
    kuhj.jpg

    For the next version I'll try a softer normal and a noisier spec.
    For the slushy part, are you referring to that 'dirty' quality snow gets when its been on the ground for a while?
    Would that primarily be in the diffuse?

    AkiRa, how can you tell me more about that 'camera direction' effect?
    Would that function as a camera based spec on top of the original spec?

    Cheers
  • AkiRa
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    AkiRa polycounter lvl 6
    Sure man! :D

    What this basically does is that it takes a two same sparkle textures (just random white dots on black background) and maps one to the position of your camera and one to the world normals and everytime those textures overlay each other, you see a sparkle.
    This is plugged into the emissive channel of your material in the end.

    I made a quick set up for you so you can see better what I mean.
    This is the effect you can achieve with that:

    (gif starts a bit late)

    Example01.gif

    You can see that the effect itself is not very strong and you see sparkles all over the place (which is due to the grey diffuse, maybe should've taken a black) but you can control that with a constant vector I'am referring to in the explanation of the material setup.

    This is the texture you need (basically just scaled up photoshop noise but you can go a lot fancier with that!)

    sparkles.jpg

    And this is the shader network that makes it all work

    Example02.JPG

    I just took a grey diffuse so you can see the effect better.

    As you can see, its actually pretty simple. Its your both textures multiplied with each other. One is mapped to the camera position and the other to the world normals. Your world normal texture has a texture coordinate plugged in its UV's input so you can change the tiling of it. Its multplied by an append vector which controls the repetetion of your sparkles in the U and V (so you can control how often you get sparkles).

    The multiply before the actual emissive slot is just to control the strenght of the sparkles with a constant vector.

    Just a very basic example, you can go way further with that! :D
    Hope this helps!
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    Magic! lol
    This is absolutely awesome!
    I'm new to the material editor and the versatility is just amazing.
    Thank you for this.
  • NomadSoul2501
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    NomadSoul2501 polycounter lvl 10
    So, turns out my scale was off on some objects :)
    I'm going over everything again and making adjustments.

    Unrelated to this and out of convenience I was working with my maya set to centimeters but seeing as I'd like to use the UDK grid more efficiently I converted to feet:)

    Anyhow, I can't get UDK to render face/vert normals the same way they render in maya.
    What are the optimal settings for the FBX exporter?
    I have 'Smoothing Groups', 'Tangents and Binormals' and 'Smooth Mesh' checked.

    Any help on the issue would be appreciated.

    Cheers
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