[CE3] Abandoned 1920's Apartment Block

polycounter lvl 8
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PogoP polycounter lvl 8
Hey all!

Latest screenshots:




I've been working on this for a while now but I left it blocked out for ages and only really started work properly on it a couple of weeks ago.. Just thought I'd make a thread to document my progress!

I'm using Cryengine as I got fed up of baking the lighting all the time in UDK, and I like the freedom that realtime lighting grants you! There are a couple of others 'vintage' environments going around at the moment, that Snefer/Scott Homer are working on, but I want to take this in a different sort of direction.. Hopefully!

The idea for this scene is to make a really creepy, abandoned, 1920s apartment block. I want to give it a Silent-Hill sort of feel, so plenty of grunge and debris. At the moment I'm still blocking in all the base stuff, and I've only got the corridors blocked in.

The lighting is still just really basic, I haven't really done much interior lighting in Cryengine yet. No post processing or anything either.



Anyway, looking forward to getting some feedback, and hope you like it. I'll be posting updates every couple of days, depending on how much time I get to work on it!

Also, I'm intrigued to see how bright/contrasty this is on your screens. My dual monitor setup kinda sucks at home, they are definitely not the same, and I'm not sure which is more accurate!

Cheers :)


  • Zocky
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    Zocky polycounter lvl 7
    Well, really nice work so far, i like those wall...tapes or what is correct term?

    But, this pilled off tapes suggest that the corridor is old and abandoned (As in, noone really cleans it anymore), and as such, all those textures look too clean to me.

    Make walls more dirty, maybe some pile of dust on the ground, maybe some of the wood is chipped off, etc.

    Just some suggestion...

    But Brightness looks ok to maybe just a tad too bright if you are really going for creepy ambient (or maybe the textures and lighting look too colorful a bit, dunno).

    But, otherwise, really nice work so far!
  • Vertrucio
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    Vertrucio polycounter lvl 8
    Need to get some more wear and grime on the artwork ASAP.

    Usually when it's bad enough that wallpaper peels on its own, you'll see associated discoloration, staining, or even sun bleaching when it reaches that point.

    Likewise, the floor is going to start getting filthy. But even underneath that, you'll want to wear down the high traffic areas of the carpet.

    If it's really dilapidated, no one will be cleaning the windows enough to let that bright sunlight through, except for places where the windows are broken. If you want to keep the bright light from the windows, add patchy grime to them, and the light they cast on the walls.
  • demilich
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    demilich polycounter lvl 8
    I can see this will have a good end result. once you give it a grime, dirt pass. like the feel of it so far
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks guys! I really appreciate the feedback.

    Yeah I'm going to be working on a basic grunge pass now to sort of set the tone for the scene, then I can start detailing it a bit further.

    I also plan to maybe rip down one of the exterior walls to show a bit of the outside and break the scene up a little bit. I'm also planning on modelling the apartment rooms too, so I have a lot of work left ahead of me!
  • Endfinity Jon
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    Endfinity Jon polycounter lvl 5
    Hey Pogo,

    This looks like a really cool start! I like the wallpaper but as others have said, adding a bit of discoloration or staining across the surface will help sell the age. Yellow is a great choice though, makes me feel a bit uneasy so that's totally working.

    Concerning your lighting, the scene is pretty even across the board. Looks like there's a lot of ambient light filling the space which isn't helping to sell the creepy mood. Concerning monitor contrast, well, there's just not enough in the lighting to be able to really talk about monitors just yet.

    Before you can really dive into dialing in your lighting, you might want to at least get some base texture on the roof so that you can find the balance of the scene. Because the material is a white/gray, light is really being absorbed on that surface.

    To me, the scene would capture that mood more if your light would gradient from floor to ceiling with high contrast in your lights and darks. I would make your splashes of window light more intense with less scattering at the impact point so the scene would fall to shadow more quickly. I think right now your time of day should be pushed a bit further into very late sunset. The sun color is a bit soft for me so it feels like I'm in an abandoned building during the day (it's scary, but I'm safe). If you want to maintain the daylight feel, push the warmth in the directional light, maybe an orangy-red so that the sun starts to feel slightly oppressive and see if you can make the bounces fall off quicker to darkness. You could also try night with some moonlight or night with some streetlights coming in.

    Probably a bad reference at this point, but Condemned (360 launch title), had lots of creepy abandoned spaces. I couldn't find exactly what I wanted but here's a shot of light coming in from windows casting long, ominous shadows.


    It's never too early to really dig into the lighting and color of the scene and even some fogging to see what you can do with the atmosphere. Anyways, good luck to you!

  • Catchingdusk
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    Catchingdusk polycounter lvl 4
    I really like what you did with the torn wallpaper.
    Your carpet however, looks a little to clean. Dust and dirt has a way of accumilating. If you really wanted to push the abandoned feel, you may want to "dirty" your scene up a little bit. :)
  • sziada
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    sziada polycounter lvl 6
    the textures of the peeled wall look too clean if your trying to get the abandon feel you need to add more grit and grime to the place dirty it up a little and not go with very bright vibrant colors
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 8
    Hey Jon,

    That is some fantastic feedback, thank you so much for taking the time to do that. Your entire post made me really want to go back in and define the lighting a lot more and really give it that creepy ambience to work from. I've now made it a night scene, and I'm experimenting with flickering street lights sporadically placed outside.

    It's funny that you mentioned Condemned, as I was planning on re-playing that tonight anyway. I remember playing it a good few years back when the 360 was released, and being absolutely terrified! That's definitely something I want to try and emulate here.

    Not had too much time to work on this tonight, but here's where it's at now. I think this might be a good base to work from going forward.



    Next up is getting the ceiling texture blocked out properly! I did start messing around with some Baroque designs last night, but I don't want to go too Baroque as I don't want to draw too many comparisons with Snefer's scene! Here's where I got with it:


    Edit - Oops, sorry guys, didn't see your replies! I agree, it definitely needs grunging up, that's next on my list :) Carpet is definitely a big one!
  • 3DBoogieBr
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    3DBoogieBr polycounter lvl 5
    Dude, this is soooo much Clive Barker's Undying, did you remember from that game for PC?

    Great job BTW!

    I`ll try to find some good reference from this game! I think it should help you a lot in the classic way of terror games ( like Alone in The dark 1 ).
  • Ex-Ray
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    Ex-Ray polycounter lvl 8
    I would recommend looking at real photos for idea & lighting references rather than from past games. There's a risk of being too influenced by them rather than making your own judgement/discovery on what direction you want to take it. Base it off a collection of real sources for example and then you're able to give it that unique look that's personal to you.

    There's plenty here:

    I would ignore the overdone HDR's for lighting ideas.

    Since you have a shot down the long corridor I would recommend breaking it up either from different material types or architecturally.

    Looking good so far :)
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 8
    3DBoogieBr - I never played that game! Did a quick google image search though, and it does have a similar sort of vibe!

    Ex-Ray - Thanks so much for the Pinterest link, that's really great. I said I'm being influenced by Silent Hill/Condemned, but I'm not using those games as my main reference. I have a bunch of real-world references I am working from, not taking one specific one as a thing to work towards, but using lots of bits from different references to make up the final scene. In fact, a lot of my references are in that Pinterest thread!

    I have a few ideas to break up the corridor, mainly bits of furniture and I did consider ripping down one of the walls and having some sort of scaffolding on the outside. Need to get the interior detailed first though!

    Will hopefully post up more pics tonight. Thanks again guys!
  • davidosterlind
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    davidosterlind polycounter lvl 5
    Subscribed! This looks really promising! I'm also doing indoor CE3 atm. Are you using a closed visArea or do you make use of the directional sun for main light? Keep up the good work!
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 8
    David - I'm using a closed VisArea for this scene, I find you can get more specific results with the ambient colour.

    I have been messing with this scene quite a bit, trying to find a good balance between tweaking the ambience and getting on with modelling/texturing! It's so easy to just spend an entire day tweaking the ambience in Cryengine... It's addictive!



    I've done quite a bit more texture work and tweaking of materials. I've also modelled/textured the window. Need to do the same with the door!

    I haven't really touched the floor/ceiling properly yet. I have some ideas for them to break up the carpet and grunge it up a lot more. I also plan to model/animate lots of props for this like curtains billowing in the wind, and some hanging pictures and tables/furniture in the corridor in certain bits.

    The lighting still needs a lot of work too! At the moment there is an orange light coming in from outside but it doesn't really make sense. I think I'm going to add in some interior light sources at some point. Then it's on to doing the interior of these apartments, and doing a stairwell too.

    Oh, also I have been doing quite a bit of work on Audio too. I want to explore that side of things a lot more, but I'm running into some trouble with AmbientVolumes. Unfortunately the Cryengine wiki has been down this weekend so I haven't been able to solve it. My plan is to have a lot of ambient rain/wind/thunder effects, but also inside one of the apartments I'm going to have some creepy music playing from an old-school Phonograph :)
  • mats effect
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    mats effect Polycount Sponsor
    Starting to look a lot more worn and damaged now. I think some rips the carpet so you can see the Underlay etc would be cool.
  • MiAlx
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    MiAlx polycounter lvl 7
    Hey man, love the torn wallpapers, i think they are very well placed!

    +1 on what mats effect said

    AFAIK the thing I noticed about silent hill is that it often uses spots, like cracks on the wall or merely a light far down the corridor, in an orangy-red tone that creates that "hellish" feel. That sort of thing works well imo because it gives you a contrast. Are you going towards that sort of demonic madness, or more towards ghostly creepiness?

    Anyway, can't wait to see the progress and the ambient effects! :)
  • Firefly
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    Firefly polycounter lvl 4
    Looks phenomenal so far but I would dirty up the carpet looks a lil too clean.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks guys!

    Mats Effect - Ripped up and worn carpets are definitely planned! I will be working on those next actually, once I've done a couple of fun props!

    MiAlx - Thanks! I think I'm actually going away from the Silent Hill sort-of environment. I said it initially but I wasn't really being inspired by the game itself, I was mainly just listening to the soundtrack. I guess it's going the way of Amnesia instead. I think I'm actually just going towards an abandoned, vaguely horror feel.

    Firefly - Yup, I need to get on that!

    I've been working away on the scene. I modelled/textured the door and window properly, and last night I made a set of curtains and pelmet, using a tileable texture so I can easily create more variants.

    Will hopefully have some more screenshots tonight! I want to get the corridor detailed up, and then move on to other areas of this.

    Oh, and I think it's going to be a hotel now rather than an apartment block.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 8
    Sorry for the lack of updates, guys! Unfortunately Cryengine was down for a while and I felt like having a little break from this, so no major updates really!

    I have been working on the atmospherics a little more. I have experimented with a bit of fog tonight, just dabbling though really. I want to do one of the rooms next, and do a lot more prop work.

  • DWalker
    The curtains look too pristine for the rest of the environment. Try fading them, adding dust, and even having one end of a curtain rod hanging loose.

    If the window has been open for some time, I'd expect to see water damage around it, e.g. a puddle on the floor, dirty streaks along the wall under the window, etc.

    The carpet also appears too new. Try adding a worn path down the middle, fraying the edges, and adding in some 'bumpiness' in the normal map.
  • cholden
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    cholden polycounter lvl 13
    Enjoying the dark lighting. Instantly thought of Amnesia.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks guys!

    DWalker - Cheers for the crits. The curtains are very basic at the moment, I definitely want to do something with those. They're a bit bare at the moment and just use a tiling texture. I'll do a few variations of these. I have added in a bit of water damage and some more rain effects, that was always the plan! I still want to add a bit more carpet damage, like some frayed edges and stuff.

    Cholden - Thanks buddy! Quite a few people have mentioned Amnesia, and I'm not going to complain! :D

    Handily, the new version of the Cryengine was released the other day so I've spent a little while porting it over. It wasn't a smooth transition, and unfortunately I lost my Time of Day settings so I re-worked them, but in general I'm much happier with the scene now than I was before. I've been unable to export anything from 3ds max so it's given me a chance to work on some decals and more atmospheric work in Cryengine.

    Mainly, I dialled back the fog to allow some exterior work to be done eventually, and show the moon, and added in a bit of volumetric fog instead. I still want to do more work with particles, but I haven't got around to that yet.

    I have added in some worn decals for the carpet, and some wet patches/puddles where the rain is coming through. I've also added in a particle effect for the rain too. I have also been spending quite a bit of time working on audio for this scene, so I'm looking forward to showing some video at some point!



    Things to do next:

    -Block in and detail one of the rooms, and have another room in the scene but only visible through a slight crack in the door.
    -Add a stairwell and a bit of height variation, maybe just a couple of steps going down in the corridor as this is quite an old building.
    -Model some sort of exterior. This is kinda low priority, but I think it would be nice to have some silhouetted buildings visible outside through the rain/fog.
    -More props! I want to add a hell of a lot more to give this scene more of a story and a sense of abandonment. I'm not 100% sure what happened here, I'm just thinking it has been left in a state of disrepair for a good few years, and perhaps some squatters have moved in at various points..
  • Rhoutermans
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    Rhoutermans polycounter lvl 7
    looking great! Keep goin'~
  • Clark Coots
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    Clark Coots polycounter lvl 7
    love the lighting and color. wonderful mood. Only thing i'm not fancying too much is how narrow the window light spots are. You have a window in first image taking up a fairly large portion of the screen and just a sliver of light is casted on the floor.
  • AkiRa
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    AkiRa polycounter lvl 5
    This looks awesome man! Great lighting! Really keen to see where this goes!
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 7
    Nice work like always Liam. I can't wait to see the next update.
  • Mellon3D
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    Mellon3D polycounter lvl 7
    Looks Gorgeous!!
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