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Gas Station Sign - Critique Appreciated

polycounter lvl 7
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Oliverr polycounter lvl 7

Recently got back into 3D modeling and game art, and I would like some critique on the first asset I've made in a few years. It's based on concept art I found on ArtStation and I plan on recreating the entire scene in the future. However, I thought its a good idea to get some feedback on this first asset so I can apply what I learn to the rest of the scene. Thanks!

Concept Art:

Blender Model:

Faces: 5,398 | Tris: 10,124

Split the UVs into 4 texture sets to maintain a decent texel density (5.12 px/cm)

Model Textured in Substance Painter:


  • samjahraus

    Yeah it's looking really good!

    One thing I can think of is using a bloom as a post effect for the emissive parts. As long as you don't go overboard bloom should help ground the effect and make the lights pop a bit more. Looks like you're using cycles on this render which means you'll have to use the compositor for it. Here's a good video I found from a quick google search explaining it a bit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu3U6wD7lu4

    Also you can test out how the bloom will look without doing the compositor stuff if you use the Eevee renderer.

    I love the texture work tho very detailed. Keep it up!

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G ngon master

    Hey, good start! A few notes:

    Concept is on the cartoony side, asset appears to go in a more realistic looking direction. If that's the goal, I would also consult additional real world references to push the believability. If you want it to go in a cartoony direction, I would pull references from games with similar styles to what you imagine, particularly in the textures/surfaces and shapes department.

    The scale looks smaller compared to the concept. If this was the intent, ok! Else I would recommend a blocking out a few elements of the scene to get the size and proportions of elements and between different elements right. Else, once you extend the scene, you run into problems. Always helps to put a character into the scene or next to props to check the scale.

    I'm not sure you need that many texture set. Imo this asset lends itself nicely to be textured with mainly atlas plus trims to maximize texture space. But maybe you already did this. Would be cool to see UVs.

    The edges look quite sharp. Either wider bevel width in normal map or actual bevel in lowpoly could help here.

    The leaking patterns look a bit uniform in scale and distribution.

    Keep it up :)

  • Oliverr
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    Oliverr polycounter lvl 7

    Thank you! The render was using whatever Substance Painter has built in, just wanted some quick and easy screenshots for this post. I'm going to do all post processing stuff in UE5 once my environment in finalized. But I totally agree, some bloom would definitely add a lot!

  • Oliverr
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    Oliverr polycounter lvl 7

    Thanks for the feedback!

    As far as cartoony vs realistic; I'm definitely going in the realism direction. I'm not looking to recreate that concept image exactly, I'm using more as inspiration. My take on this environment is what that gas station would look like if it really existed. I have been using reference photos of real gas station signs to try to match the materials that are actually used and how the wear should look. I'm definitely going to look at some more references if it's not coming off as believable to you, I trust fresh set of eyes over mine that been looking at this thing for way too long lol.

    I actually do have a reference human in my blender scene to get the scale right, but now I'm looking at it after you've said that and it does seem smaller. Once I have it set up in UE5 and can run around the model ill decide if its worth scaling up or not.

    I really didn't want to use 4 texture sets, but no matter how hard I tried I wasn't able to fit everything into 2 or 3 sets at 5.12 px/cm. I have no experience with atlas's and trims so I just textured the only way I know how. I'm going to look into retexturing it with trim and atlas method though, because I feel like 4, 4k texture sets is far from efficient.

    I kept the edges sharp to keep the polycount low, even though it's not for a game, I like to treat as if it is. Not really sure how to tell when i'm using too many or too few polys so I'm just kinda guessing. If you think it's worth the extra poly's in a model like this I would love to know! I would not mind adjusting my model at all if it means I can get rid of those sharp edges.

    Also leaking patterns are uniform cause I only have like 1-2 leaking alphas in Substance Painter haha. This was actually what bothered me the most about this prop. I was just being lazy about finding more alphas to use. Now that I know its not just me who notices the drips, that's next on my todo list to fix.

  • samjahraus

    Oh nice, the image reminded me of cycles for some reason lol

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