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Pingyao Mar 8, 2011 5:57 PM

Detailed city project
Another year, another project. Sta Fee is on hold, I've lost a lot of my motivation for it and fancied a change. I've been playing around with a much more detailed city (and obviously much smaller), but I want to really focus on quality rather than quantity and also concentrate on individual buildings and architecture rather than town planning.

So I introduce the beginnings of an un-named city. At present it comprises just a single building and a few street furniture details, but eventually I plan a number of detailed blocks. It has fully textured roads and paving, plus some reasonably decent trees. It will also have vehicles and street furniture. I'm still using textures, although they will be high res as opposed to Sta Fee's that were definitely not high res (one of the major gripes with that city). The buildings will also have more detailed.

The overall effect I'm hoping to get is a more lived in city. I want it to be grimey and unperfect. New York is the main inspiration here and I'm using a lot of my own photos from my visit last year for inspiration.

Anyway thats all to come, there ain't much yet. This is also going to be a much slower project than previous. Don't expect many updates, I even debated starting this thread, but thought it good to share my ideas. Comments as always very welcome.

Tolbert Mar 9, 2011 5:31 AM

Looks good so far :)

Pingyao Mar 9, 2011 5:12 PM

Thanks Tolbert.

Some more renders from a few weeks back.

I have begun creating my own tiled textures - crucial when dealing with high res imagery. The brickwork shows how close I can now get to the model. I'm hoping most of the renders will be from a street level perspective, so proximity of textures requires a high level of detail. Sta Fee on the other hand was completely the opposite with frustrating post pro work to mask ugly textures on the facades in particular and a very dodgy ground texture. With this city the roads will be made in sections again to a high level of detail avoiding such issues.

Detail of low rise comercial building to become an auto repair business.

Tolbert Mar 9, 2011 7:43 PM

Your textures are great, even in this early state the city looks really promising :tup:

searstower17 Mar 11, 2011 12:34 AM

YES! You're finally back Pingyao and I'm so excited for your new project!!!

Pingyao Mar 11, 2011 12:32 PM

Thanks fellas!

A test render with palm trees. I said previously it would be inspired by New York, although I'm now thinking more tropical in nature (palm trees are less render heavy that good old deciduous trees.)

Mass produced public seating!

Tolbert Mar 11, 2011 5:00 PM

Nice Palm trees :haha:

I like your public seating, but i would give em a more segmented wooden texture.
The current one looks either carved out in a whole (to much trees to die for one;):P) or completely artificial... :)

Pingyao Mar 12, 2011 7:01 PM

Thanks Tolbert. True comment regarding the seats. I've made a new texture for them with reversed textured segments, hopefully to improve the appearance.

Some more test renders of the palm trees (tree models credited to & I hate modelling trees! A cheat I know, but it means it frees me up to model the city architecture and infrastructure.

A bit more detail added to the apartment block entrance

Pingyao Mar 14, 2011 2:48 PM

So I have now begun modelling a traffic light. This is directly based of NYC traffic light details. First render shows the basic post and arm detail.

Detail showing the 'walk/dont walk' signs housing and connection to the post

huggkruka Mar 14, 2011 5:07 PM

This looks like a nice opportunity to create some nice grit! Looks sweet so far, but I really need to set my mind to this being a "small" city, not like the earlier insane-sized projects.

NYCLuver Mar 14, 2011 7:51 PM

Amazing as always, can't wait to see some more. :D

Pingyao Mar 16, 2011 2:25 PM

Ped 'walk/dont walk' sign completed.

The basic traffic light is now done. Each set of traffic lights will have interchangable road name signs which will correlate to the actual street map.

Flamesrule Mar 16, 2011 7:37 PM

Great detail! You model everything like the street lights and everything?

Pingyao Mar 17, 2011 8:48 AM

Yep everything - all street furniture. The only thing I'm not modelling are the trees, which are just so labour intensive, so I'm using free use models.

philvia Mar 18, 2011 1:11 AM

the detail and textures in that traffic light are really nice! i wonder if it'll be made public... a SSP exclusive? hmmm :)

Pingyao Mar 18, 2011 2:00 PM

:previous: Thanks, I did release textures for my previous project. With this one its harder, as some are edited versions of textures from CG textures and Mayangs so partial credit must go to them. Others I have swiped of photos and web imagery, plus quite a few that are original creations, so its hard to keep track. I don't foresee releasing them publicly due to copyright issues, however if you are interested in a particular texture I could send you that.

Traffic light update - This is view showing alternative signage layout.

The completed model. Ready for copying into the city model.

Vellu Mar 19, 2011 11:54 AM

The detail on the traffic light is stunning! The textures are great and have nice grit. Only exception is the street name sign, since its modeled, not textured. Maybe you could add a procedural to it to give it a "worn out" look (I don't know, if C4D has procedurals).

This will be one hell of a city!

Pingyao Mar 21, 2011 10:27 AM

Thanks Vellu, Yeah I meant to add a grime layer in photoshop and forgot. For the other street signs I'll try and remember.

Here's the traffic lights in situ. I have bastardised the standard lights into smaller sets for the side streets which will mainly be 2 lanes wide. The named avenues will be 4-6 lanes, so require the cable hung sets.

Tolbert Mar 21, 2011 3:52 PM

The detail is really amazing! Cant wait for new buildings :tup:

guyFROMtheBURGH Mar 21, 2011 6:55 PM

First, let me start off by saying, AMAZING detail. I'm so looking forward to some modern buildings with this detail! The light signal poles are sweet!

However, I wanted to help you out about your crosswalk signals. They are supposed to be pointing to the other side of the street so the peds know when to walk or not walk. Just thought I'd help ya out!

Pingyao Mar 21, 2011 11:49 PM

Well spotted 'GuyfromtheBurgh' It did strike me a little strange that peds would keep having to crane their necks up to see when to cross. Anyway I shall put it on my list of things to update.

Over the weekend I started creating some buildings. The construction technique I'm employing is a little different from Sta Fee, which was simply extruded boxes with a facade texture applied. With this city I'm going for detail, which means the old style of modelling & texturing really dosen't cut it.

Basically I'm still using textures, but creating separate window, door and wall textures and applying them to a more detailed building with recessed windows, cornices etc. The window textures have a seperate reflection map, while the stone has basic bump settings. It takes substantially longer, but the result is a much more detailed building which can be rendered a close street level without any texture problems, a cause of frustration with Sta Fee.

First test building.

A highrise using the same textures as above.

I should gradually end up with a large texture library of windows, doors, stonework, brick etc, which can be chopped and changed between one another so randomising the facades and avoiding repetition.

Aleks Mar 22, 2011 9:39 PM

wow, this is amazing. will it be a 'large' city (obviously not in the scale of ny)? or a smaller more 'local' one?

Pingyao Mar 24, 2011 9:26 AM

Cheers Aleks - well NYC is certainly my main inspiration. I am focussing on that great city more than any other in the States. I want to try and achieve NYC's density and urban fabric, if thats even possible remains to be seen.

Building update - placed in context.

Working on the crown. This is a simple mid1930's era highrise, around 65m.

The completed building. The blank wall will have an adjoining building next to it.

Flamesrule Mar 24, 2011 7:21 PM

Nice! I like it!

Pingyao Mar 25, 2011 2:43 PM

thanks flames. Bonus pic.

Tolbert Mar 26, 2011 9:46 AM

I liked the grey building better whith only two floors. It looks to modular now :) Beside that its stil great :)

Pingyao Mar 26, 2011 5:58 PM

thanks tolbert, good point and one i was aware of when making this building. I'm hoping that the reflections will help to reduce the modular window effect. With future buildings I want to add 2-3 different window versions to reduce this effect further i.e with & without blinds.

Pingyao Mar 28, 2011 11:54 PM

Context shot, I realise I still need to reverse the ped signals on the traffic lights, add curb detail, road camber, takes a long time to update everything. Using an area shadow, which gives a more realistic shadow.

Finally I have modelled US style postbox, the first of what will eventually be a number of street furniture objects.

Tolbert Mar 29, 2011 7:53 AM

I am speachles, love your lowrise buildings and your textures are amazing!!!


I'm hoping that the reflections will help to reduce the modular window effect.
The windows work great on that building, what i meant where those lighter grey stripes that sepereate each level from the next. It makes it look to much like if you just put the same building several times on top of each other. I know you actually did that, but without that "cut" in the facade it would come out far better i think ;)

Pingyao Mar 30, 2011 3:04 PM

Cheers Tolbert, I agree those do appear as stripes. I may amend that texture to try to reduce the effect slightly.

General view showing the low rise from previous. A production line of benches in the foreground ready for placement.

I have made some newspaper stands. Based directly off New York style models with source textures grabbed from photos.

Detail of the 3 basic models. As with all the street furniture I am making sure these can be instanced and copied for the rest of the city.

Pingyao Mar 31, 2011 12:08 PM

HAve been constructing a new building. This will become Harpers, a department store. Spot the public trash bin in front.

The shop windows are particularly a concern. I don't want to end up with just a blank texture. So I am recessing the texture and then adding a pane of glass to give the shop front a degree of depth. Test render.

And before anyone asks, yes I still have to reverse the pedestrian signals!

Flamesrule Mar 31, 2011 8:15 PM

Nice! How long does it take you to finish a detailed skyscrapeR?

Pingyao Mar 31, 2011 10:04 PM

Cheers, too long I fear, Harpers department store has taken the best side of about 6 hours and I just have the roof rear walls to do, I'll post more pics tomorrow.

Flamesrule Apr 1, 2011 12:07 AM

Ok, can't wait!

Pingyao Apr 1, 2011 9:33 AM

External walls done. I'll finish the rest over the weekend.

Pingyao Apr 3, 2011 9:53 AM

Harpers is now complete. Took me a good day and a bit's work, hopefully I can get quicker. One of the annoying things is tweaking. when I render I notice things that need improving or parts I forget. The render below threw up a few minor issues involving the canopies, pediment and shop window brightness.

Not that you would notice, but things like that bug me. Here is the final render of Harpers.

Render of the rear facade.

Render with 'Harpers' added to the brickwork. I hope to place a fire escape on the rear at some point, but I'm planning on making the fire escapes as modular components that can be copied to reduce work load, so that's another days work!

Flamesrule Apr 3, 2011 11:16 AM

Looks amazing!

toyota74 Apr 3, 2011 12:23 PM

Just class!!....Im wondering will you be doing street scenes with loads
of people and cars as if you took a photo of a real city street
..that would be amazing.

Pingyao Apr 3, 2011 10:57 PM

Thanks peeps. Yes eventuallly I will add cars, probably have to import them as another layer or something to keep thing sane. People would have to be added post production I think.

Pingyao Apr 4, 2011 3:26 PM

Curb detail, road still needs a camber.

Finally I have reversed the pedestrian signals on the traffic lights to the correct direction. Here is a standard junction layout.

Trantor Apr 6, 2011 10:02 PM

did you create the asphalt texture by yourself?

Pingyao Apr 7, 2011 4:07 PM

No Trantor I used a texture from CG textures website, although I had to edit it slightly for my purposes.

Been concentrating mainly on creating various street furniture details. Here's some bollards.

and street signs.

Bonus shot of Harpers

Pingyao Apr 9, 2011 3:55 PM

A few new parts have been modelled. The 'Tsar Bar' next door to the modern apartment block that was first modelled along with the complexes underground car park. The landscaped area around this has been given over to a public space, something that will be lacking along many of the proposed streets - I want to try and build up that dense NYC look.

This is a new service alley behind 'Harpers' deptartment store. The texture has bump ands reflective channels to give the appearance of puddles. The chain link fence was a texture I originally made for Chrisheem (my original 3D city some 3 years ago)!. A simple bent fence post can infer a more realistic image, something I'm keen to explore - an inperfect city appeals more to me than a perfect city.

Finally a render showing whats been modelled so far - not much at all really!

Flamesrule Apr 10, 2011 12:03 AM

Wow, this is very impressive!

Pingyao Apr 11, 2011 10:10 AM

Detail of a blockwork wall in the service alley posted previously.

Some more street furniture details.

Skip *1

Skip *2

Cardboard boxes.

Pingyao Apr 12, 2011 3:56 PM

A tree grate detail - a neater way for a tree to meet the pavement.

Fire escapes - As you can see these are based directly of New York style details. First version showing standard construction.

Basically I'm making 3 separate components, the standard fire escape platform which can be copied depending on number of floors, the base platform with ladder and the top platform with enclose ladder.

Once these 3 parts are built I can then modify the colour, balustrade details to create different variations.

Pingyao Apr 12, 2011 7:09 PM

Here's a pic of the 'plain' fire escape in situ, on the back of Harpers.

guyFROMtheBURGH Apr 13, 2011 12:09 AM

Oh. My. God. This is the best gritty detail i've ever seen that wasn't real! NICE WORK

Pingyao Apr 13, 2011 3:58 PM

:previous:thanks..I love gritty!

New building done on the corner of 4th and Gloucester. 3 renders showing construction.

Pingyao Apr 13, 2011 7:29 PM

Here's the roof for the building just completed.

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