I spent a couple of days trying to figure out the elevated train tracks in the scene. I made half the bridge so I can just mirror it and propagate it, to save on the tri count. For this bridge I read a technical document on steel structures, which gave me the right key words to find more technical drawings of how steel bits are joined to each other.
I also used pictures of the elevated train tracks in Chicago and the old New York ones for real life reference.
Chicago and New York elevated train tracks
Since the bridge is elevated and away from the camera, I decided not to chamfer it. The bolts will be baked into the texture of the joinery, while the rest of the bridge will be textured with a tiling texture (we will use macro noise and decals to make it less repetitive).
Train tracks in UE4
Train track parts in 3Ds Max
Train track in 3Ds Max
Train track in 3Ds Max
The other element modelled this week was the skybridge. I was able to find pictures of the original skybridge in the concept. Modelling it did not take long as I divided it into modular pieces and just repeated the same geometry across. Again, as they are really far away from the viewer, I did not chamfer the edges and they will be textured with tiling textures.
Skybridge in UE4
Skybridge in 3Ds Max
The last thing I modelled was a tunnel and gate for the train to enter the building. It is really hard to see what is going on with that in the original concept, so I found an Art Deco archway to base my gate on.
I simplified it a bit so it is readable from afar, where the player will be. I kept the stripey details, but made them chunkier.
Archway in UE4
Archway in 3Ds Max
During these past two weeks, I also made some of the tiling materials for the walls. These were made completely with Substance Designer. To choose which materials I would make, I got many pictures of older New York buildings, and had a stroll on Google Street view. I noticed most of the older buildings facades were made of limestone, but also red brick and cream brick. Our main building (the one with the Atlas on top) has a limestone facade on the ground floor, and cream bricks on the rest. I kept the materials pretty clean so they will not be very obviously tiling, and intend on adding variation with decals.
Buildings with limestone facades
I already made two versions of limestone in order to vertex paint it, and a brick mask that will be used on top of the original material
Limestone material 1
Limestone material 2
Limestone material with brick normals, AO and height
Cream bricks reference
Cream bricks material
Red brick references
Red brick material
One thing I noticed on the reference images is that New York has a very boring and ugly pavement, made of very large concrete slabs. But we are not necessarily making New York, just getting inspired by it. So we decided it would be nice to add some jazz to it. We are going to have part of the pavement being plain slabs, and a part of it having a subtle Art Deco pattern.
Art Deco pavement material
Pavement in UE4
The building generator Sophie is making is getting really nice! I cannot wait to use it and fill the scene with buildings, but it still not ready. So the scene still looks like an early blockout. This is how it is at at the moment: