View Full Version : Deserted Metropolis

02-14-2004, 09:58 AM
Blasted-out urban scene for client (next phase is post production, where we'll be adding leaping flames, smoke, and pollution in AfterEffects...). All of the structures, streets, rubble were modeled in LW, then imported into Maya for texturing, animation and rendering.

These are background plates for use in compositing the live-action footage into the scene.

Kevin Soderlund
Jevin Studios

PS: Will update shots here with stills from final post-production when completed.




02-14-2004, 11:10 AM
Nice work. May I ask how long did it take to model this scene? I like to know a bit of how you approach to create this scene. Did you have some blueprint to work of from?

02-14-2004, 12:54 PM
Why would you want to use Maya to texture, animate, and render, when everyone knows that the LightWave raytrace engine is the best on the planet?

02-14-2004, 01:01 PM
Hey, Toon --

Thanks for the cool comment! All of the structures and objects in the scene were modeled separately, then put into a model collection I dubbed "Urban Sprawl" (including the street & sidewalk model). I would say the whole group of objects took about 2 weeks to create and texture. (There are actually many more models in the collection I've made than are seen here -- for this project, the environment needed a more "Third World", low-tech feel, so I pulled out models that fit this requirement).

With the basic models created, I then put them into urban environments based on the client's need, and model additional elements like the blasted-out building in the forefront, the rubble, etc. according to the specific scenario I'm working on.

All of the elements in the scene are rendered in separate layers for compositing in post production (buildings, streets, rubble and shadows -- a beauty and shadow pass are rendered for each element or group of elements). This way, when the vehicles are put into the scene, they interact with the shadows, pass below the streetlights, etc.

And in regards to the rendering and texturing in Maya question, this is done to meet the client's need -- the vehicles and moving elements are all generated in Maya, and will be rendered in that software, so the same scene was necessary to match the lighting, etc.

Also, my studio has more seats of Maya than LightWave, and our render farm is pretty much all Maya/mental ray. LightWave is our workhorse for modelling, tho -- I love LW's toolset so much more than Maya's, that we've put LW in the front seat for all of our model generation across the board.

02-14-2004, 02:03 PM
Fantastic. Thanks for the breakdown. Looking forward to the Post stuff.

02-14-2004, 04:40 PM
You should check out http://www.respower.com a big, juicy renderfarm where you can render almost any format software at lightning speed.

02-14-2004, 05:12 PM
Interesting, Trentonia --

I'd definitely consider it if I didn't already have all the hardware and software investments in place and running..... Excellent idea for a person with just one computer and a hefty job, however. I can see how this can make a lot of freelancer's lives much easier, especially if they're rendering a short animated film or something.....


02-14-2004, 06:11 PM
Looks great. I love metropolis scenes. My main crits that I'll mention here , is that some of the proportions seem a bit off. The street lights seem to short and thick. Also not many curved or rounded surfaces in the scene.

02-15-2004, 01:45 AM
Hey, Riki --

Thanks for the observation on the streetlights -- they did need a bit of tweaking, which I took care of today....


02-15-2004, 03:33 AM
Wow, you get to use Maya AND LightWave - that's what I call having the best of both worlds.

Very nice work BTW - would love to see it with all those flames and stuff....


02-15-2004, 08:11 AM
Excellent work, I hope to see soon other your works. ;)

02-15-2004, 11:11 AM
Hey, Guyz --

Thanx for the cool comments! Really appreciate the xellent feedback....


02-15-2004, 11:18 AM
This looks fantastic....

Good job onthe modeling. The color theme is very yellow - it might be hard on the eyes to see so much - maybe bring down the town of the yellow and make it more grey/blue (reflecting the sky color).

Also - the shadows of the buildings are a little bit too fuzzy/blurry. Sunlight usually casts a slightly sharper shadow.

Can't wait to see the finished product


02-16-2004, 08:43 AM
Thanks, Dillon!

Under normal circumstances, I would agree with you on the color and shadow points. For this particular scene, however, the circumstances are a bit different: a "war-time" urban scenario set in a hot, desert-like climate at the first phase of sunset (hence the lack of blue and gray in the sky). There will also be lots of haze and smoke from burning fires composited into the scene, which would fuzz the shadows a bit in real life, as the sun would not be able to penetrate the smoke with perfect clarity.....

But, I will go in and sharpen them a little before I hand the scene off -- I think a little more clarity of the shadows would make a more dramatic effect.


PS: I am experimenting a bit more with "monochromatic" color schemes these days, leaning toward restrictive color palettes in a lot of my work, similar to the visual effect achieved in movies like "O Brother, Where Art Thou", "Pitch Black", etc. I think that sometimes wonderful and unusual atmospheric dynamics can be achieved by playing with color -- or removing color elements from scenes in order to make the scene feel more dry and hot, or cool and other-worldy....

02-16-2004, 01:34 PM
Looks great, though you might want to change the lighting still. I am not sure what level of realism you require, but In deserts there is actually alot of blue in the sky. You don't see the oranges until it's much later when the sun is almost down. Basically your intensity for the foreground seems to be way to high for those oranges to be present in the background. This might help...


02-17-2004, 04:16 AM
If it's photorealism you are after then you have a long way to go. Don't get me wrong, your work is great and looks cool, it's just no where near photoreal.

02-17-2004, 10:32 PM

Hmmmmmmmm, don't remember saying total photorealism was the goal here. My work is "stylized realism", not photorealism. I prefer to add a personal touch to my 3D creations that make them unique.


02-19-2004, 04:45 AM
It's just that you said that you were going to be comping live action into the scene, so I assumed you would want a background that matched the live action (unless your live action footage is in some way sylized). Live action usually has a tendancy to look photoreal seeing as though it is real and is captured with a physical camera.

02-19-2004, 09:49 AM
Very nice, K.

Would you consider adding some more value variation from building to building, and possibly some subtle oil streaks down the center of each lane of traffic?

... and maybe just a touch of blue in the shadows?

Not for hyper-realism, you understand, just a bit more visual interest. :)

Thanks for showing us your work,

02-19-2004, 10:31 AM
Looks great.

One thing that kind of bothers me though is that the rubble blocks on the left in the first image looks a bit too neat and stacked. It's also very uniformly sized, and there's no mounds of smaller debris, dirt, etc.

There should be at least some of the blocks that have jagged chunks missing and maybe pointed ends and the like. They also need a bit more of a tumbled feel.

There should also be some mounded dirt/dust and various smaller debris like paper, furniture, etc.

You mentioned that you would be doing separate passes for more rubble, so this may already be in the plans, or, this may suppose to be after some cleanup has been done?

02-20-2004, 07:19 AM
Awesome suggestions, guyz -- will definitely put into the pipeline. Thanks!!!!!


02-23-2004, 08:59 PM
Applied some of the suggestions into the new rendered composite plates, as well as a new addition (the telephone poles)..... Thanks for the cool comments! Once we put in the burning flames, smoke, and smouldering rising smoke on the rubble piles, the scene will be complete....

Kevin Soderlund
Jevin Studios

02-25-2004, 05:22 PM
Man, I love that roofshot.
The sheer amount of work and detail negates the nitpicking on the details. im sure youll iron them out. yeah the lighting sucks, but im sure you'll fix that eventually once in production stage. wont you post an image of the project in its current state?

02-25-2004, 06:35 PM
I'd love to see some different Camera Angles. New updated Pics

02-27-2004, 03:51 PM
Hi Kevin,

Great work. Interesting to see how you're integrating the two progs (personally I couldn't model in anything other than Lightwave and IMO its animation features are also truly fab).

These are impressive models and well lit scenes. I really like the second image, it's a very dramatic shot. My one suggestion would be to make the buildings with hollowed out windows look more ravaged - they're nicely constructed but a little 'clean' looking at present. A subtle plaster / brick texture wouldn't go amiss? I would apply a good 'Post Holocaust Wrecking Ball' plugin to mess things up a little more :)

The sky is atmospheric, though perhaps should be a little darker and lung threatening?


02-28-2004, 06:25 AM
Bobakabob -- awesome suggestionz! Will definitely put into the pipeline. Thanks for the post!


Kira Yamato
02-28-2004, 09:59 AM
hi i love your work maybe its becaus i am new in this or tis just great and i think its the second.

the light was great wow

but i think that realism is somthing we should take care of it in our work right.

anyway nice work go on.

02-28-2004, 04:32 PM
Great work!

I wish I was half as good.

One thing I noticed in the third picture, the building on the left hand side appears to have a wall leaning inwards, the idea in itself is good, but unless the building was built that shape then there should be a large fracture running across the wall, after four years of study in civil engineering, I don't think I've seen concrete bend that much.

Once again another criticism, but how else do we get better.

Keep up the good work.

02-28-2004, 05:18 PM
Thank you so much for the cool words, and excellent critiques. I post here because I appreciate the honesty and professionalism of the LW Community -- I am truly surrounded by greatness!

I had to pass off the scene to the next phase of the production crew for completion, compositing, etc., but will do some more tweaking on it in my spare time for my own gratification, and will take some more of these awesome suggestions to heart.....

Again, many thanks!