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Detailed cityscape creation

By Jean-Francois Liesenborghs
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 19th December 2013
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop, V-Ray

Jean-Francois Liesenborghs takes us through the stages of creating a detailed cityscape scene.

Creating the buildings

For creating a cityscape, I first created a set of specific buildings with between 5 and 10 different structures. I then began combining some of those structures to create other buildings.

An initial set of buildings for the city

It is always good practice to create a set of basic structures to start, and then combine them in interesting ways to create a more complex scene. This way, you have more control over the final city silhouette and it's easier to change one or two aspects if you need to, rather than having to deal with it on a whole.

Basement of the city

To create the basement of the city, I first developed a basic plane with a sufficient number of subdivisions and then converted it to editable poly. I then selected a range of polys and extruded them to create channels and ridges in the mesh. As a tip; you can create different hierarchies and levels on your plane by extruding upper and lower other-poly regions.

I then duplicated the plane multiple times and resized some of those duplicated areas, and merged them all into one solid basement comprising of different sized polys.


Mass creation of low-detailed buildings

To fill the city, there are 3 main techniques that you can use.

First, you can access the scatter modifier and apply the scatter to some simple buildings. Secondly, you can use the particle system with buildings modeled as particles. A third option is to use the free modifier Greeble.

For this city I chose to use the Greeble modifier option. I selected polys from the basement plane, inset them to leave space around the Greeble buildings, and then detached and cloned the polygons. I then applied the Greeble modifier to these detached polygons.

Using Greeble to place the buildings

By completing this process over and over with different-sized parameters and different region selections, I obtained my mass building effect.

Placement of buildings

I then began placing the buildings I created in Step 1 into my scene. I tried to spread them around in a coherent kind of way, by using some city references.

Use city references for sensible placement

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