How do you build a city from SCRATCH?

by | May 23, 2023 | News, PS Animated, Restless Sleep | 0 comments

One block at a time.

Chicago has always been a character on its own in Paradigm Shift. So, when I embarked on creating an animated version of PS, it meant I needed to bring the Windy City  to life as well!!

I started with Kate’s apartment building. Using photos I had taken as reference, I modeled the architecture by hand, and then used my photos for the textures and materials.

Next, I needed to create a version of the back alley where poor James Wilson meets his untimely end. Using a model of the El tracks I modeled while creating the cover to The Art of Paradigm Shift, I built up a street scene based on the backgrounds in the opening scene. To create the buildings, I created modular sections of walls with various windows, doors, and brick colors which I then copied and pasted in various patterns to quickly build up the street. I then added various details to the buildings that would be closest to the camera. The cars are free models downloaded from SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse.

Lastly, I needed to create a 3D version of the Chicago skyline. To achieve this, I ended up using something called “procedural” buildings, which were automatically generated using a set of modular building pieces, kinda like LEGO bricks. Thanks to a tutorial by Kammerbild on YouTube, I developed a customized engine that could quickly generate new buildings of any size by plugging in the height, width, and depth, and customize the look by swapping out vertical and horizontal stripes. I can even turn the lights on and off at random. By using a couple of different sets of pieces, I could build up the entire skyline and have enough variation to create a useable matte painting that I then pasted into the background of my sets.