Monument Building

In order to continue filling out the space for our heritage project, I decided to model the Monument building which was distinctly missing from our square. I started by getting a wealth of reference photos, some of which I’ll link here –

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Establishment shot overview.jpgI broke the building down into sections in order to understand how I could utilizing the modularity of the building, whilst also making the scale seem less daunting. I have also been trying to push for creating my own textures using substance designer, which I have been trying to use some more advance techniques with.

Improving brick texture.JPG

I created a good few variations of the brick, using two separate gradients going into a blend – one for background colour, and the other for a foreground grunge colour. Then masked with a grunge map allowing for a variation in the way it appears on the brick.

Brick testBrick test 2Brick test 3I had a good few variations and toned it down from the top, until I reached one that looked a little subtle in the worn down look. One thing missing is moss and other bits of dirt that it desperately needs to make it look more realistic. I have been looking into vertex painting on 3ds, but does not seem to intuitive. For example, I cannot see what I have painted until it is rendered. This could be a miss step on my part however. vertex paint.JPGI am going to import the building into unreal now and learn how to vertex paint on there, which should hopefully turn out better.

Mudbox progression.JPGDue to the building having a lot of intricate details, I decided to use mudbox in order to sculpt these out. But has turned out rather difficult to get the shapes I want. Still, this is one of the few times I have used it, with only really using it for creative futures for practice. I do aim to continue using this software, as it is one of the industry standards for sculpting and is widely used among 3d modellers.











Updates to Heritage

I made a couple of updates to the Heritage projects today. I added a low poly barge, textured one of the buildings and re-exported the tram wheels allowing them to spin.


Here you can see the tram with lights added onto it –

Lights on tramAdding lightsWheels seperatedAdding lights to interior

Trams with lights.PNGHere are barges I made, though due to them being very low poly, about a 150, they cannot be too close to where the player is. So they are fine from a distance. I also created two different textures for them for some variation. I also collected some images of Barges which can be found here –

Barges in the distanceBargesediting with more post procceses.PNGI also edited the post process a little more to try and capture a more atmospheric look, though it may look a little too dark.Screenshot.PNGHere is also the building I textured which I have duplicated a couple of times, however, I am unsure on whether the brick fits in with the rest of the project. Possibly with some vertex painting I could achieve a more worn look on the texture.

Texturing building in unreal.PNGScreenshot of buildings.PNG

At the moment I am currently texturing the grey blocked building in the image above. I then need to re-export my bridge with the middle segments separated into two, allowing for it to be animated. Tram lines also need re-importing in with a higher poly, allowing for it to bend better when using the spline tool.

New Prudential build in Unreal

The other day I re-added the building into Unreal and created the materials for the building. I added the building in four parts, glass, south, east and tower. Putting rebuilt building in.PNGNewBuild within unreal.PNGDue to me using materials instead of a texture atlas, it allowed me to get a highly quality look, which was lacking on my texture atlased version. Whilst this is slightly less efficient, it will have very little impact on the system resources. The only things that need adding now are the doors and the gutters.

Using terrain to scult enviroment.PNGI also started to use the terrain tool in order to sculpt our environment out. Before we was just using the geometry from unreal as a place holder, so by doing this it can allow us to move forward in terms of finalising the layout.

Terrian 2.PNGWhilst it looks unrefined, Kyle has started to make the dock wall which will cover up the edges of the terrain.

Rebuilding Prudential Tower

The other day I decided to rebuild my Prudential Tower after a while of contemplating whether it would be worth the time. Whilst the building looked mostly fine they were a few issues with it, which certainly made it looked less refined. I new I could get it looking better. One of the mistakes I made whilst creating it, was building it on the angle the building used to be on. This meant that the south side was okay as it was on the correct axis but the east was not and the also edited the tower on different angles. This in its self is not a big issue as you would normally just correct its angle and just edit it from there, but I made the mistake of editing the poly on an angle skewing the shapes and making objects seem a bit off. It was not too noticeable, but it was there. Another thing was the textures, because I used a texture atlas the textures were not as detailed as I would have liked them to be, especially on the brick. If you got close it would look blurry, so I have used Sub designer 5 in order to create better looking materials. The entrance building on the east was also made in a inefficient way for polys and looked a little messy along with a couple of other mistakes. All of these errors added up, so I just decided to start a clean slate and start again.

I am currently in the progress of rendering without textures, and then with which I shall post on here soon. Purdential rebuilt.jpg

Render 2.jpg


Texturing tram

Recently, I have been going through my level design work to check what needs texturing. The next model that needed texturing was the tram, which I have been putting off for a while due to the time it would take to uv unwrap. which admittedly, did not take as long as I though it would once I got a technique going for the unwrap process. Before this model I used to unwrap by allocating an object to a specific place on the map, then trying to remember where I left it for the next unwrapped object. Of course this is not the best way of doing it and I wasted sometime trying to do it like that, which is why I changed it to adding it to a Photoshop file, then adding that image to the unwrap screen like this.


By working like this, it not only saves time in the long run but I can clearly see where everything is. It is infinitely better than how I was working before with the texture process. They are a couple of errors in the uv map above which have been rectified now also.

I also allocated one atlas to the outside and one for the inside for better quality, though ideally each different component would have it’s own full uv map for maximum quality.

Texturing outside first.JPG

missed uvs.JPG

logo better quality.JPGI also used a photo I got from the transport museum for the tram, by cutting it out on Photoshop then using a fill layer to apply it to the correct uv.  tram transport muesum logo.JPG

glass material.JPGI also made glass in Unreal for the trams windows.

putting tram together.JPGOnce I finished texturing in Substance I put the tram together in a modular fashion, with the exterior, interior and glass.

The normal maps on the tram are a little to high and some more detail and dirt could be added. Also some small errors such as the yellow strips going round do not entirely line up, so these will need editing. Other details such as a number and a letter on the white boards needs to be added, along with some more interior detail such as lights and a ticket box. The roughness map has also been disabled for now, due to a wet/melting look which did not show on substance painter, so I need to research into why it is appearing like so.

Monument bridge replacement

After my previous blog post on the bridge , I discovered that the bridge was rebuilt in order to accommodate the higher traffic from people and more importantly – the trams. So I decided to swiftly start on modelling and I aimed at using substance painter in order to texture it.

Here are the development shots of building the bridge –


I started by using the measurements for the previous bridge, then expanding the width of the new one. I had to estimate the size since I could not find any information on the new bridge, so I had to make sure it could fit two trams on and a footpath on each side.

making-fenceI then started making the fence which from the references I had, seems to have art nouveau like shapes running along the side.

using-helixfenceI then mirrored and instanced the helix shapes to make the fence.changing-sizedevelopmentHere you can see I added the mechanisms on the side of the bridge on each side which is used to raise the bridge for boats.

building-postI started adding post which where somewhat clear on the reference images.


top-detailI then started adding detail to the post.bridge-postanother-uv-map-error

I then tried to import the bridge into substance which is were I ran into a couple of problems like this.This was due to me missing a couple of objects unwraps and proved a little tedious. solution

I also had another problem where it would import, but some uvmaps would not appear(even ones that were unwrapped) and was related to them having different materials to the rest of the bridge.


uvs-showingHere you can see the uvmaps showing but the unwraps are not the best. using-maskHere I used a mask in order to fill a layer by selecting what uvmaps I want painted. cleaner-mapHere I cleaned up the maps.using-fill-layersscaling-textureI also figured out how to scale the uvs in order to change the density of the bricks because before the bricks were to large.

adding-rustI also started adding dirt and rust to parts of the bridge.

Here are some renders of the bridge in substance painter without any dirt or additional details.


One thing I have noticed is that when you get close to the floor, the detail on the floor texture loses its fidelity and detail which I believe is due to my uvmaps too small. I have also discovered this image today which shows incredible detail of the bridge, but also OXO advertising on the church(which was replaced by the Ferens art gallery).C0WoSbZWQAAsLJY.jpg

You can also see repairs being made to the pavement, along with a gravel road and what seems to be pavers for the pavement. I also have a conflicting date from the twitter account I got the image from  which says that this image was took in 1900, but this website says the bridge was built in 1905. Not a big deal since we are developing for 1930-31 but still something to note. I think I am going to start adding more details which I can see on here, along with an improved texture and possibly some repairs to the bridge.

Here are also some screenshots of the bridge in unreal with the trams on them –


Monument bridge reference image –

Textures used can be found on –

Monument bridge

The other day I decided to start modelling monument bridge with it being in close proximity of the square, this also gives us an opportunity for players to walk on it and possibly even across it depending on progress. Still, seeing trams moving across will greatly add to the immersion/experience.


I first started with some research, looking for the time it was built, how long it was there for etc. I also had a wealth of reference images from the Maritime museum as they have a model of the bridge inside, along with some information on the bridge itself which came in useful. During the planning stages I found that this bridge – IMG_20170104_134717.jpg

Was replaced by this one –


This was due to increased traffic along with trams which needed to cross the bridge which the old one could not support, which is why they rebuilt it and replaced it with this one. Just like the older monument bridge, it was able to raise to allow movements of ships to pass through. I also found that this bridge was destroyed 1932 though I have not being able to cross reference this. I found that the original was built in 1778 by the warden and was replaced by the newer one in 1905. They are also both Double leaf bascule bridges. According to movable bridges “the bridge could be raised or lowered in just 30 seconds with three men operating it!”

MonumentBridge1901 (618x412).jpgMonument bridge raising to allow ships to pass through, it could often be raised for up to an hour during busy periods.

I decided to model the old one due to the high number of reference images but I am also going to model the newer bridge today, which will be used in our heritage project game.

Reference images –

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Renders –

render-1render-2render-3render 5.jpgrender 6.jpgrender 7.jpgrender 8.jpgrender 9.jpg

As far as the measurements go the bridge is a little off, the in between road segments should be smaller after looking into further research. Also, detail is on the low side with things such as chains being replaced by the cylinders and other small details that have not made the cut. However, this bridge is more practice then anything for the main bridge which will make its way into the project.

Image credit –

monument bridge –

Monument bridge Raising-

References –

New bridge –

Old bridge –


Working on Heritage development

For environment I decided to implement a clouds material which I used for Planet Hopper. After creating the material I tested out some different sized meshes in order to get the right look, trying to get it as realistic looking as possible. I found that the larger the cloud was, the worse it looked becoming more unrealistic as the size increased to the point of looking like an alien invasion.

Implementing cloud into map.PNG

So I decreased the size and also used the matinee tool to have the clouds move across the sky. Though one issue is when they disappear and reset it looks unrealistic, so this will need concealing either by them moving into a bigger stationary cloud system or have them fade and disperse  which is the more realistic option. So I will research option two and try and implement this system into place.

Cloud gif.gif

experimenting with directional light.PNG

I have also been experimenting with lighting and trying to set a mood, by using the directional lighting I was able to achieve a look of a dusk/dawn look.

1930s Advertisements

For our heritage project to be considered immersive and realistic, we need to make sure that adverts are put in place. It would be absurd if we were to overlook such a crucial detail, so I am going to investigate and research adverts that appeared as that time. More importantly, adverts that appeared in Britain and hopefully if enough information is available, adverts that appeared within Victoria Square. Placements should also be considered such as what advertisements would go on a tram and what wouldn’t, the same applies for the buildings, boats etc.

I have found a useful website here – which has archived adverts from the 1930’s. They are all front of magazine covers but show us the type of style that was in trend at the time, whilst also showing us what was relevant at that time – such as smoking. Hull new Theatre would no doubt have advertising, though during the 30’s it can be presumed not on a high level. Maybe an advert posted here and there about there next play. It started in 1924 and faced financial difficulties until 1939 when it started turning a profit. Here are some advertisements that used to be used for theatres and plays –


Also with the great depression at it’s peak during the 1930’s, newspapers throughout the square could reference this, along with rationing tips and how unemployment rates are very high. This could also have a direct impact on how we design the citizens clothes, with a good majority having poor, dirty torn clothing with only a few with upper class suits/dresses. Cigarette adverts were also very common and would have no doubt popped up here and there within the cities. Many also stress how it is ‘good for you’ and ‘just what the doctor order’ for you throat.

1939-Craven-A-ad-2.jpgCoastal towns were also very big for tourism due to the lack of planes, which meant that trains was the way to go. This meant that coastal towns with nice beaches where big destinations for people to travel on holiday to. This meant ads such as these would be fairly common and could be implemented within our square, possibly on the Trams.






References –,91128&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


Image credit –

Theatre/movie posters

Cigarette ad –

Bridlington poster –


Using Substance Painter for heritage project

I decided for the light asset that I would use Substance Painter in order to texture it.

light-4light-with-dirtI also added some dirt to the bottom in order to make it look more worn and realistic.


The only issue I have is with the glass, but I know that you can create this in Unreal. How to do this I am not sure, but I’m assuming you can adjust a material in order to get realistic looking glass. I will check out some tutorials on the matter as my next step.

I am also going to import the gutters from my Prudential building and use the same method in order to get a realistic looking metal, whilst also being able to easily add dirt.

Update –

Here are a few renders of the gutter pipe that was rendered in Substance painter.

Gutter 1.jpg

gutter 2.jpg

I added a subtle bit of dirt to the lower section.

gutter 3 .jpg

I also added some dirt to the top section.