Your walls look a little too thin to my eye.
So I've recently discovered using Blender for mapping, and I've started to work on some cyberpunk/modern maps.
My first real shot at a full building has been a storefront, sort of like the sort of thing one would see in a strip mall or similar small shopping center. I'm posting this here in a still mostly unfinished state-I hope to do several different builds after swapping out the furniture, carpets, and grounds to give essentially a row of buildings one could stack one on top of the other to make a whole shopping center quickly and easily.
Obviously this isn't all finished-the furniture that I have is pretty much the first inkling of what I need (a couple doors and a toilet do not a working building make), and this render isn't fully finished, but I'd also like feedback on the base proportions of the structure and such; is it too wide? Too thin? Have I totally lost my sense of scale?
EDIT: I know that the corners and such on the walls and floorboards are weird, I've fixed those since this render.
Last edited by Squire Ned; 04-27-2013 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Forgot some stuff.
Also, do you think I should add color to the walls, or is the gray better for the sake of representation?
EDIT: Here's a new version with thickened interior walls. I think I should thicken the exterior walls as well, unless the interior walls right now are too thick.
The bathroom's begun to get really noisy because the lighting/geometry has become increasingly complex. I'd make better renders, but this one took almost 20 minutes on my somewhat-aged laptop.
EDIT 2: Here's a darker version, but it has less noise, just so that it's possible to see stuff clearly.
Takes less time to render, since it's lower quality, but also can't have nearly as much light due to the method I used to keep noise down.
This composite would be more akin to what the final product's render would look like, but is merely me messing around with the others in paint.net (which I hate but loads so much quicker) until I got something that matched the detail of the dark one and the lighting of the messy one.
Last edited by Squire Ned; 04-27-2013 at 03:29 PM.
Consider that most maps have walls that are too thick, but too thick is better than too thin (at least on a map). Think of the thickness of a cinderblock plus a layer of insulation and drywall on top - probably up to 18" wide, that would be the expected thickness of a given outer wall. What you have now appears to be 3 or 4 inches thick - not even half a cinderblock. It's still too thin. Interior walls can be gotten away with being thinner - consider thickness of a 2" x 4" (thus 4" thick) + 1" each for drywall. Thus your interior walls should appear at least 6" thick.
Lots of medieval mapped locaitons would have 1 ft. thick interior walls and up to 5 ft thick exterior walls - too much, but again, too much is better than too thin.
Actually, I think the issue with scale is actually that my toilets are too big.
Each tile on this is going to be ~1 meter for tabletop purposes (which is the goal of this map), and it's 26x16 meters for the structure. If you get over the fact that my proportions are wrong, I'm at about ~60 pixels per meter. With a wall thickness of ~16 pixels, I should be getting about 8" for the interior ones. The exterior ones are actually cut off by my image, to keep my perfect proportions without cutting into the map, but they're 20 pixels thick from what can be seen, which should give them a whole foot of width.
So basically, what my issue is right now is that I need to make my grid in my workspace better so that I'm actually working in meters instead of arbitrarily sizing my furniture, which, when placed on a grid, reveals a slightly atrocious scenario: My toilets are ~2x1.2 meters in diameter. In short, yes, there are major errors, just not the ones you thought.
EDIT: Modern ADA-compliant toilets take up ~1.2x.8 meters of floor space, so I'm essentially an extra 50% on the size, which then corresponds to an appropriate shift in stall size. This is actually something that I'm really glad I learned, because the bathroom was feeling cramped.
It's overly dark, because I didn't want to spend the hour for a high-quality render, but you can see the proportions correctly now.
EDIT 2: I should probably ask on a Blender forum why the outside light is overrepresented in the clamped light thing; I have two theories, one based on size, and the other based on the fact that it's a colored light, rather than a plain white light, though the blue light in the lower right should be rendering if that were the case.
EDIT 3: I should probably point out that the toilets are still a mite larger than they should be, but I've accepted that as something that's not necessarily horrible in all situations, especially since the main reason I'm making this is for a Shadowrun campaign, and Trolls might appreciate a mite of extra space.
Last edited by Squire Ned; 04-27-2013 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Added correctly proportioned bathroom.
The walls look perfect in terms of thickness now. I would leave them uncoloured as you have them - perhaps a very pale grey, even paler than you have now, so that they stand out a bit better from your floor.
I'm uploading another render, this one at higher detail and normal lighting (still very noisy in the bathroom, but this would be one of three or so renders that make up the final composite, but that's all technical and boring Blender/GIMP stuff I don't want to contemplate yet).
I'll probably tweak the wall color, but this will come last in terms of doing stuff, since it's rather easy. It's also something that will prove crucial to the ability of these to be cobbled together into a shopping center, so I'd like to have a couple made up before I start experimenting, just to see first hand what greys go well with the interiors of various fashions.
I'm hoping to get some more furniture done before the next render (this one took 50 minutes!), so if I don't reply as quickly it's just because I'm putting a counter in the shop, and sinks/toilet paper dispensers/paper towel dispensers/hand dryers in the bathroom, and that requires a lot of mantime instead of just "I want to boil water on my GPU while doing other stuff for a while".
EDIT: I'm also going to make the toilets porcelain white, instead of the dull grey they currently are. That's something that I've sort of goofed on, since I was testing my materials before rendering.
EDIT 2: I've made some more progress, and tweaked the lighting some more. I added a wall sink and toilet paper dispensers.
I'm still not sure why exactly I started with the bathroom first.
Last edited by Squire Ned; 04-28-2013 at 01:11 AM.
Finals really caught me off guard, and they took longer than I had expected. As such, all I've managed to do has been polishing off some of the bathroom.
Trash can's still a mite too big, though this is more from an artistic standpoint than a realistic one, as it's modeled as a hybrid between the kitchen-size trash can I have in my room and an industrial one like I used to work with; it's perfectly plausible for it to be the dimensions it is (though, in all honestly, if it were it'd probably be set into the wall, but that's a whole new can of worms).
I've uploaded a render and composite version; the render's the "true" one, while the compositor applied version has some modifications to nullify noise. It also over-brightens the image, but that can be fixed if it's too much.
EDIT: The astute might see some lighting changes between the two; I added a ceiling which bounces light back down at the rooms, providing a little less noise and more realistic details. It's transparent to the camera, and actually is somewhat set down into the walls, something that I may play around with.
EDIT 2: Discovered an error with the toilet paper dispensers. I'd always thought they were just reflecting weird, but I'd left a subdivision modifier on them, rounding them and making them come away from the stall walls. They're fixed now, but this render's still bad and I don't feel like running an overnight.
EDIT 3: But sleep is for the weak, so here's a much smaller render with much less detail that still shows the actual space the TP dispenser occupies.
EDIT 4: I didn't see it until just now, but note that the ceiling helps bring out the blue light streaming in through a privacy window on the lower right corner. You can't really see it when the map's blown up (the bigger renders are 70dpi, preview is 50), but when you're viewing a small-scale one it's pretty clear.
Last edited by Squire Ned; 05-08-2013 at 04:31 AM.
A little something more; it's not much, but I started on the storefront. I'm going to make it a bookstore for now.
I probably should change the color of the counter; with the fake wood on the bookshelves it looks too much like it's trying to be wood itself.
Unrelatedly, searching the internet showed that the bookshelves I modeled are really uncommon.
I'm going to work on a magazine rack to help make the shadows more interesting, then I'm going to make some low-detail books and magazines to spruce up the shelving. As you can see, the additional geometry makes the place noisier, but it's still not as bad as the bathroom.
EDIT: It's really difficult to see, but there are two shelves on the bookshelves; the bottom one protrudes a little over the edge.