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SimFox Construction & Research

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#1 SimFox

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:17 PM

 

Citizens!
 
You are all welcomed to SimFox Construction & Research
 
Here you’ll see our current construction and research projects.

On the construction side 3 project are currently in works at various stages of completion.

Beijing Silver Tower
Beijing Silver Tower Left view Beijing Silver Tower Front view BeijingSilver Tower Right view
Beijing Silver Tower Back view





 
One Peking Road

One Peking Road front

One Peking Road back view

 

Here are two renders of same model, which show possibilities and reason for somewhat slow progression on projects:

Vray HDRI Front Vray HDRI Back


 

 

New residential medium (compare to Bixel’s monsters – very, very modest) tower: this is presentational render of the building, unfortunately there is no way (I would know of) to bring this level of realism to the game, but I'll keep trying to move to this direction. You could see more renders of the tower later on in game view. This is just to give you idea of what I'm trying to create - medium tall 30+ floors narrow medium wealth residential tower or complex - haven't decided which one, may be both. Tower could be module to build larger complexes.

Mir VraySun+Sky

 


 

 

Apart from BATing a lot of time and energy is dedicated to develop most advanced methods of building/rendering/lighting. This is prime reason for relative slow progress of earlier projects. When I just started with BAT about 4 months ago I had no clue about any of the intricacies of 3D modeling and presentation, so I'm learning as i go. I hope time spend learning will bring sizable benefits to the community.

 

Current research project:
New lighting rig – SSE Rig (Sun-Sky-Earth).

Extensive explanatory article stating need and possibilities of new lighting system for BatForMax will be published later in August.

Here are couple of samples showing difference between render done with default rig (on the left) and one done with new SSE system (on the right)
(*building model - courtesy of BiXEL Residentials Construction unlimited ) :
 

Know-How developed in SimFox Labs has been already applied in real Simlife!

Latest offering from HongKong BAT team – HK MTR Transit Station by Bixel has been rendered in BiXEL Residentials Construction unlimited with LihgtSystem by SimFox Labs.

Another upcoming release Bigger then Life TTC by Bixel has been processed and rendered at our Research Center just couple of days ago and is currently in modding and lotting stage.

Following projects: New NightLighting System (still on the level of idea)


 



#2 van1357

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:09 PM

It all looks great. Wish you all the best with whatever you are up to. I especially like the renders of One Peking Road. They look so real! I'm guessing most of this work will be for rigs etc. for Max? (wish I had it...) Is it possible to create new, better rigs for Gmax. Anyway, great work and I can't wait to see whats next.

#3 SimFox

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:22 PM

Van1357: Sorry mate... unfortunately limitations of Gmax do not allow the use of this type of rig/lighting system... But I'll look into GMAx later in August (I'm leaving on holydays day after tomorrow) and see if something could be improved.



#4 HONG KONG

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:27 PM

All your work is  so far. Particularly I am pleased however about your pencil tower (small residential building). Of those we cannot get enough. Does this get also a basis, which can fit beside the Asian City Block Pack?

#5 paulvmontfort

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:33 PM

Simfox, I have to note that the sun in your rig is not parallel to the maxis one. Just take a look at the shadow on the court of the Tung Chung Cresent and the shadow at the lower left corner. It can also be seen in the columns on the base of bixel's residential tower. I think moving the sun to the north a bit would solve this.

#6 bixel

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:43 PM

SImFox you have done an awesome job. The default rigs just cannot handle white colors correctly without you the TTC would look..just...ok. Thankyou so much.
I love coffee and buildings.
You can find more info about me here > http://nbixel.tumblr.com/

#7 SimFox

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:44 PM

Hong Kong:

Actually real life prototype has set of three towers, each is somewhat different, of 35 floors each placed together on same 4 storey high glass clad base,7 storey glass office block is also sits on the same base. Actual building which is under construction at the moment is not in China, but could still be with some stretch be placed in ASIAN thread. It is in Moscow. And Although city itself is in Europe, it is, none the less, a capital of biggest country in Asia! So….

Actually building isn’t all that typical for Moscow, it has very strong Hong Kongnise influence – those extruded windows are typical to many HK residential towers but in Moscow such an element is going to be used for the first time. Overall Russia with ever increasing interest looks East and it starts to show on the streets of it’s capital and other major cities.

 
That said for me this is experiment in modular design, from set of typical floors it is possible to assemble towers of various heights – 15-50 storey with or with out common base, Some decorative elements and color schemes could be used to create Tower packs so lot builders could have a ball with new commieblocks

#8 SimFox

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:20 PM

Paul:

You’ve got SHARP eyes but they are partially betraying you at this particular case!

There are two separate issues here:

1. TTC, you are probably speaking of second “shadow” like line in the base… Sorry mate this isn’t caused by sun. Although TTC was rendered with SUN (with IES SUN to be precise). Complex shape of the yard with tall towers covering much of the sky, presented serious problem which had several solutions, unfortunately some of them would increase render time beyond reasonable 18 hours it  me to produce that render, others would wash out some of the shadows making parts of the recesses appear flat. Many of this problems could be resolved by remaking all the materials to fit Vray, but that would be Herculean task given it wasn’t model by me and hence I couldn’t get my mind around many bits and pieces. So, I cheated, just a tiny-iny little bit. I have created separate light source placed inside the yard and directed towards shadowed yard facing walls of towers. I’ve set multiplier very low cause this was suppose to provide just a small amount of GI , Also that light was set not to cast any shadows.  I made some test render it looked good… Or so I thought but it was already 4am and I missed that odd light artifact on the floor of the yard. Sorry. I’ve noticed it only after the whole render was done. Here I’ve cheated another time: I’ve posted picture clearly showing problem bit but didn’t specifically mentioned it. Idea was to see if anyone will find it objectionable. Nobody said nothing, and neither did I. I was somewhat in a hurry since I’m living day after tomorrow for the holydays and wouldn’t be able to do anything till second half of August. Then I could do re-render of TTC and hopefully fix this mistake. If it wouldn’t be released by then there wouldn’t be ANY problem at all since new model with exactly same name size etc. could be substituted for the old one in a matter of seconds. If it will be released, we could collectively take a look and see if difference would warrant Second Edition.

OK, that about that triangle of light, as far as Sun goes, it’s position is 100% coincide with MAIN sun of the Fixed Huge Rig for GMAX BAT, I don’t know which Rig do you use in MAX, but one which came with BatForMax V2 is very, very screwed! In our old thread on page 52 I have shown screen captures showing that problem. So I went to the ORIGIN and with ORY (who are haloed J) Placed sun in such way that angle is exactly same as in small, medium and big rigs. Original Huge Rig for GMAX also had somewhat misplaced sun, but nothing as radical as one for MAX. And problem there was 100% fixed in Fixed Huge Rig (no surprise there!)

BTW if you’ll take a look at the render of TTC I’ve posted on Page 53 of old home, you’ll see that problem isn’t there. Unfortunately I’ve accidentally deleted that rig setup after that render and was reconstructing it from memory and missed some details

2. As I’ve said above, Sun is in right place. Mess which original rig is trying to pass as shadows is cause by 2 things. First that that isn’t shadow at all , but texture (Shadow map), and Second, that original rig has 2 Main Suns and few minor ones. Second main sun and all the minors are there provide fill light, and impossible crude imitation of Area shadows.

 
Here is those two shots side by side in RAM Player:

You should allow couple of pixels which New Rig render is higher then old one, but still it is VERY clear that shadows of columns are absolutely parallel!

 
If anyone interested I can put my light rig on STEX.


#9 Jasoncw

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 03:09 PM

Is the rig done?  If it's not perfect, then it isn't done yet, but once it is done, I think it would be wonderful on the STEX.  I plan on using it once I start BATing in 3ds max.

#10 SimFox

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 03:34 PM

Jasoncw:

Define Perfection! As one Well Known artist said: Artist do not fear perfection – you’ll never achieve it!

 

On a more serious note, yes it is ready and yes it is as perfect as it could be, But matter is somewhat more complex then just Rig. Key in new system is using GI –Global Illumination aka Indirect Illumination. Rig being same would have to be complimented by other settings depending on:

1. Render engine used – Scanline, Mental Ray, Vray, Brasil.

2. Structure of model. Some adjustments in GI setup may be needed on individual basis.

3. Power of Computer. Time/quality trade-up is always with us!

 

In our old thread I have explained some basic principles and setup of GI for ScanLine.

When I’ll get back from Holydays , or even may be while on there I’ll write more extensive article on the subject and post it either here of on Bat-Workshop Forum.

Jason!! You absolutely must switch!!! Your arrival into MAX camp will further few development project a great deal!

As I’ve said I have some plans for night lighting and also some idea of altogether new Night render setup.




#11 Jasoncw

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 04:00 PM

Cool!

Yes, I'm very exited for 3dsmax.  I already have it on my comptuer (although it's under program files, when I hear it should be under C:/), and I've started checking out the features.

The new lighting/rendering rig will make large fancy art deco buildings more possible, since I won't need to include gradients in the textures, meaning I can quickly and easily make a custom texture for anything that needs it.

The more advanced modeling tools in m3ds max will make it easier to model things.  I took a short course that had some 3d modeling in it, so luckily I'm already familiar with some of the new tools.

You could put it on the STEX, with a big readme included, and then you can also make a post (which should be stickied) in the workshop that links to the stex upload, and includes the readme in the post.  I think that would be a pretty complete way to distribute it.

This new set up is one of the most exciting things to happen in a while.  You're doing a great service to the community.

#12 Skyfire2275

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:38 AM

So, are you going to try to get this rig into gmax for those of us who do not have 3ds max?

P.S. SimFox, have you considered using two threads? One for BATs and one for all of your lighting work? Just thought I would point out the possibility, now that it exists.

#13 Chris M

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:22 AM

Good work here, buddy! Can't wait to use some of your buildings in my cities!

#14 SimFox

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 03:44 PM

Before I leave to holydays here is 4 side render of residential tower.

Comments and advise will be appreciated



#15 bixel

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 05:13 PM

Very pretty! Looks like we got another person here to do residentials!
I love coffee and buildings.
You can find more info about me here > http://nbixel.tumblr.com/

#16 SimFox

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 01:06 PM

Bixel:
thanx, coming from you, it carries a lot of weight to me!!

#17 tag_one

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 12:02 AM

wow beautifull buildings, they're one by one awesome

#18 HONG KONG

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 01:28 AM

The residential building looks very good so far

#19 SC4Noobie

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 06:54 AM

Hey Simfox, that looks great! BTW, a quick $%&^! BAT question, do you usually create the ground floor, and the 2nd floor, and clone the entire second floor for the number of floor you need? And then make the top level? Thanks.

#20 SimFox

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 08:45 AM

Ok, I'm back from holidays and will be continue with my projects.

SC4Noobie: that depends on the building, if floors are identical – that is the most logical and fast way to get the resulting model. One drawback, probably a major one, of such an approach is repetitiveness of textures, unless you use very uniform one. So to fix that you may want to create new UV map spanning all floors.



#21 SimFox

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 08:45 AM

Ok, I'm back from holidays and will be continue with my projects.

SC4Noobie: that depends on the building, if floors are identical – that is the most logical and fast way to get the resulting model. One drawback, probably a major one, of such an approach is repetitiveness of textures, unless you use very uniform one. So to fix that you may want to create new UV map spanning all floors.



#22 SimFox

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 09:46 AM

Here is a state of my residential test tower so far.

I decided to make a nice penthouse with a garden and little pond on the roof to answer that never-ending call for the roof detail.

Here is one screen shot:
 

I know that isn’t the game view shot, but it seems to be nowadays customary to show building in a bit different way as well, and I think this is very right way, it trains the eye and leads ultimately to better designs!

Tell me what do you think about light – namely yellowish glow of the sun versus bluish tint of the shadows? Do you think this proportion is a right one?



#23 bixel

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 10:23 AM

Excellent! We can only hope for = to more detail and more views in SC5!
I love coffee and buildings.
You can find more info about me here > http://nbixel.tumblr.com/

#24 SimFox

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 10:30 AM

Here is a bigger tviw…
Yes, Bixel, that would be great!
I’ll try to leave my computer for the night to render Sorrento..
But here is one more “close-up”


#25 dmscopio

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 10:58 AM

Are you using ray tracing material for your windows? if yes, will it slow down the rendering time?
Great job by the way. Love the windows details.
BTW: How is the One Peking Road doing? pretty close to finish?

#26 bixel

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 11:12 AM

Good grief that is nice...hey if you don't want to render Sorrento send me the camrig you are going to use and i will render it. And yeah...finish 1 peking road already!!


I love coffee and buildings.
You can find more info about me here > http://nbixel.tumblr.com/

#27 SimFox

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 11:23 AM

dmscopio: well, sort of... it isn't raytraced material but similar one, with even more features – vraymaterial, same like in One Peking road. As for One Peking Road itself it was on a back burner while I was experimenting with different lighting settings. I will proceed with it now and I think it should be ready sometimes in mid September or earlier. BTW about your CoCo mall, do you actually know it's real life size?? I think it should be much larger then 6x6, Do you know where in Shenzhen it is?? I can not find it on Google Earth - if you do you can measure sizes there - pretty accurately I must say

Bixel: I don’t think it gonna work, cause I’m gonna render it with Vray, just like TCC, but with Sorrento I’ll use new setup, hopefully to deliver better color and shadow and dynamic range… One thing is I’m thinking to rework the lights as well, but that is not certain cause I don’t have enough experience with then yet…



#28 T Wrecks

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 01:09 PM

Anyway, modding and lot design for the Sorrento (including transit-enabling) are basically done, at least for the growable version. It's open for beta-testing with the preliminary version of the BAT bixel sent me, and slapping the new render onto the lot to replace the old version plus moving a few potted shrubs a pixel or two shouldn't be a problem.

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice // If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill // I will choose a path that's clear - I will choose free will


#29 SC4Noobie

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 07:29 PM

Daaaaam, that looks awsome with those awsome renders! I can't wait for some releases! It'll fit in with those towers bixel released. They are really sprucing up my mega huge HK inspired high rise residential complexes.

#30 SimFox

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 09:09 PM

Little progress…

Well spent tons of time setting this second computer to render things while i use first one for other stuff.

 

Sorrento is in rendering now… God knows how long shall it take, but most probably should be ready by Sunday evening/night






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