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Behind the Scenes: Neon Street

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About

My name is Siamak Tavakoli and I live in Iran. I am a 3D Environment Artist and Musician/Sound designer.

I have been working as a 3D artist for almost 8 years. My biggest focus over the years has been learning and designing 3D environments and props for gaming, I have acquired all my skills and knowledge about 3D design from the Internet and online sources. I have worked on many projects as a freelancer, most of which were environmental designs for games.

Also, I’ve been working as a music producer and sound designer for about 15 years! I worked on many different styles of music like cinematic, ambient, electronic, game music, and game UI sound design.

From 2017–2019 I worked for a mobile game company with the 2D UI and 3D Design teams, and I’m doing sound design and game music production too.

Right now I work as a 3D environment/ship and prop designer for a 3D industrial animation company that specializes in 3D marine, ship designs, and gas and oil stations.

Neon Street

I am a big fan of sci-fi films and games and always looking for a new challenge. My interest in science fiction environments made me decide to build a street in Asia with a lot of neon signs, which is one of the iconic sci-fi and cyberpunk environments.

Inspiration

My inspiration was real photos of Asian environments like China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan streets and also other great artists’ works, mostly from ArtStation.

I did not use references for this work—instead, I made it from my own mental perception by watching the mentioned examples.

Tools

For this piece, I used mainly Blender 2.81 and 3D-Coat for texturing some of the assets.

My PC is Windows 10 / Intel core I 5 / 16GB RAM / GTX 1060.

Modeling

I started with simple sci-fi block shapes for building, My plan was to make simple basic shapes of buildings and decorate them with textures and add details.

After that, I tried to make the main form of the street by placing the buildings in front of each other. I always use a human model at actual size as a reference for the size of the environment.

I added some greeble elements to the shapes nearest the camera to add some details. I used the Plating Generator And Greebles addon for this part of the design.

Texturing

After making my building models, I started texturing the models one by one.

I used Blender itself for texturing the buildings in this project but I also used 3D-Coat to texture other street assets that I created.

I used the Sci Fi Material Pack Vol 1 from the great artist Jonathan Ching.

I unwrapped every building model in Blender with cube projection and I used 2 layers of texture for each building, one layer for the sci-fi texture and the other layer for adding emissive texture, such as little window lights for the buildings. Emission textures were generated with a free texture generator called JSplacement.

Since I was building a street environment, it was very important to build a realistic street texture.
I used a high-quality street texture from Poliigon.

I added a noise texture to the roughness layer of the street texture and controlled it with Color Ramp node to add the look of a wet street to the ground texture.

Premade Assets

I dedicate several days each week to building environmental components that can be used in a variety of projects.

I used premade 3D cables and neon sign assets to add details to this project.

For the street sign textures, I mostly used Taiwan Street signs.

As I saw in the photos of Asian streets, there are a lot of store and company signs on their streets and on the buildings, so I added a couple of street signs and cables on and between the buildings.

As you can see in the picture below, it’s very simple to create a neon sign using a materials node with the bloom option on in the Render properties tab.

I added two big buildings as a background to the street view.

Street Assets

I used some of my old environment assets and some free environment asset models from Sketchfab.

My assets: Store

Light and Atmosphere

I decided to use EEVEE rendering for this artwork so I had to set up the lights and the atmosphere for the EEVEE rendering engine.

I used one Sun light as the main light of the scene and some Point lights behind the neon sign to illuminate its surroundings, and I changed the color of that lamp based on the color of the billboard.

Main light and shadow setting of the Sun light:

I think there is no space in the world without dust and airborne particles, so I always use volumetric and fog settings for my atmosphere. As you know, EEVEE renders have a very nice ability to generate volumetric light without very high cost for the rendering time! This is why I chose an EEVEE render for this project.

This is the easy atmosphere setup for volumetric light for this scene:

The people in the scene are 3D scanned and free from Xoio-Air and Sketchfab.

Rendering

I used 256 of the EEVEE samples for final rendering. I rendered this image for my Instagram page and set a resolution of X = 2160 Y = 2700, which is, I think, the best resolution for Instagram.

This is the render setting:

Camera Focal length = 35mm

Final Render time = 00:42.20

Final Render

Thank you for reading.

About the Author

siamak-tavakoli 3d artSiamak Tavakoli, 3D Environment Artist

 

 

About Author

Abby Crawford

I've been a part of the BlenderNation team since 2018, producing Behind the Scenes and Meet the Artist features that highlight Blender artists and their work.

8 Comments

  1. Rombout Versluijs on

    Super cool image! Kinda gets me into the Cyberpunk 2077 feeling. One thing caught my eye. Im not sure why there is a road here while and yet so many people walk on it. I dont see a sidewalk?

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