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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
Thank you for reading.
About the Author