Through researching the signage of the period, it became clear that signs used to advertise and promote businesses where hand painted, often perhaps by the owner of the business the sign was above.
To try and recreate this feel for our signage I and others who worked on the project sketched the lettering onto paper and photographed the results. Then through a little manipulation in Photoshop were able to produce some good authentic looking signs that didn’t rely upon computer generated fonts.
Here are two of the signs that I created.
In our western environment, we wanted to try to achieve the look of a real western town. During our research we noticed that large hanging canvass signage was a major way of advertising and promoting of businesses and such. Although I had used cloth before in previous projects, the move to UE4 meant that I had to download the Nvidia PhysX plugin and learn how to use it with 3DS Max, as this is the only way to achieve real time cloth physics that react to wind and gravity in the UE4 engine.
This is the general appearance that is achieved with the cloth modifier, the Apex clothing modifier is added to a mesh which is then weight painted in order to determine the scale of movement that the forces of wind and gravity will have upon the mesh in the UE4 game engine.
Here is the three textures that were used to create the material for the sign, opacity mask to give the appearance of rips and tears in the fabric, the normal or bump texture and the diffuse texture.
Perhaps the main feature of the Last Resort is the TV wall that is situated on the back wall. I felt that having this playing a video in real time would look really good. Originally I intended to have the actual video that featured on the screens in the movie to be playing, but I have been unable to determine what these videos were. I may create a video montage of my development work to be playing during game play.
This is my TV wall asset rendered in 3DS Max, to achieve the look of the one in the movie I created it as a multi-sub object with two material channels; this allows me to place an image or in this case an .avi movie clip on one channel to represent the screens and a gloss black on the other to represent the boarder space between the sets.
Upon my decision to build up the area directly outside of the Last Resort, I have gathered some images that show limited views of this space. Through these photos I have been able to roughly determine what some of the small stall type buildings and other structures look like and where they are situated.
Here is a render of a few of these structures that I assembled in 3DS Max.
And this picture shows the development of this area in the game engine itself.
Although I wasn’t initially going to model the outside of The Last Resort, I thought that including the exterior and a small section of the street out side of the building would give a more flowing and immersive atmosphere to my project.
This screen capture shows the exterior of The Last Resort as well as showing that the town in which it is located (Venusville) is in fact in side an excavated void on Mars.
This is an in engine view of the exterior of The Last Resort which is still very much work in progress, the textures need tweaking a little but the most important thing that I need to get right is the lighting. There needs to be more of a red-orange Mars like glow to the environment, which is show in the movie.
With only around six weeks until our degree show, I am starting to populate the interior of The Last Resort with the assets that I have and still are producing, as well as creating the textures and materials that will give them a realistic appearance. Below are two in engine (UE4) screen shots showing some areas that will be familiar to people who know the movie.
This shot shows some assets that populate the bar area as well as the tables.
This angle shows the area directly opposite the bar, and gives a good view of the floor space.
As stated in the brief; several burnt or partially burnt buildings were required within the town. I decided to create a small generic building as well as a partially burnt version of it, these buildings were base upon the one that can be seen in the photograph below.
This is the partially burnt building rendered in 3Ds Max which shows the textures and the wire frame of the model.
This is the undamaged generic building which could be a small domicile for example.
Below is the diffuse and normal textures that I created for use in the UE4 game engine.
There is also an update of the saloon that I have been working on, all done and in our environment now, this shows the exterior of the building along with hand drawn signage that was manipulated in Photoshop to create a look that is in keeping with the period.