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.
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.
After modeling the exterior of the saloon for our western town, I have now progressed to the texturing of the modular pieces. I have also modeled and textured a pulley arm based upon some reference images.
This the finished building with textures in the UDK editor.
Regents House stands on the corner of Ferensway (formally Brook Street) and has changed very little since 1914 which made the task of finding reference images that bit easier.
From Google Earth.
The finished model of Regent House, just the texturing to do now.
This is a work in progress video of our Year 2 group project Paragon’s Past, showing what Hull’s Paragon Station and surrounding area looked like at the outbreak of World War 1.
Link to the web site: http://paragonspast.co.uk